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Luxembourg

Source: EURES The European Job Mobility Portal. For up-to-date information visit the Living and Working Conditions section about Luxembourg on the EURES Portal.

Finding a job

Where to find jobs advertised

The Luxembourg public employment service, ADEM (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi), offers an online service, the JobBoard, to registered jobseekers and employers. Jobseekers profiles are automatically and anonymously published in this database and can also be viewed by registered employers. Candidates can also post their CVs online and have access to anonymised job offers, submitted by companies to the ADEM.

-  However, the offers are not yet available on the ADEM website.

-  In the national press (Luxemburger Wort, saturday edition);

-  On commercial websites for performing job searches and posting a CV online (see other addresses under ‘Links’).

-  On the websites of large companies/employment agencies.

Registering with a temporary employment agency

You may register either at the agency itself or by post, and provide a CV, photo and a photocopy of your identity card. The addresses of the main temporary agencies in Luxembourg can be found on the FEDIL Employment Services – Temporary Employment website (FES, see ‘Links’).

Sending a speculative application

Speculative applications are commonly used in Luxembourg to contact large companies, especially by young graduates. Therefore, you should not hesitate to apply this way, as it gives you the opportunity to be noticed and to be listed in the database of potential candidates, if the company’s HR services have one.

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Applying for a job

Applications should comprise an application or covering letter and a curriculum vitae (CV).

The application letter (or covering letter)

The application letter is not just an accompanying letter. It should be personal, carefully written, punchy and relevant, and relate to a specific post. It should highlight to what extent the applicant understands the position and the needs of the company, his/her strong points and the qualities that suit him/her for the job, and finally, it should spell out the applicant’s motivation, namely why s/he has chosen this particular company above any other.

In what language?

Unless otherwise stated, handwritten letters should be in the language used in the advertisement. Letters sent with speculative applications must be written in French, or in English if applying to a large multinational society.

The CV

The CV encloses usually a professional photograph. A CV generally consists of one or two pages giving the details of the applicant’s training and previous work experience, acquired skills, language, computer or office skills, and interests. The skills declared (especially language skills) must be accurate, as they will be checked.

Language requirements

Considering Luxembourg’s position in the heart of Europe and the fact that there are three official languages (Luxembourgish, French and German), a proficiency in several languages is very important when applying for many jobs in Luxembourg. Depending on the activity field, French, English, German and Luxembourgish are either essential or much appreciated. Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese will be a strong plus. In order to have a good chance to find a job, it is therefore advisable to master a minimum of two languages, including at least one of the official languages of the country.

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Finding accommodation

-  How to go about it: accommodation can be found by looking at the property section in the newspapers (Luxemburger Wort, Tageblatt, Le Quotidien, Lux-Bazar, etc.). There are also websites and specific newspapers, and it is advisable to contact an estate agency.

-  Properties : The average rent for a house amounts to € 2.913 per month, or € 18.93 / m² in between the 1st july 2019 and the 30th june 2020. For apartments, the average rent is € 1.550 or € 29.41 € / m². Rents are expensive in Luxembourg, in particular in Luxembourg City. Prices are lower in the decentralised cities and mainly in the North (beyond Ettelbruck) and in the South of the country (Esch / Alzette ...)

-  Bank guarantees/deposit: Landlords generally request a security deposit of an amount which cannot exceed 3 months of rent.

-  Where to rent: Luxembourg’s roads are crowded at rush hour due to the large number of cross-border workers who commute every day by car. Public transport can save you a lot of bother. It would be wise to check in advance if the area where you plan to live, is well served by public transport.

-  Buying your own property: The average price of a house for sale was around € 1.057.374 between July 2019 and June 2020, i.e. € 5.593 / m². For an apartment, the average price is close to € 732.626 which corresponds to € 8.858 / m² on the same date.

-  Living in the border areas: new workers arriving in Luxembourg can also look for accommodation in the border areas of Luxembourg (Germany, France or Belgium), where accommodation is cheaper. They would then have the cross-border commuter status.

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Recognition of diplomas and qualifications

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

  • An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
  • The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

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Kinds of employment

Since the 1st January 2009, in the private sector, no more distinction is made between white-collar worker and blue-collar worker status, either in labour law or in terms of social security. There is simply a reference to the employee, regardless of the job performed.

