Unpaid training leave
Employees from the private sector with at least 2 years of service with their employer, regardless of the type of employment contract that they have with their company, can request unpaid training leave.
Eligible training may be provided 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,
- Foundations, individuals and private associations individually approved for such purpose by the minister responsible,
- Ministries, government services and public bodies.
- Private training bodies approved in Luxembourg or in another EU member state,
- Businesses which supply equipment and services promoting technological advances and delivering training related thereto,
- Providers approved by the Ministry of Health.
The employee must submit his request by registered letter with an acknowledgement of receipt or by a hand-delivered letter against receipt.
The request must contain information relating to:
- The type of training course,
- The length of the training course,
- The training body,
- The period(s) of leave sought together with a note stipulating that no response from the employer within 30 days is deemed as an automatic acceptance of the request.
The person requesting the leave must comply with a notice period of:
- 2 months for leave of less than 3 months,
- 4 months for leave of three months or longer.
At the employer's request, the employee must produce an attendance certificate for the training for which he/she has received the unpaid leave.
The employer should respond within 30 days in writing, with an acknowledgement of receipt.
The unpaid leave request may be:
Accepted by the employer. At the latter's request, the employee must produce an attendance certificate for the training for which he/she requested the unpaid leave
Refused by the employer if the applicant is a high-level executive or if the company regularly employs less than 15 employees
- Deferred by the employer, for a period of up to:
- 1 year if the duration of leave sought is lower or equal to 3 months;
- 2 years if the duration of leave sought exceeds 3 months
A deferment may apply if:
- A considerable proportion of the employees in a department are absent during the period of leave sought for an extended period, and as a result the organisation of the work would be seriously affected,
- A replacement for the applicant cannot be organised during the notice period given due to the specific nature of his/her role or a shortage of labour in the sector/profession in question,
- The work is of a seasonal nature, and the requested leave is during a seasonal period.
In the event of multiple leave requests in one department or company which cannot all be accepted, if no agreement is reached between the employees concerned and no deferment of leave is granted, priority will be given to the request made by the employee with proof of the longest service with the company.
- The maximum length of leave is 6 consecutive months.
- The minimum length of leave is 4 consecutive weeks.
- The maximum cumulative length of leave is 2 years per employer.
The duration of leave is always expressed in whole weeks or months, and must be in proportion to the length of the training.
|The employment contract is suspended during the period of leave. This is a provisional interruption of the effects of the employment contract without a breach. It is up to the employee to join voluntary insurance schemes for the duration of the unpaid leave (e.g. health insurance, pension insurance).
The employer must retain the job of the employee on leave, the latter recovering on his/her return all of the accrued benefits prior to the start of the leave or, where this is not possible, a similar job matching his/her qualifications, with an equivalent or higher salary and the same accrued benefits.
Acceptance of the unpaid leave request represents a binding agreement, both for the employee and the employer.
However, in the event of a force majeure, the employer's acceptance or the employee's commitment may be cancelled under certain conditions:
If the employee initiates the cancellation, the employer's agreement is required. However, this is not possible if the employer has recruited someone under a fixed-term contract to replace the employee,
If the employer initiates the cancellation, the latter must compensate the employee for non-recoverable training costs that have already been incurred
An illness during the unpaid leave does not entitle the employee to a deferment of the remaining authorised duration of leave.
In the event of illness that extends over a period of more than 25% of the duration of the leave, or in the event of a force majeure that makes participation at all or part of the training impossible, the employee may seek the termination of his/her leave.
The employer must comply with this request, unless urgent work organisation circumstances do not allow for the employee to be reintegrated prior to the end of the leave granted.