A new type of leave was approved by Parliament on 6 December 2022, along with three other bills dedicated to putting culture back at the heart of Luxembourg society. On 13 December 2022, Bill of law no. 7948 was exempted from the need for a second constitutional vote and on 12 January 2023, the law of 6 January 2023 introducing cultural leave 1 was published.
The law comes into force on 1 February 2023.
Below are the main features of cultural leave from an employment law perspective.
1. Purpose of leave
The cultural leave scheme is aimed at individuals who carry on their cultural discipline or art in parallel to their main professional activity, to enable them to participate in high-level professional events.
2. Beneficiaries of leave
The following people are eligible for cultural leave:
- Employees considered to be "cultural actors" within the meaning of new Article L. 234-10 of the Labour Code.
- Employees with the status of administrative manager in a federation, national network or association in the cultural sector, meeting the conditions of new Article L. 234-11 of the Labour Code.
- Employees appointed by national federations, networks or associations in the cultural sector to participate in high-level cultural events in Luxembourg and meeting the conditions of new Article L. 234-12 of the Labour Code.
3. Duration of cultural leave
The maximum duration of cultural leave varies according to the category of beneficiary:
- 12 days per year and per beneficiary for employees considered to be "cultural actors".
- 2, 3 or 4 days per year for administrative staff of an association in the cultural sector, depending on the number of active affiliated members.
- 5 or 10 days per year for the administrative staff of a federation or a national network in the cultural sector, depending on the number of active members.
- 50 days per year for national federations and networks in the cultural sector and 10 days per year for associations in the cultural sector, which may then allocate those days to the persons whom they designate to participate in high-level cultural events in Luxembourg.
In all cases, the leave can be split and is pro-rated according to the employee's working time.
4. Conditions for entitlement
To be eligible for leave, a number of conditions must be fulfilled, which vary according to the beneficiary. An applicant for cultural leave must meet all the following conditions, among others:
- Has been continuously affiliated to the Luxembourg social security system for at least six months;
- Has at least six months' service with their employer at the time of the application;
- Demonstrates a "notable commitment" to the Luxembourg cultural and artistic scene.
5. Employer's rights and obligations
The employer must give their opinion on the request for leave within eight working days.
It should be noted that, ultimately, the Minister of Culture may refuse to grant cultural leave if the absence of the employee on the leave requested would risk having a major negative impact on any of the following:
- The operation of the business;
- The proper functioning of public administration or public services; or
- The smooth running of the annual paid leave of other staff members.
6. Compensatory allowance
For each day of leave, the employee shall receive a compensatory allowance equal to the average daily wage, but not exceeding four times the minimum social wage for unskilled workers (i.e. EUR 9,549.60 at index 877.01 on 1 January 2023).
The compensatory allowance is paid upfront by the employer. The State will reimburse the employer, up to the above limit, for the amount of the allowance and the employer's share of social security contributions advanced, on submission of a declaration accompanying the application for reimbursement.
1 Law of 6 January 2023 introducing cultural leave and amending
1° the Labour Code;
2° the amended law of 16 April 1979 establishing the general status of State officials; and
3° the amended law of 24 December 1985 establishing the general status of municipal civil servants.
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.