Different forms of employment exist:

Temporary work represents a potential springboard towards permanent employment. Workers have an assignment contract (contrat de mission) with the temporary employment agency specifying a specific and non-permanent task for one or more users.

Telework: Work which could be performed on the employer’s premises, but which is normally performed off-site (for example at home). The agreement on the legal rules applicable to teleworking, signed on 21 February 2006 by the trade unions (OGBL and LCGB) and the “Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises” (Union of Luxembourgish Enterprises), was declared of general obligation by the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 13 October 2006.

Full-time work: The statutory weekly working time is 40 hours per week in Luxembourg.

Part-time work: A part-time employee is an employee who agrees a reduced work schedule with his employer, working less hours than the usual schedule applicable in the establishment. Legal provisions protect part-time workers against discrimination (limitations on overtime, etc.).

Apprenticeship is a dual vocational training system coordinated by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth and the relevant professional chambers. Apprenticeship contracts generally last for three years and cover specific trades.

Self-employment: self-employed workers pursue professional activities (in their own name) regulated by the “Chambre des Métiers” (Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts), the “Chambre de Commerce” (Chamber of Commerce) or the “Chambre d’Agriculture” (Chamber of Agriculture), or pursue a professional activity of a primarily intellectual rather than commercial nature. They are affiliated as such to the “Centre Commun de la Sécurité sociale” (Joint social security centre, CCSS)

The intermittent artist: artist or stage or studio technician, who is offering his services against remuneration or fee on the basis of a fixed-term employment contract or a service contract

Seasonal work: fixed-term contract in order to carry out works that cannot be carried out throughout the whole year.

Student work: limited to 2 months per year, during school holidays (for young people under 27 years old).

Traineeship agreement: work to be carried out within the framework of a primarily educational traineeship as an integral part of the educational training.

The new law of 4 June 2020 extends this notion to traineeships carried out in the twelve months following the end of the last school enrolment sanctioned by a Luxembourg secondary school leaving certificate or equivalent or for the person who has successfully completed a first cycle of higher or university education.

Fixed-term contract (CDD): employment contract specifying the end date of the employment relationship (under certain conditions) – see 3.4.

Unlimited contract (CDI): see 3.4.

Seasonal work

A seasonal contract is a special form of fixed-term contract subject to specific rules.

A seasonal contract is not meant to cover a periodic increase in the normal activity of a business, but to cover specific tasks that are not performed throughout the rest of the year.

Prerequisites

Seasonal employment contracts can only be concluded for activities which are seasonal in nature, i.e. activities such as:

-  harvesting (incl. grape harvesting, etc.);

-  packaging of harvested products;

-  leisure and holiday instructors and coordinators;

-  holiday tour guide and tourist guide;

-  surveillance and maintenance of public open air swimming pools and camp sites;

-  positions held in retail stores, hotels and restaurants that are only open at a certain period of the year;

-  positions held in retail stores, hotels and restaurants that have a regular and foreseeable seasonal-related increase in activity during the year;

-  positions held in companies active in aviation and the transportation of people that have a regular and foreseeable seasonal-related increase in activity during the year.

Duration

Within a time frame of 12 successive months, a seasonal contract may not be concluded for more than 10 months, including renewals.

The seasonal employment contract does not necessarily need to have a precise end date. It may have a conditional end date, but in that case, a minimum duration must be specified.

A seasonal contract automatically ends when its term expires, or when the purpose for which it was concluded is achieved.

Working conditions of seasonal workers

Seasonal workers have the same rights as any other employee. 

However, in the hotel and catering industry (HORECA sector - hotels, restaurants and cafes), special provisions regarding working hours and paid leave apply.

Luxembourg has at the moment no specific statistics regarding seasonal worker.

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Employment contracts

Employment contracts are generally concluded for an indefinite period and are known as a permanent contract ‘CDI’ (‘contrat à durée indéterminée’). Employment contracts must be concluded in writing at the very latest on the first day of employment. They must be drawn up in duplicate, with one copy for the employee and one for the employer. However, if there is no written contract, the employee may prove the existence and performance of an employment contract in any way, which would generally classify it as a contract for an indefinite period. An employment contract must include at least the following information: the identity of the parties involved; the date on which work is to begin; the place of work (failing this, the place of work may be flexible); the nature of the job and, where applicable, a description of the duties involved; normal working hours; basic remuneration and any supplements where applicable (bonuses, allowances, etc.); the length of the probationary period, if applicable; the duration of paid leave and notice periods to be observed, and any other additional clause (collective agreements, etc.).

