The Merry Month of May
Since the introduction of 9 May as a national holiday for Europe Day in 2019, the month of May has three public holidays in Luxembourg. Although Luxembourg is not at the top of the list of days off and public holidays at European level (article on the “Tout l’Europe” website updated on 29-06-2020), this list is not representative of the holiday situation in the member states.
Indeed, Luxembourg has not only 26 days of paid annual leave and 11 public holidays, but also a multitude of special leaves, such as leave for family reasons, family hospice leave for nursing a dying or seriously ill person, sports leave, various training leaves, political leave and leave for social mandates. Two draft laws have been added to the already full list, without any consultation with the social partners: the draft law n°7948 on the introduction of cultural leave and the draft law adopted by the Government Council on 18 May to transpose Directive (EU) 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and caregivers.
In a context of increasing labour shortage, the attractiveness of Luxembourg and the economic development of the country within Europe will not be achieved by an increase in holidays or by any other form of working time reduction at the expense of companies or society as a whole. The public authorities have a duty to pursue policies for a prosperous and sustainable economy and to ensure the proper functioning and development of enterprises. And it is up to companies to provide benefits to employees to attract and retain talent according to their resources and the realities on the ground.