Compensation for time off/work on public holidays

This page was last modified on 13-09-2012

In Luxembourg, each employee is entitled to 10 public holidays per annum.

If a public holiday falls on a day on which the employee would not normally be working, the employer must grant the employee a compensatory day of leave.

If their company's specific business circumstances prevent the employee from taking leave on a public holiday, the employer must pay the employee extra.

Who is concerned

All employees and all apprentices are entitled to public holidays.

However, employers may ask their employees work on a public holiday in return for extra pay.

For employees who work in a seasonal business (in the hotel trade, restaurants, drinking establishments and, more generally, any business subject to seasonal variations), the compensation for work on public holidays is not extra pay but time off or additional leave.

Adolescents (from 15 to 18 years old) enjoy special protection against work on public holidays.

How to proceed

Public holidays in Luxembourg

There are 10 public holidays in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg:

  • New Year's Day (1 January);
  • Easter Monday;
  • 1 May (Labour Day);
  • Ascension Day;
  • Whit Monday;
  • 23 June (National Holiday - celebration of the Grand Duke's birthday);
  • Assumption (15 August);
  • All Saints' Day (1 November);
  • Christmas Day (25 December);
  • Boxing Day (26 December);

The employer may replace these official public holidays by other local or business holidays as long as they grant their employees the 10 public holidays they are entitled to.

Additional holidays are sometimes granted to employees, especially through collective agreements (e.g. in the banking sector, where Good Friday is considered a public holiday).

Compensating time off on public holidays

In theory, employees do not work on public holidays. However, if they are required to work, their compensation for that day will be determined on the basis of:

  • the day of the week (is it a normal weekday or a Sunday);
  • the employee's normal work schedule (would the worker have worked that day if it had not been a public holiday?).

Public holiday falling on a normal workday

If a public holiday falls on a normal workday (Monday to Saturday) on which the employee would normally have worked, the employee is entitled to:

  • their normal compensation corresponding to the number of hours they would normally have worked if it had not been a public holiday;
  • and a day off be taken the same day.
Compensation on a public holiday falling on a normal workday
1 day off on the same day 1 day
Normal compensation 100 %
TOTAL 1 day + 100 %
If the employee would normally only have worked 4 hours or less on that day, they are entitled to a half-day of paid leave in addition to compensation for the time not worked.

Public holiday falling on a normal workday that is usually a day off

If a public holiday falls on a workday (Monday to Saturday) that would normally have been a day off for the employee, the latter is entitled to:

  • their usual compensation;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.
The employer may, after having consulted with staff representatives, set a specific date for a compensatory day of leave for all staff.
Compensation on a public holiday falling on a normal workday that is usually a day off
Normal compensation 100 %
+ 1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 100 % + 1 day
Example: an employee who does normally not work on Mondays will be entitled to an additional day of leave on Whit Monday.

If business operation prevents them from taking their compensatory day of leave within 3 months, the employer must grant the day of leave before the end of the calendar year, or within the first 3 months of the following year if the public holiday was in November or December.

Failing this, the employee will be entitled to the salary due for the duration of the leave in question.

Where no compensation/remuneration is granted on a public holiday falling on a normal workday that is usually a day off
Normal compensation 100 %
+ compensation for a public holiday 100 %
TOTAL 200 %

Public holiday falling on a Sunday

If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the employee is entitled to:

  • their usual compensation;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.

The compensatory day of leave can be taken on an individual basis by each employee.

Compensation for public holidays falling on a Sunday
Normal compensation 100 %
+ 1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 100 % + 1 day
The holiday must be taken in kind. It cannot be replaced by remuneration.

Compensation for work on public holidays

If a company's specific business conditions prevent employees taking a public holiday off, the employees are entitled to specific compensation, which depends on:

  • the day of the week (normal weekday or a Sunday);
  • the employee's normal work schedule (would the worker have worked that day if it had not been a public holiday?).

Seasonal workers fall under a special regime.

Public holiday falling on a normal workday

If an employee must work on a public holiday falling on a day on which they would normally have worked, they are entitled to:

  • their usual salary, i.e.:
    • either their normal monthly salary, if they are paid on a monthly basis;
    • or the hourly pay for the number of hours they would normally have worked, if they are paid by the hour;
  • the average hourly pay for the number of hours actually worked;
  • and a 100% premium for the hours actually worked.
The average hourly pay is obtained by dividing the monthly salary by 173 (hours).
Compensation for work on a public holiday falling on a normal workday
Normal compensation 100 %
+ compensation for hours actually worked 100 %
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
TOTAL 300 %

Example 1: employee paid on a monthly basis

An employee usually works 40 hours a week, from Monday to Friday, for a monthly salary of EUR 3,500.00 (i.e., an average hourly compensation of 3,500/173 = EUR 20.23).

The employee is asked to work 4 hours on Friday 15 August (public holiday - Assumption).

Compensation for work on a public holiday for employees paid by the month
Normal monthly salary EUR 3,500.00
+ compensation for the hours actually worked that day 4 x 20.23 = EUR 80.92
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday EUR 80.92
TOTAL (compensation for August) EUR 3,661.84

Example 2: employee paid by the hour

An employee usually works 6 hours on Fridays for an hourly pay of EUR 25.00.