Specific rules governing fixed-term contracts (CDD): in some cases, clearly stated by the Labour Code, it is possible to set a precise fixed term of work; in such cases, the contract is then known as a fixed-term contract (contrat à durée déterminée, CDD). Fixed-term contracts are concluded for the performance of specific and non-permanent task e.g. for seasonal employment, a temporary increase in the activity of the company or to replace an absent employee, for an ad hoc task, urgent works, specific research-related work, etc. The fixed term contract cannot be used on a long-term basis to fill posts related to the normal activity of a company. The duration of a fixed-term contract may not exceed 24 months, renewal(s) included, or ten months for seasonal employment. It may be renewed no more than twice and only if the initial contract contains a renewal clause. After the trial period, it may not be terminated prior to its expiry, except for serious misconduct.

A fixed-term contract should contain the following information, in addition to the legal clauses which must be included in all employment contracts: the date of expiry of the contract or, failing this, the minimum duration of the contract; the name of the employee who has been replaced, where applicable; the length of the probationary period, if any; the renewal clause, where applicable.

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Working time

Definition: Working time is the time during which employees are at the disposal of their employer. They must accept rules from their employer and may not dispose freely for personal matters. Time spent travelling to or from work is not included. The legal working time provided for by law is 40 hours per week and 8 hours per day. The working day may not exceed 10 hours. In certain exceptional cases (if there is a serious accident or urgent works are required), working hours can be open-ended, or limited to 12 hours (continuous shift work). The maximum weekly working time is 48 hours. If the legal daily working hours are exceeded, the threshold of 40 hours per week may not be exceeded within a reference period of four consecutive weeks or more, if the collective agreement provides for a longer reference period. Collective agreements can also provide for shorter working days than those laid down by law.

Rest days:

Workers should enjoy a rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours in each 24 hour period. All workers are entitled to a minimum rest period of 44 consecutive hours in the course of a week. (If this regulation is not applicable, they must be granted an extra six days of supplementary leave per year under certain conditions.)

Sunday work:

Sunday work is prohibited except in some activity sectors or when authorised by the Inspection du Travail et des Mines (Labour and Mines Inspectorate) (managerial positions, trading in tourist regions, urgent works, etc.). Employees are entitled to a 70 % pay supplement for Sunday work. Employees may get a compensatory rest for each hour worked on a Sunday and will then only receive the wage supplement.

Night work:

Night work means work performed between 10 pm and 6 am. If there is no statutory rate, supplements for night work must be set by collective agreement and may not be less than 15 %. Night work is prohibited for young workers and pregnant women. For other categories of employees, night work is regulated (but usually not forbidden).

Work on public holidays:

If special circumstances in the company don’t allow to rest on a statutory public holiday, the employee working on that day is entitled to a 100 % supplement to his or her basic hourly rate for each hour worked. If the statutory public holiday falls on a Sunday, the employee will receive a further 70 % supplement. This also applies to overtime, following the rule of the cumulation of pay supplements.

Overtime:

Hours worked beyond the legal working time (8 hours per day and 40 hours per week) when specifically requested by the employer, or when the employer is informed in advance, are considered overtime. As a general rule, overtime is subject to prior notification or authorisation from the Minister of Employment. The supplement for each hour of overtime worked is 40 % for all employees (except for members of senior management), but the rule of compensatory rest (one and a half hours’ compensatory rest per hour of overtime worked), prevails under the labour law over the payment of supplements.

Derogations from regulations on working hours are provided for certain sectors, such as domestic work, agriculture, hotels and catering, healthcare and goods transport. Furthermore, the working time regulations do not apply to river transport undertakings, fairground undertakings or family-run undertakings.

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Leave (annual leave, parental leave etc)

Annual leave (holiday):

The minimum period of paid leave is 26 working days per year. A longer period may be laid down in the applicable collective agreement. Workers are entitled to paid leave if they have been continuously employed for three months by the same employer. Leave must be granted and taken during the calendar year. In principle, the employee decides when to take the leave. The employer must therefore give reasons if leave is not granted. If the employee has not been able to take all the leave to which he or she is entitled by the end of the calendar year due to business needs or leave being taken by other employees, any leave not taken may be carried over and taken by the 31 March of the following year.

