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Employment and jobs

How to terminate employment during trial period in Luxembourg for employees and employers

Starting a new job? Probationary periods aren't just for you to assess the fit. Employers use them to evaluate too. We'll break down probationary dismissal - what it is, timelines, steps involved, and more - in this article.

Last time updated
06.05.24

In some cases, the probationary contract cannot be terminated. For example, special protections are in place for certain categories of individuals, such as pregnant women. During the period between the presentation of a medical certificate confirming the pregnancy to the employer and the end of the period of protection against dismissal you can not fire a person.

What is the probation period?

The probationary period in an employment contract is an initial time frame during which both the employee and the employer have the opportunity to assess whether the working relationship is suitable. Within this period, either party can terminate the contract with reduced notice, without the need to provide specific justification.

Demo-version of the work/er

The primary purpose of the probationary period is to enable the employer to evaluate the employee's skills, attitudes, and adaptability in the workplace, while the employee can assess whether the job and the work environment meet their expectations. The duration of the probationary period varies depending on the employee's level of qualification and remuneration but typically ranges from a few weeks to a year.

In Luxembourg, the minimum duration of the probationary period for both fixed-term and indefinite contracts is 2 weeks, while the maximum duration depends on the employee's level of qualification and salary.

3 months

If the worker does not have a level of training that reaches the CATP/DAP.

6 months

If the worker has obtained a CATP/DAP level of training or higher.

12 months

If the worker earns a gross monthly salary starting from 4,938.75 euros.

Reasons for termination of the employment at the trial period

Neither the employer nor the employee are obliged to explain the reason for the termination of the employment relationship, unless expressly requested by the other party, except in cases of immediate dismissal for serious misconduct.

In the event of a contract termination due to serious misconduct by the employee or the employer, specific procedures must be followed, which vary depending on who wishes to terminate the employment relationship and the size of the company.

Immediate dismissal for serious misconduct
Resignation with immediate effect due to serious misconduct by the employer

In the case of dismissal during the probationary period that does not involve serious misconduct, regardless of the number of employees in the company, the pre-dismissal interview procedure does not apply.

How to properly process the dismissal during the trial period?

Let's now examine the procedure for terminating the employment relationship during the probationary period and the timelines that must be adhered to.

Procedure

Termination during the probationary period must be done in writing via a registered letter, preferably with acknowledgment of receipt, or by hand-delivering a copy to the other party, with their signature.

Timeline

There is a notice period that must be respected, identical for both parties. This is counted in calendar days and is calculated based on the duration of the probationary period.

Depending on whether the probationary period is expressed in weeks or months, the duration of the notice period can be:

  • Expressed in weeks — as many days as there are weeks in the probationary period.
  • Expressed in months — 4 days per month of the probationary period, with a minimum period of 15 days and a maximum of 1 month.

During the first 2 weeks of the probationary period, the employment contract cannot be terminated without the agreement of the other party, except in cases of dismissal for serious misconduct.

Timeline of notice in case of dismissal during probation
Duration of the trial periodNotice period
2 weeksTermination is not possible, except in the case of serious misconduct
3 weeks3 days
4 weeks4 days
2 months15 days
3 months15 days
4 months16 days
5 months20 days
6 months24 days
7 months28 days
8-12 months1 month

The notice period begins the day after the date of dispatch of the notification letter or its hand-delivery.

Conditions

There are several specific conditions for probatory dismissal, that one have to keep in mind. They are case-based, and contain general guidelines.

Type of contract

The notice period must end no later than the last day of the probationary period in the employment contract, otherwise, the probationary contract will be reclassified as an indefinite-term contract, and the termination of the contract will be deemed abusive.

Sick leave during probation

The employer cannot terminate the contract during the probationary period if the worker is incapacitated for work. In this case, the probationary period is extended by a period equal to the sick leave period, up to a maximum of 1 month. At the end of this extension, the employer regains the right to terminate the contract, even if the worker remains incapacitated for work.

Maternity protection

In the case of pregnant women, the probationary contract cannot be terminated during the period between the presentation of the medical certificate confirming the pregnancy to the employer and the end of the period of protection against dismissal. At the end of this period, the remaining part of the probationary period resumes, and each party regains the right to terminate the contract.
Additional information and legal references

There are several sources that you might want to explore in case you have made a decision or you want to protect your rights. Here they are:

faq

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does a probationary period typically last in Luxembourg?

Are there specific reasons required for terminating an employment contract during the probationary period in Luxembourg?

Can an employer terminate a contract during the probationary period if the employee is on sick leave?

What happens if the notice period for termination extends beyond the end of the probationary period?

Are there any special conditions or protections for certain categories of individuals, such as pregnant women, during the probationary period?

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We took photos from these sources: Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Authors: Luz
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