The employee is asked to work 4 hours on Friday 15 August.

Compensation for work on a public holiday for employees paid by the hour
Standard hourly compensation (hours that should normally have been worked) 6 x 25 = EUR 150.00
+ compensation for the hours actually worked that day 4 x 25 = EUR 100.00
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday EUR 100.00
TOTAL (compensation for work on 15 August) EUR 350.00
The salary premium paid for work on a public holiday is exempt from tax, without limit.

Public holiday falling on a normal workday that is usually a day off

If an employee must work on a public holiday falling on a day that is usually a day off, they are entitled to:

  • the average hourly pay for the number of hours actually worked;
  • a 100% premium for each hour worked;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.
Compensation for work on a public holiday falling on a workday that is usually a day off
Compensation for the hours actually worked 100 %
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 200 % + 1 day

Where hours worked that day are actual overtime hours, the employee is also entitled to:

  • either a 40 % salary premium;
  • or compensatory rest at a rate of 1.5 hours of rest per overtime hour worked.

Public holiday falling on a Sunday

If an employee works on a public holiday falling on a Sunday, they are entitled to:

  • the average hourly pay for the number of hours actually worked;
  • a 100% premium for each hour worked on a public holiday;
  • a 70% premium for each hour worked on a Sunday;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.
Remuneration and compensation for work on a public holiday falling on a Sunday
Compensation for the hours actually worked 100 %
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
+ 70 % premium for the hours worked on a Sunday 70 %
1 day of compensatory rest 1 day
TOTAL 270 % + 1 day
Where hours worked that day are actual overtime hours, the employee is also entitled to:
  • either a 40 % salary premium;
  • or compensatory rest at a rate of 1.5 hours of rest per overtime hour worked.

Seasonal employment

If an employee working for a business which is subject to seasonal trade (the hotel trade, restaurants, drinking establishments and all businesses whose activity is subject to seasonal variations) works on a public holiday, they are entitled to:

  • on the one hand:
    • either their usual compensation, if the employee would normally have worked that day;
    • or a compensatory day of leave, if the employee would normally not have worked that day;
  • and on the other hand:
    • either 2 days of paid rest to be taken within 6 months;
    • or 2 days of paid leave which are added to the ordinary leave; or
    • or, over the whole year, half a day of paid rest per week as compensation for work on each public holiday (in addition to the weekly rest periods).
      In other words, if the employee must work on all 10 public holidays in the year, they are entitled to a half a day of compensatory rest each working week throughout the whole year.
      For example: with a work contract providing for a 40-hour work week plus work on each of the 10 public holidays, the employee will only work 36 hours per week, but will be paid for 40 hours.
Horeca: compensation for work on a public holiday falling on a normal workday
Normal compensation 100 %
+2 days of rest / leave
or
+ ½ day of rest per week
2 days
or
½ day per week
TOTAL 100% + 2 days of rest / leave
or
100% + ½ day of rest per week
Horeca: compensating work on a public holiday falling on a normal weekday that is usually a day off
1 day of compensatory rest 1 day
+2 days of rest / leave
or
+ ½ day of rest per week
2 days
or
½ day per week
TOTAL +3 days of rest
or
1 day + ½ day of rest per week

Protection of adolescents

Adolescents may not work on Sundays or on public holidays, except in the event of force majeure, or if the security or existence of the company is at stake:

  • to avoid a major disruption in the normal business operations of the company;
  • and when the use of adult workers is not possible.

Extended authorisation for work on Sundays and public holidays

Employers file a request with the Minister of Labour for an extended authorisation for work on Sundays and public holidays for adolescents (apprentices) working in the following establisment:

  • hotels, restaurants, cafés, dining/drinking establishments;
  • clinics, healthcare and day-care establishments for the aged and/or dependent persons;
  • children's homes and centres involved in the education and care of children.

The period of validity of the authorisation is specified in the document sent to the employer.

Remuneration and compensatory rest

Where the employer has been granted an authorisation to work on a public holiday, the employer must grant the adolescent, for every public holiday worked:

  • the hourly compensation for the number of hours the adolescent would have normally worked if it had not been a public holiday;
  • the remuneration for the hours actually worked;
  • a 100% premium for each hour worked;
  • a compensatory day of rest to be granted in the following 12 days.
Remuneration and compensation for an adolescent working on a public holiday
The normal compensation (for the hours the adolescent would have normally worked) 100 %
+ compensation for the hours actually worked that day 100 %
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
1 day of compensatory rest 1 day
TOTAL 300 % + 1 day

 

Taxation

Extra pay for work performed on public holidays is exempt from income tax.

Who to contact

3, rue des Primeurs
L-2361 - Strassen
Postal box B.P. 27 - L-2010 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247-76100
Fax: (+352) 247-96100
Email contact@itm.etat.lu

Opening hours
Reception desk: Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 11.30 and from 14.00 to 17.00 / Telephone: Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 and from 13.30 to 16.30