Luxembourg has amended its Labor Code under articles L. 312-9 and L312-10 to introduce an explicit right to disconnect for employees and implement fines for employers who fail to take action or breach the provisions of a right to disconnect agreement. The law came into force on 4 July 2023.

Key details

The law grants employees who use digital tools the right to disconnect outside of work hours. This applies to companies with 15 or more employees and applies equally to employees working remotely or in the office.

The legislation does not introduce specific rules with which employers must comply but mandates the right to disconnect as an item that must be negotiated under collective or company-level bargaining. The intention is that this will allow the specific provisions to be adapted to the situation of each company. As a result, there will be variations in implementation as employers establish specific protocols regarding the right to disconnect.

Companies who are part of a collective labor agreement, or of a subordinate agreement, will not need to specifically negotiate but will follow the provisions of those agreements. If a company does not participate in a collective agreement, it must inform and consult with its staff delegation before introducing or amending a right-to-disconnect scheme. Staff delegations are mandatory in companies with 15 or more employees. If a company has 150 or more employees, the right to disconnect scheme will be created by mutual agreement rather than merely by information and consultation.

The right-to-disconnect agreement must not only outline the general parameters but must also include awareness communications, training, technical and practical measures for how to disconnect and outline compensation where exceptions are made to the right to disconnect. Again, the law does not create specific rules or protocols with which an employer must comply but lays out the minimum guidelines for what must be included for negotiation.

The law also includes penalties in the form of administrative fines ranging from EUR 251 to EUR 25,000. Fines may be imposed for an employer’s failure to comply with the legislation or for a breach of the duty to respect the right to disconnect. The exact amount of the fines is to be determined based on the seriousness and the circumstances surrounding the breach of the right to disconnect and the behavior of the breaching party. Employers will have three years in which to comply before penalties will be assessed.

Next Steps

Employers should consult any collective agreement to which they are a party to determine the requirements under that agreement or investigate when the right to disconnect will be implemented in that agreement. Employers who are not part of a collective agreement must inform and consult with their staff delegation if they have under 150 employees or come to a co-decision agreement with their staff delegation if they have 150 or more employees.  While three years may seem like a significant amount of time, it is advised to begin the process sooner rather than later to ensure compliance by the deadline.