Work-life balance

Luxembourg-flag-140The issues concerning the balance of family life, private life and work are gaining increased attention in political and business spheres in Europe. This has arisen from the huge demand for professional advice on business concepts and for personal coaching.

A key issue for many workers in Luxembourg is flexible working time, in order to have a work-life balance. Negotiating a work/life balance can enable parents (men and women) to reconcile their work with their family life. In particular, this is important to enable women to participate in the labour market. It can also allow workers to take leave from the labour market, so that they can participate in education or training or take up an interest, hobby or leisure pursuit that they enjoy. It might mean that workers can reorganise their working lives around shorter days, weeks, months, or years.

According to the Luxembourg Declaration on workplace health promotion, a good work-life balance is the product of the “combined efforts of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work”. In order to retain the best and the brightest of their employees, and serve the family culture of Luxembourg, employers are beginning to introduce work-life balance policies, such as annual and maternity leave, paternity leave, flexitime, career breaks, and examination and study leave. The massive advancement in technology has allowed for new methods of enhancing a work-life balance, such as the creation of virtual teams or working from home. Family is very important to the Luxembourgish people, therefore a balance between work and family is a priority for them. While many of these work-life balance policies are not legally binding, it is in the employer’s best interests to encourage and implement them; in order to retain quality employees and prevent high staff turnover, thus incurring unnecessary costs.

National holidays

Official Holidays

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day
  • 15 February – Carnival (only celebrated in the city of Luxembourg)
  • April – Easter Monday
  • 1 May – May Day / Labour Day
  • 13 May – Ascension Day
  • 24 May – Whit Monday
  • 23 June – National Day
  • 15 August – Assumption Day
  • 1 September – Luxembourg City Fete (only celebrated in the city of Luxembourg
  • 1 November – All Saints Day
  • 24 December – Christmas Eve
  • 25 December – Christmas Day
  • 26 December – St. Stephen’s Day

Working hours

A standard working week consists of 40 hours, which is the maximum permitted by national legislation. Employers are required to compensate employees for overtime or work completed outside of normal office hours at a premium rate. Employment on Sunday is prohibited, except in continuous-process industries (steel, glass and chemical industries) and for certain maintenance and security personnel. All workers receive a minimum of 5 weeks paid annual leave, in addition to public holidays. 

Health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Luxembourg, and basic cover is generally provided by the national social security system. Both employers and employees pay contributions, and most forms of public assistance (unemployment benefit, old age pensions, certain forms of sickness and maternity benefits) are paid net of withholdings for health insurance, the benefit authority effectively paying the employer contributions.

Medical facilities are widely available in Luxembourg.  In an emergency, dial 112 for an ambulance or in case of fire; dial 113 for the police. Hospitals in Luxembourg operate on a 24-hour rotation system. Patients may self-refer to any clinic Monday-Friday between 8am and 5pm.  In Luxembourg City, three major hospitals offer comprehensive general medical and surgical treatment.

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