War invalids, victims of accidents at work and disabled workers are granted an additional 6 days leave. Miners and technicians in the mining industry are given an additional three days leave.

Statutory public holidays:

There are 11 statutory public holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, 1 May, 9 May,  Ascension, Whit Monday, 23 June (public holiday to celebrate the Grand Duke’s birthday), Assumption, All Saints Day, 25 and 26 December.

If a public holiday happens on a day the employee would not have worked (e.g. a Sunday), beneficiaries are entitled to individually take a compensatory day’s leave within the following three months.

Extraordinary leave:

In certain circumstances employees become entitled to extraordinary leave, to be taken at the time when the circumstance arises. These circumstances include: marriage (three days), death of a spouse, a first-degree relative by blood or by marriage (three days), moving house (two days), birth of a child (ten days for the father), marriage of a child (one day for each parent).

Maternity leave

All pregnant women who are pursuing a professional activity (as employees or self-employed persons) are entitled to maternity leave consisting of antenatal leave (8 weeks before the due date as confirmed by a medical certificate) and postnatal leave (12 weeks after the date of giving birth).

Adoption leave:

Adoption leave of 8 weeks if adopting a single child and 12 weeks if adopting more than one child is granted to employees who adopt one or more children who have not yet started the first year of primary education. This form of leave allows one of the two spouses to take care of the child(ren) who has/have just arrived in the household.

Leave for family reasons: The period of leave for family reasons depends on the age of the child and is as follows:

  •  12 days’ leave per child if the child is younger than 4;
  •   18 days’ leave per child if the child is between 4 and 12;
  •   5 days’ leave per child if the child is between 13 and 17 and if he/she is hospitalised;

Parental leave:

Anyone employed in the Grand Duchy for an uninterrupted period of at least one year by the same employer and who wishes to stay home to care for their child under the age of six is entitled to parental leave.

The parent may request:

-  either the first parental leave, to be taken after maternity leave or adoption leave;

-  or the second parental leave, to be taken before the 6th birthday of the child (12th birthday in the case of adoption).

-  The first and second parental leave may be taken as full-time or part-time leave or it can be split depending on the number of hours specified in the parent’s employment contract and on his or her situation:

40 hours per week or self-employed:

-  4 or 6 months of full-time leave;

-  8 or 12 months of half-time leave consisting of 50 % of the parent’s normal working hours, with the employer’s consent.

-  split leave: four periods of one month over a maximum period of 20 months, with the employer’s consent.

-  split leave: 1 day or 2 half-days per week for a maximum period of 20 months, with the employer’s consent.

20 hours per week or more:

-  4 or 6 months of full-time leave;

-  8 or 12 months of half-time leave, with the employer’s consent.

10 hours per week or more; full-time leave;

apprenticeships: 4 or 6 months of full-time leave;

the parent has several employers or is registered as a salaried employee and a self-employed person: 4 or 6 months of full-time leave.

Special leave:

there are many types of special leaves: sports leave, educational leave, cultural leave, leave for voluntary firefighting, rescue and lifesaving activities, leave for development cooperation, adoption leave, individual training leave (80 days over the entire professional career), language training leave to learn the Luxembourgish language (law of 29 January 2009), etc.

Palliative care leave: leave to provide palliative care to a terminally ill family member (40 hours per year per terminally ill person).

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Remuneration

Salaire social minimum (SSM) (minimum wage): There is a statutory minimum wage (SSM) for all workers hired by an employer under an employment contract. The SSM rate is based on the employee’s classification and his/her age. Unskilled workers over 18 years old receive 100 % of the SSM, 15 and 16 year-old workers receive 75 %, and 17 year-old workers 80 %. Skilled workers over 18, receive 120 % of the SSM. As of 1 January 2021, the gross minimum wage (based on an index of 834.76 points on the sliding wage scale) was EUR 2201.93 per month for an unskilled worker over 18 years old. The guaranteed minimum wage for skilled workers was EUR 2642.32 € per month as of 1 January 2021.

