What is the purpose of sports leave?

The purpose of sports leave is to allow participation in international sports competitions, both in Luxembourg and abroad, by persons active in the field of elite sport (top athletes, support staff, judges and referees), who are also employed.

What events are covered by the sports holiday?

Sports leave is granted to elite athletes, support staff, judges and referees so that they can participate in:

  • competitions included in the official programme of the Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as those of demonstration programmes authorised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC);
  • World and European competitions organised by the competent international federations or with their cooperation and reserved for the national athlete or teams selections in the age categories for which they are intended;
  • international competitions including both the final and qualifying phases and the preparatory courses set out by the Luxembourg Olympic and Sports Committee or their federation.

For judges and referees there are also international training courses for higher degrees.

In order to be eligible for sports leave to participate in a training camp, athletes and support staff must have at least six months of service with the same employer.

Sports leave for technical and administrative officers is granted for:

  • the organisation of and participation in world or European level meetings of statutory bodies, commissions or working groups of international sports federations, the Olympic movement, intergovernmental sports bodies and non-governmental sports organisations;
  • the organisation of official international sporting events in Luxembourg;
  • international advanced training courses.

What are the conditions for taking sports leave?

To be eligible for sports leave, elite athletes and judges or referees must:

  • be affiliated to an approved national federation as amateurs;
  • be qualified to represent Luxembourg in international competitions;
  • have their application validated by the Luxembourg Olympic and Sports Committee (COSL).

Officers must be involved in the COSL or an accredited federation on a volunteer basis. Professional or paid technical and administrative officers are not eligible for sports leave.

What is the procedure for obtaining sports leave?

The request for sports leave must be submitted in writing and in duplicate to the competent ministry either by the Luxembourg Olympic and Sports Committee (COSL) or by the competent national federation. Where the request is made by the competent national federation, the COSL shall be called upon to make a decision.

The application for leave must be submitted at least one month before the date of the event for which the sports leave is requested.

A copy of the request must be sent to the employer of the person concerned within the same time limit, to enable him to send his observations to the Minister of Sport.

Once the application has been submitted, the Minister of Sport, on the advice of the special commission of the Higher Sports Council, accepts or rejects the application and determines, if necessary, the duration of the sports leave.

The employer may object to the granting of sports leave for the purpose of participating in a training course if the absence of the person concerned is likely to have a detrimental effect on the company or a department thereof. Substantiated objections shall be submitted in writing to the person concerned, to the requesting body and to the Minister. The Minister shall take a decision without delay.

The granting of sports leave is irrevocable if the employer has not contested the ministerial decision within eight days.

How long does sports leave last?

In principle, sports leave is limited to 12 working days per year and per beneficiary.

The Government may waive the 12-day limit on the basis of a substantiated proposal by the Minister for members of a special model of national cadre preparation supported by the State and the COSL, for members of the elite athlete cadre and for elite athletes preparing for Olympic or Paralympic participation.

The same principle applies to the technical managers and support staff of the athletes in question.

The 12-day limit may be waived for referees called by international sports bodies for official international competitions and for the further development of their training.

In addition, executive leave is limited to 50 working days per year per organization to which the beneficiaries are affiliated.

Sports leave does not have to be taken all at once. It can be split up.

The duration of the sports leave shall be added to the annual recreation leave. It may not be deducted from annual leave. In principle, unless the employer agrees, sports leave may not be combined with a period of annual leave if this would result in a continuous absence exceeding the total period of annual leave due.

Is sports leave considered as actual working time?

Yes, the sports leave is considered as actual working time. Therefore, during the period of sports leave, the legal provisions regarding social security and labour law remain applicable.

During sports leave, private sector employees are entitled to a compensatory allowance paid by the employer for each day of leave, equal to the average daily wage. This allowance may not exceed four times the minimum social wage (see Social parameters).

Self-employed professionals also receive a compensatory allowance paid directly by the State.

Athletes employed in the public sector (by the State, semi-public entities and public services subordinate to them, municipalities and the CFL) continue to receive their remuneration and are therefore not considered for the compensatory allowance for loss of salary.