European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case LU-2020-44/1650 – measures in Luxembourg

Temporary extension of working hours in the health sector

Extension temporaire du temps de travail dans le secteur de la santé.

Country Luxembourg , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 29 October 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
Author Patrick Thill (LISER) and Eurofound
Case created 05 January 2021 (updated 09 February 2021)

Background information

Amidst fears that the health sector would be overwhelmed because of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg, the government introduced through a law from 29 October 2020 the temporary possibility to have employees in the health sector and in the aid and care sector work for up to to twelve hours per day and sixty hours per week, in a temporary exemption from Article L. 211-12 of the Labor Code.

Content of measure

By way of derogation from Article L. 211-12 of the Labor Code, the law from 29 October 2020 introduced the possibility to extend the maximum working time to up to a maximum of twelve hours per day and sixty hours per week for employees in the health sector, including in hospitals and medical analysis laboratories, in the aid and care sector as well as for staff supervising accommodation structures for minors placed under a custody measure. To be able to apply this exemption, the employer concerned had to request an authorisation from the Minister in charge of Labor, who granted it after verification of the conditions set by the law. Before requesting the extension, the employer had to ask for the opinion of the staff representation body.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Workers in care facilities
Companies providing essential services
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


Staff representatives are mainly involved in the implementation of the measure as employers have to ask them for their opinion before requesting a temporary extension of working hours from the Minister of Employment.

Views and reactions

The main trade union confederation, the Luxembourg Independent Trade Union Confederation (OGBL, Onofhängege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg), took a critical view, stating in a press declaration: "The OGBL clearly warns of the consequences of such political decisions, which will increasingly lead to fatigue, burnout, illness and thus inevitably to a deterioration in quality in the fight against the corona pandemic and in care as a whole." In contrast, the Chamber of Wage Earners (CSL, Chambre des salariés) adopted all in all a supportive attitude, putting forward the requirements of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
      Q87 Residential care activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Health professionals


  • 26 October 2020: Durée de travail - dérogations
  • 27 October 2020: 12 Stunden am Tag, 60 Stunden die Woche : Langfristiges Krisenmanagement sieht anders aus! (
  • 28 October 2020: Chamber: Covid-Gesetz vertagt, 60-Stunden-Woche möglich gemacht (
  • 29 October 2020: Loi du 29 octobre 2020 portant dérogation temporaire à l’article L. 211-12 du Code du travail. (
  • 04 November 2020: Durée de travail dérogations (


Eurofound (2021), Temporary extension of working hours in the health sector, case LU-2020-44/1650 (measures in Luxembourg), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.