Luxembourg’s new laws for 2018

A number of new laws, including leave for family reasons, housing aid and cost of living allowance, will come into force in Luxembourg in 2018.

Further legislations are still being reviewed, such as the mention of gender on civil status and a revision of the guaranteed minimum income (RMG).

From January 1 the following regulations will take effect:

Housing aid

Certain criteria to qualify for financial housing aid will be modified and it is expected to increase the number of eligible households to 35,020.

The modifications include:

Reducing the income ratio required to be eligible for rental subsidy to 25%
Social transfers will no longer be considered when calculating the household income
The condition of six months of regular income is abolished and replaced with three months of income
Modifications in the low-income threshold which defines the eligibility for support

Leave for personal, family reasons

Paternity leave will be extended from two days to 10. Fathers must inform their employers at least two months before the due date, meaning those whose babies are born in January or February 2018 will not be able to do so under the new law, which only comes into place on January 1. Those fathers will be able to take the 10 days of paternity leave up to two months after the birth. The same law applies to fathers adopting a child under the age of 16 years.

Maternity leave will become a standard 12 weeks.

Parents who have lost a child will be given five days’ compassionate leave instead of three.

The number of days given to parents to look after a sick child will depend on the child’s age – 12 days for a child aged up to four years, 18 days for a child aged four to 13 and five days for a child who is in hospital and aged between 13 and 18.

Couples getting married will see a drop in leave from six days to three, and leave will be reduced to one day for a PACS.

Those moving house will be entitled to two days every three years instead of every year.

Cost of living allowance

The cost of living allowance remains the same as in 2017 but family allowances, back-to-school benefits and childbirth benefits will no longer be taken into consideration when calculating a household’s total income.

Long-term care insurance

The main objectives of the reform are to provide a more tailored provision of service which caters to the needs of each individual, improve quality by imposing clear standards, criteria and adequate checks, simplify procedures and defragment the system in line with social changes and in accordance with the fundamental principles of the original law passed in 1998.

Taxes on real estate capital gains

The 10.5% tax on the capital gain on property sales has been extended until 31 December 2018.

Legislative elections

The date of the next legislative elections is set for 14 October 2018.

Data protection

This law comes into effect on 25 May 2018 and introduces new regulations on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data as well as the free movement of data.

To give people control over their personal data the law provides greater security, in both legal and practical terms, for natural persons, economic operators and the public authorities.

Laws currently under review

Electoral law: Postal voting to simplify the electoral process for the legislative elections on 14 October 2018.

Social Inclusion Income (Revenu d’inclusion sociale – Revis):
The Revis replaces the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) and is intended as a means of promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. The planned introduction of the condition of being registered as a jobseeker with ADEM means that ADEM will be the primary intermediary for Revis applicants. The National Solidarity Fund (Fonds national de solidarité – FNS) becomes the only competent organisation for the investigation, authorisation and management of Revis applications and payments. Revis will be divided into two components – a social inclusion benefit and an activation benefit.

Sign language: Giving official status to German sign language in Luxembourg and giving deaf and hearing-impaired people the right to call for a sign language interpreter in their relations with administrations. It also calls for parents and siblings of a hearing-impaired or deaf person to receive a basic education in sign language and provide children with the same opportunities to embark on the training of their choice as children without disabilities and to be able to attend fundamental and secondary education in sign language.

Mention of gender and first name(s) in civil status: Strengthening the rights of transgender and intersex persons through the creation of a legal framework permitting the gender and associated forename(s) appearing in the civil status to be changed. The current legal procedure would be replaced by a quicker, more easily accessible administrative procedure.

Penal code: Adding deliberately endangering the safety of others to the Luxembourg penal code. The sentences handed down could include imprisonment and fines.