The government has put several measures in place to ensure that parents can care for their children now that schools and crèches have been closed.
Many of our readers may have questions or worries relating to the new form for Leave for Family Reasons put out by the Ministry of Social Security. In an email to press on Saturday evening, the ministry explained the application procedure and provided a FAQ.
Leave can be taken by parents only if no child care is possible otherwise. If parents have the option to work from home or can arrange family, friends or neighbours to care for their children, then these options are preferred. In the situation that one parent exercises a "strategically important activity" (e.g. in health care), the other parent should take leave.
For parents with disabled children over the age of 12 the government will adopt specific supportive measures as soon as possible.
- The parent must inform his or her employer about the leave as soon as possible by indicating the beginning and the end of the period;
- The form must be completed (period does not have to be mentioned on the form, only mentioned to employer);
- The form must be sent to the employer and to the CNS once per parent taking the leave. If the leave is split - taken several times over a longer period of time - the parent is not required to send a new form each time. The first form is sufficient.
- For employers only: informing CNS about the actual days taken off by employee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is concerned?
A parent affiliated to the Luxembourgish social security scheme (including non-residents) with one or more children under the age of 13, affected by temporary closing of lower and secondary education, crèches etc.
My child is 13 years old. Can I take the leave for family reasons?
The legal age limit for children is 12 years old. Parents of children aged 13 and older cannot take family-related leave under the current measures. Only parents of hospitalised children who are 13 years or older are entitled to leave for family reasons, limited to 5 days.
The form does not indicate the start and end date of the leave period. What do I do?
The form's aim is to be able to certify to the employer and to the CNS that the parent is taking leave for family reasons. Indicating the start and end date on the form is not necessary.
The parent must, however, contact his or her employer to inform them about the leave period. The scheduled leave days should be mentioned to the employer at this point too. Thereafter, it is the employer who informs social security of specific days.
I filled out the form. Should I see a doctor for a certificate?
No, the completed form constitutes a medical certificate already.
I have taken leave. Can I interrupt the period to work for a few days and then resume the leave?
Yes. The parent can interrupt and split the leave according to his or her needs. Remember that the employer must be informed as soon as possible of any changes. Only one form per parent at the start of the leave period is required.
I'd like to alternate the leave with my husband/wife/partner, is this possible?
Yes. Both parents can alternate the leave according to their needs, provided that both parents are affiliated with Luxembourg. Each parent must complete a form. Here are some examples:
Parent 1 takes off Mondays and Tuesdays, Parent 2 Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays. Or, Parent 1 takes off the morning and Parent 2 takes off the afternoon.
I am on maternity or parental leave already. Can my spouse take the leave for family reasons?
In principle, if a parent is on maternity or parental leave then the other parent should continue their professional activity, possibly by working remotely. If for some reason this is not possible, the parent can take leave for family reasons during the time schools and crèches remain closed.
I am divorced. Can the two parents alternate the leave periods?
Yes, provided that both parents are affiliated with Luxembourg. Each parent can take alternate leave (one parent at a time).
I exercise an independent activity. Am I eligible for family leave?
Yes, if you are affiliated as a self-employed person.
I work in Luxembourg, but my child attends a school abroad. May I take leave for family reasons?
Yes. If the parent is affiliated in Luxembourg and the child is educated abroad, then the parent can take leave for family reasons if the public authorities at home decide to close their schools. The same procedure explained above counts here.
Can both parents take family leave at the same time?
No, only one of the parents can use it at any given time. The time can be alternated and split, however.
My child is 13 years old and I cannot benefit from the leave for family reasons. What do I do?
If the parents cannot take leave for family reasons, it is possible to contact their employer to arrange working from home. Parents can also ask a family member or neighbour to arrange for childcare.
For children with disabilities who are over 12 years of age, the government will shortly adopt targeted measures to support the parents concerned.
More information (in French) can be found here.
Can an employer refuse my leave request?
No. If the legal procedure has been followed by the parent (informing the employer and sending the duly completed form), then the employer cannot refuse leave for family reasons.
The amended regulations mention "quarantine of a child". Is this still applicable in the case of closure of an educational structure?
Yes. The measures taken by the government aim to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Thus, even if a child is not quarantined, one of the parents is still entitled to leave for family reasons to take care of the child, provided that the child is affected by the closure of 'an educational structure.