The minimum wage for skilled workers is available to employees performing an occupation based on a vocational qualification acquired through education or a training course leading to an official certificate, at least a Professional Aptitude Diploma (Diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, DAP ), formerly known as the Technical and Professional Aptitude Certificate (Certificat d’Aptitude Technique et Professionnelle or CATP). Any employee who cannot produce such a certificate must be able to prove a professional experience of minimum 10 years in a sector where the DAP qualification exists.

The gross salary is the total amount earned by an employee. It includes: the basic salary and other benefits and additional payments such as overtime, allowances, bonuses, non-cash benefits, etc. It is calculated before deduction of social security contributions and tax.

The net salary is the final amount the worker gets after deduction of social security contributions and tax, which are directly deducted from the worker’s salary. Social security contributions and tax are deducted monthly at source and are calculated on the basis of a tax form sent to the employer in advance.

As taxes and social security contributions are relatively low, net incomes are attractive.

In Luxembourg, salaries and pensions are regularly brought into line with variations in the prices of consumer goods. This system is referred to as the ‘automatic system for index-linking of wages and salaries to the cost of living’ called also ‘mobile salary scale’ or ‘index’.

Social security contributions in 2020: The maximum amount of contributions to be paid, is 5 times the SSM, i.e. EUR 10709.95€, based on an index of 834.76.

Branch

Employee’s contribution

Employer’s contribution

Sickness insurance – Maternity

3.05%

3.05%

Pension insurance

8%

8%

Accident insurance

/

1%

Dependency insurance

1.4%

/

Occupational health

/

0.11%

Employers’ mutual insurance company

/

Between 0.46 and 2.95%

The personal income tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe. The rate of income tax is set on a sliding scale of 18 progressive tax brackets, ranging from 0 % to 42 %. A surcharge of between 7 and 9 % must be added to this rate for contribution to the Employment Fund (see 4.3).

Salary/wage statement: The employer must send a detailed statement to the employee at the end of each month, showing how the salary or wage has been calculated. This statement should mention the time period worked, the total number of hours for which the employee is being paid, the rate of pay for the hours worked and any other payment in cash or in kind.

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End of employment

Dismissal

The employer may terminate the employment relationship where there is a genuine and serious reason to do so, which is linked to the worker’s ability or conduct, or due to the operational needs of the company, establishment or department. If the company has more than 150 employees, the employee must be called in for a preliminary interview prior to dismissal. The company must then send written notice of dismissal by registered post and, finally, it must give the reasons for dismissal, if the employee so requests, by registered letter no later than one month after notice is given.

Once notice has been given, the working relationship will cease at the end of the notice period of between two and six months, depending on the employee’s length of service (≤ five years of service: two months; five to ten years of service: four months; ≥ ten years of service: six months).

The employee may also be dismissed immediately on serious grounds, namely, ‘any event or misconduct that makes it immediately and definitively impossible to maintain the working relationship’’. In such cases, the notice of dismissal must clearly state the reason of dismissal.

Resignation

The employee under a permanent employment contract, is free to end the working relationship. To do so, he or she should send a letter terminating the contract by registered post. The employer’s signature on the copy of the letter of resignation will also act as acknowledgement of receipt of the notice of resignation.

Once notice is given, the working relationship ceases at the end of the notice period of between one and three months, depending on the employee’s length of service (half the duration of the notice periods applicable in the event of dismissal).

Like the employer, the employee may terminate the employment relationship without giving notice where there are serious grounds for doing so (e.g. non-payment of salary, etc.).

Termination during the probationary period

A probationary period of between two weeks and six months can be included in the employment contract. During this period, each of the parties (employer/employee) may terminate the employment contract without stating any reasons after the minimum period of two weeks (except where the contract has been terminated on serious grounds), notifying the other party by registered post. The required period of notice is one day per week of the probationary period, when the latter is given in weeks, or four days per month when it is given in months. The minimum notice period is 15 days and the maximum is 24 days.

End of a fixed-term contract

The working relationship ends automatically at the end of a fixed-term contract. A fixed-term contract (‘CDD’) may not be terminated before its expiry, except for serious reasons.

Automatic expiry of a work contract: the employee’s work contract expires on the date that he or she is no longer entitled to sick pay granted in accordance with the Social Security Code, i.e. after 52 weeks’ incapacity for work paid by the Caisse Nationale de Santé (National Health Fund), during a reference period of 104 weeks.

