Leave for family reasons

This page was last modified on 05-01-2018

Leave for family reasons may be taken by the salaried worker who needs to stay at home in case their child - up to the age of 18 - is ill without loss of remuneration.

The amount of leave for family reasons depends on the child's age and is structured as follows:

  • 12 days of leave per child if the child is less than 4 years old;
  • 18 days of leave per child if the child is between 4 and less than 13 years old;
  • 5 days of leave per child if the child is between 13 and up to 18 years of age and provided the child is hospitalised.

The employee must inform his employer at the latest on the first day of his absence.

Leave for family reasons is treated as a period of incapacity for work due to an illness. During this period, the employer must continue to pay their employee.

Who is concerned

The following are entitled to a certain number of days of leave for family reasons per dependent child up to the age of 18 (with exceptions in special cases) each time the child's state of health requires the presence of one of the 2 parents because of a serious illness, an accident, or any other pressing health-related issues:

If only one parent is working and the other one is at home, the working partner continues to be entitled to leave for family reasons. Leave for family reasons is therefore not limited to situations in which both parents work.

When both parents work, they are each entitled to leave for family reasons.

Leave for family reasons is only granted to workers who are responsible for a child of less than 18 years of age and who requires the care and presence of a parent.

A dependent child is defined as a child, who at the time of the illness, requires the physical presence of one of their parents. This may be:

  • a child born in wedlock;
  • a child born out of wedlock;
  • an adopted child.

Exceptions to the age limit of 18 are made for children with a certain degree of disability (not adolescents with exceptionally severe illnesses or impairments). Therefore, the age limit of 18 does not apply to children who receive the special supplementary allowance.

Prerequisites

e Leave for family reasons is granted on presentation of a medical certificateattesting:

  • the illness, accident or other pressing health issue affecting the child;
  • the mandatory presence of the parent with the ill child;
  • the duration of their presence with the ill child.

Preliminary steps

Leave for family reasons is granted upon presentation of a medical certificate and the person wishing to benefit from the leave must have consulted a doctor to receive the certificate.

How to proceed

Amount of leave for family reasons

The amount of leave for family reasons depends on the child's age and is divided into 3 age brackets:

the first age bracket Children of less than 4 years of age 12 days of leave per child

the second age bracket Children between 4 and and less than 13 years of age
18 days of leave per child

the third age bracket Children between 13 and up to 18 years of age and who are hospitalised 5 days of leave per hospitalised child

The duration of leave is doubled for each age bracket in case the child is a beneficiary of the special supplementary allowance.

Leave for family reasons may be split into 2 or more distinct periods, i.e., it does not necessarily have to be taken all at once. Periods of leave which do not exceed 4 hours are counted as half days.

Both parents cannot take leave for family reasons at the same time.

If approved by the Social Security Medical Board (CMSS), the period of leave for family reasons may be extended for children suffering from an exceptionally serious illness or disability such as:

  • progressive cancer;
  • a pathology (illness) requiring hospitalisation for more than 2 consecutive weeks.

The duration of the extension is determined individually on a case-by-case basis but may not exceed a total of 52 weeks over a reference period of 104 weeks.

Informing the employer

The employee must inform his employer personally or via an intermediary of his absence on the same day as the absence for family reasons occurs.

This information can be transmitted verbally or in writing.

The employee must justify his absence by submitting a medical certificate as soon as possible.

This medical certificate must indicate the national identification numbers (matricule - 13-digit social security number) of the child and the parent and specify:

  • the illness, accident or other pressing health issue affecting the child;
  • the mandatory presence of the parent with the ill child;
  • the duration of their presence with the ill child.
A medical certificate must necessarily be given to the employer each time, regardless of the duration of the child's illness, and even if it is only for one day.

On the other hand, the employee must send the medical certificate to the National Health Fund (CNS) at the latest on the third day of absence.

Continuation of pay

The period of leave for family reasons is treated as a period of sick leave due to illness or accident.

During the period of leave for family reasons, the employee benefits from the continuation of pay by the employer.

The employers' mutual insurance scheme reimburses the employer/self-employed worker the total wage costs (gross salary + employers' costs) during the period of continuation of pay.

The reimbursement takes place if the leave for family reasons was declared by the worker to the competent health fund et by the employer to the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS).

If the insured person is no longer entitled to a salary by the employer (>77 sick days within a period of 12 months), the benefits are paid directly by the National Health Fund (CNS).

Self-employed workers insured with the Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme should declare their leave for family reasons to the competent health fund by sending them the medical certificate in order to receive the benefits from the Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme.

Protection against dismissal

Employers who have been informed the same day of the leave for family reasons are not allowed to inform their employee of the termination with notice of their work contract or to summon them to the pre-dismissal interview.

Otherwise, the employee can request to be reinstated and/or take legal action and claim damages for wrongful dismissal.

However, this protection only applies for the period covered by the medical certificate and does not automatically cover the whole duration of the child's illness.

In order to benefit from protection against dismissal:

  • the beneficiary must have informed the employer as from the first day of absence;
  • the medical certificate must have been given to the employer;
  • the medical certificate must have been presented to the employer before the receipt of a letter of dismissal or the summons to a pre-dismissal interview;
  • the beneficiary must not have been guilty of serious misconduct.

Employees are not protected against dismissal for serious misconduct or a termination of the contract as a result of business termination due to the employer's death, physical incapacity or bankruptcy.

Leave for family reasons at the beginning or end of the work contract

In the event of leave for family reasons during the trial period, the trial period is extended for the duration of the leave, within the limit of one month maximum.

In the event of leave for family reasons which goes beyond the end of a fixed-term employment contract, the end date of the contract is not changed.

Who to contact

125, route d'Esch
L-1471 - Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 27 57-1
Email cns@secu.lu