Is employee leave interrupted if an employee is ill?

If an employee becomes ill during his leave so that he can no longer enjoy his leave, the days of illness recognized as such by a medical certificate shall not be considered as days of leave. 

The leave must then be rescheduled by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. 

If an employee spends leave time in Luxembourg, he must notify his employer by medical certificate within three days. If he is abroad, he must take all necessary steps to ensure that the certificate reaches the employer as soon as possible.

Can leave not taken due to illness be carried over to the following year?

A judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Communities dated 20 January 2009 ruled that national legislation which provides that the right to annual leave expires at the end of the reference period or of a carry-over period without the employee having had the opportunity to exercise that right, is contrary to Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time, a directive which Luxembourg has transposed by the law dated 19 May 2006. 

This leads to the following conclusions: 

  • Illness constitutes a reason to postpone a current year’s leave not only until the end of the postponement period, which corresponds either to the period until the end of the following year in the case of the pro-rated leave of the first year of employment, or to the period until 31 March of the following year in the normal case of annual leave not yet taken, but even beyond, until the end of the postponement period, if an employee was unable to take his leave.  
  • If the leave could not be taken at a later date because the employment contract has been terminated, either through termination of the employment contract or because the contract’s end date has arrived, then financial compensation for the remaining leave not taken shall be due. 

National courts have since applied this case law. 

Is the employee entitled to special leave to visit the doctor during working hours?

There is no provision in the law for special hours or days off for medical examinations. 

The employee must therefore request his or her employer’s permission to visit the doctor during working hours. In this case, it must be clearly defined whether this is an exemption from work, or whether the absence for a medical examination is to be considered as a period of leave. 

The employer is not obliged to agree to the exemption from work and may require the employee to schedule medical appointments after working hours. 

There are collective agreements that provide for special leave or leave of absence for medical examinations.