Protection against dismissal: the Labour Code provides protection against dismissal of sick employees who have fulfilled their obligations to inform their employer during a consecutive period of 26 weeks. Beyond that period of protection, the employer may dismiss the employee for valid, genuine and serious reasons.

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The health system

Luxembourg has several large hospitals, health centres, a paediatric clinic and several maternity hospitals. This favorable health system attracts many foreign doctors. The country’s location means that specialised centres in other countries are relatively nearby (Thionville, Nancy, Heidelberg, etc.). Air Rescue specialises in air rescue and medical repatriation.

Anyone performing a professional activity (and his family) is automatically insured at the Caisse Nationale de Santé (National Health Fund, or CNS). Between 80 % and 100 % of medical costs are reimbursed to patients by the CNS. All doctors work under contract with the CNS and are therefore required to apply the agreed rates. The cost of medications is reimbursed at different rates according to therapeutic effectiveness of the medication, and is covered by the third-party payment system (the patient pays only the non-reimbursable part at the pharmacy).

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Income and taxation

Thanks to the minimum wage and relatively low taxes, incomes are attractive. Social security contributions are lower than in neighbouring countries. Detailed information can be found on the websites given under ‘Links’.

The different VAT rates are as follows:

Super-reduced rate: 3 % (e.g. foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, restaurants)

Reduced rate: 8%

Intermediate rate: 14 % (e.g. adult clothing, wine)

Standard rate: 17 % (e.g. alcohol, beer, adult shoes)

The wealth tax on residents and non-residents was abolished on 1 January 2006.

Deductions from salary:

Taxes and social security contributions are deducted from the monthly salary (‘deducted at source’) and paid to the respective bodies by the employer. Employees file a tax return each year to check whether they have paid too much or too little according to the applicable sliding scale. Persons liable to income tax fall into one of three different tax classes, depending on their family situation and the source of their household income (foreign or Luxembourgers). The second household income is taxed in accordance with a supplementary tax card and at a rate ranging from 15 % to 33 %.

-  Income tax: see 3.7

-  Social security contributions to be paid by the employer: at least 12.06% + contributions to the Mutualité des Employeurs (Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company) according to the risk category (0,46%-2,70%);

-  Social security contributions to be paid by the employee: 12.45%

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The education system

Early education, which is optional, is aimed for children aged three. It allows foreign children to become familiar with the Luxembourgish language and culture. This is essential since literacy in Luxembourg is in German, it is facilitated by contact with Luxembourgish. Early education is not a substitute for a crèche or childcare facility, and working parents must provide childcare outside of school hours. Most municipalities have a "maison relais" (childcare centre), which takes care of school children outside school hours, at an attractive price, unlike nurseries which are often very expensive.

Compulsory education in Luxembourg lasts 11 years, and is divided into:

  • Pre-school education (‘Spillschoul’ or kindergarten) is compulsory for children who are already aged 4 on 1 September and lasts two years.
  • Primary education (six years) is for children between the ages of six (at the start of term in September) and 12. Children are taught to read and write in German. They begin to learn French in the second year of primary school and then learn Luxembourgish grammar. Children are obliged to attend school for nine consecutive years from primary education onwards.
  • The laws governing the organisation of basic education, teaching staff in basic education and compulsory school attendance came into force in September 2009. All pre-primary and primary schools, known as écoles fondamentales, are organised into four learning cycles. Cycle 1 covers early education (optional) and pre-school. Cycles 2, 3 and 4 correspond to primary schooling and last for two years each.
  • Post-primary or secondary education (generally lasting 7 years) concerns pupils aged 12 to 18 or 19, The education provided is either general or technical and leads to a secondary school-leaving examination.
  • Secondary school offers general education which serves as preparation for higher education. It lasts seven years and is subdivided into a lower and an upper level (specialisation cycle).
  • Technical education is divided into three cycles. Once a child has completed the lower cycle (year 9) he or she has completed obligatory schooling and can learn a trade. The middle cycle leads to a professional aptitude diploma (DAP) in year 12. The upper cycle includes, inter alia, a technical system that prepares students for university courses.

Distinguishing features of the Luxembourg education system: languages are a major benefit of receiving an education in Luxembourg. Classes are taught in German, French and Luxembourgish. Pupils also learn English during secondary education, and may take additional foreign-language classes (Italian, Spanish, Russian, etc.).

