training leave

Last update : 21.06.2024

Eligible training

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 (secondary school, university, higher education institution) 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 competent minister,
  • 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 with an acknowledgement of receipt.

The request must mention:

  • the type of training,
  • the length of training,
  • the training provider,
  • the period(s) of leave sought together with a note stipulating that no response from the employer within 30 days is deemed as 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 3 months or longer

Employer's response

The employer must respond in writing within 30 days, with acknowledgement of receipt. If the employer fails to reply, the first period of requested leave (if several periods have been requested) is automatically deemed to have been accepted.

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 requested the unpaid leave
  • refused by the employer if the applicant is a high-level executive where 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 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.

Several simultaneous requests for unpaid leave in one department or company

In the event of multiple leave requests in one department or company which cannot all be accepted simultaneously, and where all these requests cannot be accepted simultaneously (according to the grounds of deferment mentioned above), if no agreement is reached between the employees concerned, priority will be given to the request made by the employee with proof of the longest service with the company.

Length per employee

  • The maximum length of unpaid leave is 6 consecutive months.
  • The minimum length of unpaid leave is 4 consecutive weeks.
  • The maximum cumulative length of leave per employee 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.

Effect on the employment contract

The employment contract is suspended during the period of unpaid leave. This is a provisional interruption of the effects of the employment contract without a breach. It is up to the employee to voluntarily join the Luxembourgish social insurance scheme 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 for training purposes by the employer represents a binding agreement, both for the employee and the employer.

However, in the event of force majeure, the acceptance (by the employer) or the commitment (by the employee) may be withdrawn unless a person under a fixed-term contract has been hired by the employer to replace the employee.

If the employer initiates the withdrawal, the latter must compensate the employee for non-recoverable training costs that have already been incurred.

Once unpaid leave has started, the employee may only terminate the leave with the employer's consent.

Employee illness

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 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.


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