European Union: Brexit: Turning Employment Legislation Rumours Into Facts

Last Updated: 21 November 2017
Article by Roxane Filippa

Most Read Contributor in Luxembourg, November 2017

On the path to relocating to the EU from Britain, many firms are finding the EU's legislative framework a little obscure. This is no surprise, considering that each country has its own employment legislation with varying factors and interpretations. On the island, labour laws are mainly regulated by acts and common laws, whereas in Luxembourg employment laws are incorporated into the Labour Code. Employment legislation sets the framework and rules that govern the relationship between employee and employer: it details the main requirements for work conditions that every firm must meet, as well as the contract clauses that stakeholders must respect. Ultimately, such legislation can constitute a competitive advantage by ensuring a firm's agility and flexibility.

Following our first article about the employee lifecycle in Luxembourg, this article will dive into the specificities of Luxembourg's employment legislation.

Is every firm governed by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA)?

No. A collective bargaining agreement is specific to a company or a sector, so it depends on the field in which your firm is operating. CBAs fall within the public domain, so, if a firm operates in a sector with a CBA, it has no choice but to adhere to it. There are CBAs in 28 fields in Luxembourg, with a 29th currently in negotiation between representatives of employees (union) and employers of the banking sector (A.B.B.L). CBAs include specific packages, leaves of absence, and various allowances; they offer more favourable working conditions than the Labour Code.

Is a permanent contract a reference contract?

Yes. Permanent contracts (CDIs) remain the norm over fixed-term contracts (CDDs). However, that there are two contract types reveals the flexibility for firms in fitting their workforce to their needs—even during the busy season. The flexibility extends further as well, to work durations, with both full-time and part-time contracts.

Within Luxembourg's framework, a CDD cannot be renewed more than twice for the same person, and its total duration, including the renewal, cannot exceed 24 months. If it does, it will automatically be turned into a permanent contract. Beyond the CDI and the CDD, employers have the possibility to hire people through other types of contracts such as temporary contracts, apprenticeship contracts, or internship agreements.

Do companies have to fix a probation period in the employment contract?

In Luxembourg, the employment contract can include a probation period, but it's not compulsory. A probation period for a permanent contract must respect a legal duration of between 2 weeks and 12 months. In most cases, Luxembourg employers apply a 6-month probation period for their qualified employees. To limit any prejudice that could be caused by the contract termination, both parties have to respect a notice period which depends on the initial probation period mentioned in the contract (e.g. a notice period of 24 days for a contract that has a 6-month probation period).

Do employment contracts have to contain clauses on the duration of work?

Yes. In Luxembourg labour law, work duration is supervised. Concretely speaking, there is a maximum of 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week on a full-time basis. Within certain limits, overtime is possible—up to a maximum (in total working time) of 10 hours per day and 48 hours per week. This surplus can be remunerated in payment or in time off.

Are annual and illness leaves regulated by the labour code?

Yes. In Luxembourg each employee is entitled to 25 paid days off and 10 public holidays. (This can be different for companies under CBAs that offer more favourable conditions). On top of this holiday time, Luxembourg law allows employees to take time off for special professional or personal reasons (e.g. weddings). Some details on maternity, parental, and illness leaves:

  • In Luxembourg, maternity leave starts 8 weeks before the due date and continues 8 weeks after the date of delivery, and can be extended by 4 weeks if the mother breast-feeds. During this period, the salary of the employee is maintained by the employer who then receives a refund from the health insurance institution.
  • There is also parental leave, which can only be taken after maternity leave and before the child's 6th birthday. Each parent can request full- or part-time leave in agreement with the employer. During parental leave, the parent is entitled to a monthly allowance (up to €3,205) depending on his/her income, which replaces the salary and is granted by the Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants or CAE).
  • Concerning illness leave, the Luxembourgish employer must continue to pay the employee without any delay.

Is employee representation mandatory in every firm?

No. The UK does not have a formal legal mechanism for workplace representation. Nor, unlike some other European countries including Belgium, does Luxembourg. However, in Luxembourg, those working in a firm with more than 15 employees can have representatives at work who are directly elected by employees. Their role can be summarised as "safeguarding and defending the interests" of the employees. The representatives get special time off that must be granted by their firm for this purpose.

Do both parties have to respect a notice period in cases of contract termination?

Like in the other European countries, employment contract termination is regulated by labour law. In Luxembourg, a notice period must be respected when one of the parties decides to end the employment relationship. Depending on the situation, this period can vary between 3 days and 3 months. Below is a non-exhaustive list of cases related to contract termination:

  • An employer who dismisses an employee for a reason other than serious misconduct must grant a notice period and severance pay if the employee has been employed in the business for 5 years or more. The format of the final interview may vary with regards to the size of the firm.
  • In cases of lower activity, or in difficult economic circumstances, the employer has the right to terminate the employment contract according to a specific procedure.
  • In the context of an employee offence, the employer has the possibility to dismiss an employee without any probation period and without any compensation.
  • If the employee initiates contract termination, he/she needs to respect a notice period that depends on his/her seniority within the firm (1 month for employees with fewer than 5 years of seniority; 2 months for those with 5-10 years of seniority; 3 months for those with 15+ years).

The legislation also recognises contract termination that follows a mutual agreement between employer and employee.


For companies interested in relocating to the EU, employment legislation is a key aspect. It governs the employer-employee relationship from different angles in mostly advantageous ways. And even if the EU tends towards harmonising legislation across Europe, each Member State has still retained its own specificity—Luxembourg being no exception. Stay tuned for our next article, which will dive into local remuneration practices.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
30 Jan 2018, Speaking Engagement, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Laurence Vanhée knows what it takes to be happy at work, and she wants to share the secret—and soon: after her TEDxAlsace talk in France, she’s coming to Luxembourg.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions