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Language training leave

Learn or perfect your Luxembourgish

Employees, self-employed people and professionals may apply for language training leave, which is a special paid leave of up to 200 hours over the person's professional career, to learn Luxembourgish or perfect his/her use of the language and facilitate his/her integration into society.

01 Purpose

In order to obtain language training leave, employees of all nationalities must:

  • Be habitually employed at a workplace located in Luxembourg,
  • Have had an employment contract for at least 6 months with the same employer that is legally based in Luxembourg,

Self-employed people and professionals must have been affiliated with Luxembourg social security for at least 6 months.

This leave is also available to foreign employees who would like to obtain Luxembourg nationality, for the purpose of obtaining the linguistic qualifications required by nationality legislation.

02 Examples

Mercedes, a self-employed doctor, would like to attend Luxembourgish classes.

Mercedes, 45, has worked in a medical centre as a self-employed doctor for 6 months. Of Spanish nationality, she plans to register on an intensive course with a State-managed institution in order to improve her command of Luxembourgish.

A colleague informs her of the existence of language training leave that entitles her to up to 200 hours of special paid leave. Mercedes is delighted by this news as she thought that she had to have employee status to obtain this leave, and she hastens to completes her application using the online form.

Donald lives in Luxembourg and would like to obtain Luxembourg nationality

Donald, 39 and American, has worked for 10 years with an American company based in Luxembourg. As he also lives in Luxembourg, he would like to obtain Luxembourg nationality.

In order to do so he must, amongst other things, sit an oral examination in Luxembourgish. However, since moving to Luxembourg, he has never learnt to speak Luxembourgish, but he is aware that he can claim language training leave.

His boss supports the process and accepts his application. After passing his exam, he will claim reimbursement of the registration fees for the oral examination in the Luxembourgish language from the Ministry of Justice (Ministère de la Justice).

03 Eligible training

Eligible training in Luxembourgish can be delivered in Luxembourg or abroad, by:

  • Institutions with public or private school status recognised by the public authorities, and issuing certificates recognised by these same authorities,
  • Professional chambers,
  • Municipalities,
  • Foundations, individuals and private associations individually approved for such purpose by the Ministry responsible for vocational training,
  • Ministries, civil services and public establishments.

It must be held within normal working hours.

Training financed by other legal provisions is not eligible.

04 Process

Applications for obtaining language training leave should be sent to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy (Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l’Economie sociale et solidaire) and, for employees, they must be approved or declined by the employer. The Ministry must receive applications prior to the start of the course.

Length

Each recipient is entitled to a maximum of 200 hours of language training leave throughout his/her professional career, which must be divided into two instalments of 80 to 120 hours each.

Leave can be split. The minimum length is half an hour per day.

The second part of the leave may only be taken after having successfully completed a training course during the first part, as demonstrated by a diploma or other certificate showing successful completion or attendance.

For part-time employees, leave hours are calculated in proportion to the working time.

The legal provisions relating to social security and employment protection remain applicable for the duration of the language training leave.

Process

The same process is to be carried out for each instalment.

The employeemust:

  • Download and fill in the application form,
  • Obtain his/her employer's decision regarding his/her application, 
  • Send the duly completed form and the requested documents (employment contract, registration certificate, social security certificate, timetable and length of classes etc.) to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy. 

The employee is informed by letter of the number of hours of leave granted. Following the training course he/she must submit attendance certificates to the employer.

The employer must:

  • Give an opinion on the request submitted by the employee,
  • Download and complete the reimbursement form and attach the requested documents (attendance certificate(s) showing the attendance rate, payslip(s) for the period in question showing the actual leave taken, employer's statement showing the exact date(s) of the leave day(s) actually taken, serial number of the ministerial agreement etc.)
  • Send the duly completed form and the requested documents to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy.

The process for self-employed people and professionals, is similar to the one described above. Only the form and the requested documents are different.

Employer's opinion

The leave may be:

  • Accepted by the employer,
  • Deferred by the employer if the absence may have considerably harmful effects on company operations or the smooth running of annual paid leave of staff.

05 Compensatory allowance

For employees, each hour of leave granted entitles the person concerned to a compensatory allowance equal to his/her average hourly salary, which is paid by the employer. The employer advances the allowance and is reimbursed by the State in respect of 50% of the amount of the allowance and 50% of the employer's social security contributions.

For self-employed persons and professionals, the compensatory allowance paid by the State is fixed at 50% of the reference amount defined on the basis of the hourly income which was used during the last contributory year as contribution basis for the pension insurance scheme.

The compensatory allowance cannot exceed four times the minimum hourly wage for unqualified workers (€46.21/grade 794,54 on 1 January 2017).

 

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