Good news for everyone working in Luxembourg: From 2019, you'll be able to enjoy at least one added day off.

While it was known that there were plans to add a 26th vacation day to the already established 25 and that Luxembourgish employees could expect to get an additional day off on Europe Day on 9th May, it was only recently revealed that these changes will already be effective this year.

Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) minister for employment Dan Kersch said in an RTL interview that the changes would be brought before the state council next Friday (code du Travail, article 232-2 and 233-4). Kersch was confident that the measures would be able to pass through parliament relatively quickly.

The motion will increase the current minimum amount of vacation days from 25 to 26. However, that doesn't mean that everyone will get an extra day off. "Employers who already grant more than 26 days off per year will not be legally forced to extend beyond this", Kersch explained in the RTL interview.

On the other hand, Kersch stated that he'd expect trade unions to use the expansion as a basis for demanding an extra day off even if an employer already provides more that the minimum of 25 vacation days to his employees. Kersch clearly stated that this issue would be between employers and trade unions and that the government will stay out of these discussions to respect free collective bargaining.

Trade unions react

Increasing the minimum amount of vacation days is viewed as a "first step in the right direction" by the largest private sector trade union in Luxembourg, the OGBL.

The UEL trade union, which represents companies, stated that they were "not happy" about the changes, especially because of the extra public holiday on 9 May. They criticised that employees will not be able to be as flexible with taking the day off as they would have been had they have gotten another vacation day instead. The UEL criticised that the public holiday would unnecessarily disrupt the production chain.

It is not known how many employees in Luxembourg currently only have the minimum of 25 days off per year. According to a 2014 STATEC study, around 60% of employees are covered by a collective agreement.