There are two European Schools in Luxembourg as well as a French high school (Lycée Vauban) and several international high schools.

The Ecole de la deuxième chance (Second Chance School, or E2C) seeks to address the issue of young people dropping out of school early and to help them obtain a qualification which allows them to reintegrate into society: www.e2cenad.lu

Higher education / university:

The University of Luxembourg was established in 2003 and has currently three faculties: the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance and the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education

https://wwwen.uni.lu/universite

There are other options for higher education:

The competence center for university continuing and professional training at Luxembourg (www.competence.lu ) aims to support the main development axes of the Luxembourg economy by developing and managing university continuing vocational training programs. The Competence Center works by skill centers, notably health, law and finance and digital learning. In addition, the Sacred Heart University (www.shu.lu ) offers several MBA programs.

The Lycée Technique des Arts et Métiers (Technical School for Arts and Crafts) (www.ltam.lu) offers a BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur – advanced vocational training certificate) in cinema and audiovisual media, animation, automation engineering, technical engineering, information technology and graphic design.

The Ecole de Commerce et de Gestion (School of Commerce and Management) (http://www.ecg.lu/) offers a BTS course for executive assistants, commercial and marketing managers, and accounting and tax managers.

Text last edited on: 05/2021

Cultural and social life

Traditional popular festivals: 6 January: Dräikinneksdag (Epiphany): the day when Luxembourgers eat the traditional Twelfth Night cake or ‘galette des rois’. Whoever finds the bean hidden inside the cake is made ‘king’ or ‘queen’ for the day.

Liichtmëssdag (Candlemas): in the evening, children carrying Liichtebengelchen (lanterns) go around their neighbourhood singing a traditional song at the houses they visit. In return, they receive sweets.

The Luxembourg carnival, known as Fuesend, traditionally begins on Candlemas (2 February) and ends on Aschermëttwoch (Ash Wednesday).

Around March (first Sunday in Lent), the inhabitants of many villages celebrate Buergbrennen by burning a huge bonfire to symbolise the end of winter and the coming of spring.

On Maundy Thursday, children go ‘klibberen’ (meaning ‘to rattle/clatter’) in the streets with a wooden ratchet or noisemaker.

The Emaischen  represents the traditional celebration of the disciples of Emmäus, which takes place every Easter Monday. It is a popular market taking place in the old town, selling ceramics and pottery and in particular ceramic whistling bird called Péckvillercher. The festival is celebrated in Luxembourg city and in Nospelt.

During the last week of April and the first week of May takes place "Octave" which is an annual pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Luxembourg (since 1666) and its market "Mäertchen" (small market). It is the most important religious holiday in the country.

National holiday: On 23 June people in Luxembourg have a public holiday to celebrate the Grand Duke’s birthday.

Wine festivals: Many towns and villages along the Moselle organise a wine festival between July and September.

Schueberfouer: Each year, on St Bartholomew’s Eve (23 August), a great fair is set up on the Glacis at Limpertsberg in Luxembourg City.

Nikloosdaag: The feast of Saint Nicolas is celebrated on December 6, children receive gifts from St Nicolas, who is accompanied by ‘Père Fouettard’, dressed in black and brandishing sticks to punish children who have not been well-behaved during the year.

Hämmelsmarsch: Throughout the year, Luxembourgish marching bands dressed in traditional costumes and accompanied by a herd of sheep, play the Hämmelsmarsch in villages holding a fair.

Traditional game: skittles

Traditional dishes: Bouneschlupp (a green bean soup), Judd mat Gaardebouden (smoked neck of pork with broad beans), Kniddelen (flour dumplings), Fritür (fried fish), Traïpen (fried black pudding), Kuddelfleck (pre-cooked fried tripe), Kachkéis (a soft cheese), Quetschentaart (plum pie)

Beer: Luxembourg beer.

Wines: Riesling, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Pinot noir, Gewürztraminer, Rivaner and Elbling.

Quetsch, Mirabell, Kiischt, Äppeldrëpp, Quiddendrëpp…: Local brandies and liqueurs made from plums, mirabelle plums, cherries, apples, quince (“Drëpp”)

Text last edited on: 05/2021

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