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29 January 2018

Luxembourg: modified labour code improves paternity leave from 1 January 2018

In the weeks before Christmas, the Luxembourg government finalised a reform of the country’s special leave legislation with a modification of its Labour Code. The Act entered into force on 1 January 2018 it changes maternity and paternity leave and the provision of extra holidays for family reasons. Trade unions have criticised the exchange policy with improvements and deteriorations that the government has applied. The unions are informing workers about the provisions of the Act, with special leaflets for German, Belgian and French colleagues that commute to the country.

The Act, ‘family leave reform bill 7060’ which provides extended parental leave right, was approved on 14 December 2017. From January 2018, paternity leave has been extended from 2 to 10 days. Applications must be submitted to the employer at least two months before the presumed date of birth. Once granted, future fathers are required to take advantage of these ten days of leave within two months after the birth of the child. The provision also applies in case of the adoption of a child. The Act does not only include improvements. Some extra leave for family reasons has been conditionally restricted (for instance in case of the removal to another house) or reduced (own marriage or marriage of children). These deteriorations are motivated by the government as a policy of demanding something in return.

The Act was discussed with the social partners and the initiative became part of the social dialogue. However, trade unions remain very critical about the way this part of the results of the talks were transposed into legislation. Trade union LCGB stated (in October 2017) that the social partner deliberations and joint understandings did not speak about an improvement of some rights in exchange of a decline of other rights.

Not only the government issued documentation on how the legislation will work in practice. Trade union OGBL made special leaflets for commuters (in French and in German). The leaflets explain the changes of the labour code and the rights that workers can derive from the new legislation. In a blog, the union notes that some applicable collective agreements may contain more favourable provisions.   

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