The employment contract is individual and must exist in writing from the beginning of the employment period. There must be two copies of the signed contract: one for the employer and one for the employee. Only the employee has the right to establish, by any means, the existence of the contract in the event no written employment contract exists. Employment contracts concluded orally are automatically deemed permanent employment contracts.
The standard contract in Luxembourg is the open-ended contract. A fixed-term contract is prohibited for permanent work. It is permitted only in order to carry out a specific type of work over a defined period of time, such as: temporary replacement; seasonal work; performance of work in several specified sectors of activity or occasional and time-defined work; contracts concluded between an employer and a student or a pupil; or urgent and necessary works to prevent a negative impact on the business.
The Labour Code provides for a list of cases in which recourse to fixed-term contracts is authorised. If a fixed-term contract is signed outside the cases provided for by law, i.e. in order to carry out a type of work, which is not a precise and unsustainable type of work, the contract will automatically be reclassified as a permanent contract. By principle, fixed-term contracts cannot exceed a duration of 24 months including the possibility of two renewals, and the contract must include additional criteria: the activity; a reference to the term of the employment contract; and, where appropriate, a renewal clause. If a compulsory element is not included, the fixed-term contract will be deemed an indefinite employment contract.
The general principle is that the trial period cannot be less than two weeks and not more than 6 months, depending on the qualifications of the employee. A contract can contain a trial period of 12 months, if the salary reaches a certain amount (fixed by a grand-ducal regulation). Neither party to the employment contract may extend or renew the trial period. If employment is suspended for sick leave, the trial period is automatically extended accordingly, although by no more than 1 month.
Employment cannot be terminated by any party during the first two weeks of the trial period. In the event of dismissal during the trial period, the employer is not subject to the same notice periods as after the end of the trial period. No reasons of dismissal are required.