Maintaining the employment contract and a gradual return to work

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Date:
24 Aug 2018

Newsflash

By:
Lorraine Chéry

Maintaining the employment contract and a gradual return to work

The law of 10 August 2018 modifying 1. the Labour Code; and 2. the Social Security Code in relation to maintaining the employment contract and a gradual return to work in the event of extended incapacity to work (hereinafter referred to as “the Law”), was published in Mémorial A no. 703 of 21 August 2018. The Law came into force on 1 September 2018, to the exclusion in particular of the specific provisions detailed below, which will come into force on 1 January 2019:

  • Right to sick pay: increase to the threshold of 52 weeks 

As of 1 January 2019, the right to sick pay paid by Luxembourg’s Caisse Nationale de Santé (National Health Fund, CNS) will be limited to a total of 78 weeks for a reference period of 104 weeks. The current threshold of 52 weeks will continue to apply until 31 December 2018. The employment contract will therefore automatically be terminated after 78 weeks compensated for over a reference period of 104 weeks, as of 1 January 2019.

  • Maintenance of the salary by the employer: increase in the reference period

At the moment, the employer must carry on paying an employee who is unable to work for a period of 77 days, which is calculated over a reference period of 12 months. As of 1 January 2019, the 77-day period will be calculated over a reference period of 18 months

  • Gradual return to work for therapeutic purposes: new provision

The Law stipulates that, on the basis of a medical certificate issued by the examining doctor and in agreement with the employer, the employee may be able to submit a request to the CNS for a gradual return to work for therapeutic purposes, as long as the return to work and the work carried out are recognised as encouraging improvement in terms of their health. 

A gradual return to work for therapeutic purposes is granted by a prior decision by the CNS based on the opinion given, with reasons, by the “Contrôle Médical de la Sécurité Sociale”. 

During this period of the gradual return to work, the employee will receive sick pay from the CNS. This means that the employee will be fully covered by the CNS, even if working part-time for the employer as part of a gradual return to work. 

The benefit of the gradual return to work for therapeutic purposes is subject to the condition that the employee has been unable to work for at least one month in the three months prior to the request. 

This new provision will come into force on 1 January 2019. 

Health and safety in the workplace 

The Grand Ducal regulation of 20 July 2018 modifying the GDR of 14 November 2016 on protecting employees’ health and safety against the risks associated with chemical agents in the workplace, was published in Mémorial A no. 684 of 16 August 2018 and came into force on 20 August 2018. 

The purpose of the GDR is to modify the “list of binding threshold levels of professional exposure” as defined in annex I of the GDR of 14 November 2016.