Sponsored content by ING Luxembourg • Insights •Expat Corner• 16.04.2019
All you need to know about parental leave, ING Luxembourg
The birth of a child is one of the most important moment in a life and maximising the work-life balance is essential when you are starting a family. In Luxembourg, parental leave allows you to take a break from your professional career or to reduce your working time by guaranteeing you a replacement income during your absence from work as well as the possibility to return to your position at the end of the leave period. Let us explain how it works in 4 questions and answers.
Are you entitled to parental leave?
You are entitled to take parental leave for each child, provided that you meet the legal conditions. You must be affiliated to the Luxembourg social security at the time the child is born or adopted at least 12 continuous period prior to parental leave. You must be a member of staff, apprentice, civil servant, employee or government worker, self-employed worker or freelance when the leave request is submitted for the 12 months preceding the start of the parental leave and during the parental leave period. As a salaried worker, you must work at least 10 hours per week to be able to request full-time parental leave.
Are there options?
There are different types of parental leaves. The law makes a distinction between the “first parental leave” and “the second parental leave”. The “first parental leave” must be taken immediately after the maternity or adoption leave. The “second parental leave” must be taken before the child’s 6th birthday (or within a 6-year period after the adoption leave). One of you must take the first parental leave immediately after the maternity or adoption leave. If not, the right is lost and only one of you may take the second parental leave. Since 1 December 2016, both of you may take the parental leaves simultaneously.
Whether it is the first or second parental leave, you may request different options according the number of hours worked each week. If you have a full-time work (40h/week), you can benefit from a full-time parental leave of 4 or 6 months per child, a part-time parental leave of 8 or 12 months, a parental leave of one day for up to 20 months or a parental leave split up over 4 periods of one month during a maximum period of 20 months. If you have a half-time work or more (≤20h/week), you may only choose between the two first options (full-time or part-time lave) and if you have a quarter-time work (≤10h/week), you may only apply for a full-time parental leave.
Think twice before you make your choice! Once the parental leave has begun, it is no longer possible to change the type of leave selected.
How to submit your request?
You must submit your parental leave request to your employer on paper, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, at least two months before the start of the maternity or adoption leave for the first parental leave and at least four months before the start of the second parental leave. Your application must specify the type of leave requested.
Your employer may not reject your full-time parental leave request. However, he has the right to postpone the start date of your second parental leave and to refuse to grant you part-time or split leave. In this case, you don’t have any other choice than taking your full-time leave. Fortunately, this situation does not happen often. Once an agreement is reached on the terms of leave, your employer and you complete and sign the parental leave request form, which must be sent with supporting evidence to the CAE (Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants – Children’s Future Fund)1.
How much are you paid during your parental leave?
Throughout the period of your parental leave, you receive an allowance which replaces the salary and is granted by the CAE. This substitute income is subject to tax but is partially exempt from social contributions (illness contributions, accident insurance and family allowance). Its amount is equal to your average income used to calculate pension contribution over the 12 months prior to the parental leave period. It cannot be lower than the social minimum wage (€ 2,071.10 gross per month at index 814.40 applicable from 1 January 2019) and is capped at 5/3 of this minimum (€ 3,451.83 gross per month at index 814.40) if you take a full-time parental leave and if you work on a full-time basis.
To make things clear, let’s take three simple examples. If you are a full-time employee and if you earn € 3,400 (gross) per month, you will receive a substitute income of the same amount. If you earn € 4,000 (gross) per month, you will receive the maximum substitute amount of € 3,451.83 (gross) per month. If your working time is 75% and if you earn more than the maximum substitute amount, you will receive € 2,588.8 (75% of € 3,451.83).
1 Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants, B.P. 394, L-2013 Luxembourg.