Our sixth issue will focus on the various temporary measures adopted by Grand-ducal regulations in recent weeks, which are adapting some of the provisions of the Labour Code to the exceptional situation we are facing.
In order to allow the continuation of certain activities essential to the continuity of the State, temporary derogations in terms of working hours have been decided for certain sectors, i.e. the maximum working time may be increased to 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week. Companies concerned are:
Derogation to working time is not automatic: a request must be addressed to the Ministry of Labour, which may grant it in whole or in part. The form is available on the website of the Inspection du Travail et des Mines, at the following address: https://itm.public.lu/dam-assets/fr/formulaires/travail/derogation-duree-travail-covid-19.pdf.
For companies listed under point (2), it is also possible to refuse any leave to employees during the period of the health crisis or to cancel those which were already approved.
For companies directly affected by the closure decisions taken by the Luxembourg government and for those admitted to short-time work due to the Covid-19 health crisis, any probation period applicable to permanent, fixed-term, apprenticeship or assignment contract is automatically suspended. This suspension will last until the end of the health crisis.
By derogation to the principle of continuation of payment of the salary to employees on sick leave until the end of the month in which occurs the 77th day of absence over the 18 preceding months, any day of work disability taking place during the health crisis shall be fully covered by the National Health Fund from 1st April 2020.
On the other hand, sick leave taking place during the health crisis shall not be counted as part of the 26-week period of protection against dismissal. It will not be possible to notify dismissal to employees on sick leave during the health crisis, even if the end of the 26-week period is reached. The remaining part of the 26-week period will resume at the end of the state of crisis.
Furthermore, the calculation of the 78 weeks of incapacity for work due to illness, which sets the end of the entitlement to sickness benefits, is suspended from 18 March 2020.
The mandatory medical examinations required by the Labour Code, for instance hiring medical examinations, periodic examinations for workers holding a position involving risk for health and safety and medical examinations when back from a sick leave of more than 6 weeks, are not required throughout the duration of the health crisis and are therefore suspended.
The time limit of 15 days applicable to the negotiation of a social plan in the context of collective dismissals as well the deadlines related to the conciliation procedure, where applicable, are suspended for the duration of the health crisis.
A family support leave has been created to help employees and self-employed workers who find themselves unable to work in order to provide care for an adult who is disabled or elderly, following the closure of a day-care centre or a training or work structure.
Three conditions are required:
An employee who meets the criteria for such leave must apply to the Ministry of Family, Integration and Greater Region for a certificate recognizing the need for such leave. This certificate has the same value as a medical certificate for the employer and the Caisse Nationale de Santé. The employee is then also protected against dismissal.
This leave is applicable retroactively to 18 March 2020 and can be divided between members of the household but cannot be taken at the same time.
Please note that all our lawyers are working remotely and can be contacted by phone or by e-mail for all questions you may have on this.
Managing Partner, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal
Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 45
Partner, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal
Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 13
Counsel, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal
Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 14
Senior Associate, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal
Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 71
Associate, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal
Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 88