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    In its decision rendered on 28 February 2019, the Luxembourg Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel de Luxembourg) examined under which circumstances on-call duty performed at the workplace qualifies as actual working time.
    The issue raised was whether the time spent at night by an employee (i.e. the presence of an employee at the workplace) performing the work of a live-in carer was to be considered as ‘actual working time’.
    The Court expressly referred to EU case law and decided that the concept of actual working time is defined by two criteria, namely (i) whether the employee during such a period must be at the employer’s disposal, and (ii) the interference with the employee’s freedom to choose their activities.
    In view of the working hours provided for in the employment contract and in the absence of evidence proving that the employee would not have been at the employer’s home during her working hours, the Court found that the employee stayed at the employer’s home at night and at the employer’s request. It was irrelevant in this respect whether it was for convenience or not. It was further established that the employee could not leave during the night and return to her home and go about her personal business, so that the hours she worked at night were to be considered as actual working time.
    Given that the employee’s objections regarding her salary were justified (as the conditions of her remuneration violated statutory provisions), the Court decided that the dismissal was unfair.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is the managing partner of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

    The Luxembourg Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel de Luxembourg) confirmed that an employee dismissed with notice and exempted from performing their work during the notice period is no longer bound by the non-competition duties arising from their loyalty obligation and can therefore engage in an employment contract with a direct competitor of their former employer during that exempted notice period. However, the Court of Appeal decided that, even if the former employee is in principle entitled to use the know-how and knowledge they acquired with their former employer, the poaching of clients during the notice period must, due to the facts and circumstances and in the light of the rules applicable in the financial sector, be considered as an unfair competition act and therefore constitutes serious misconduct justifying the termination of the employment contract with immediate effect.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is the managing partner of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

Régis Muller
Régis Muller is partner within the Employment, Pension & Immigration department of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

    The Court of Appeal held that disciplinary sanctions are subject to the general principles of criminal law and therefore must respect the principle of legality. Consequently, the wording of any collective agreement that is used as the legal basis of a sanction must be sufficiently clear and precise to enable the employee to understand the consequences of his or her misconduct.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is a partner with MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

    The compensation for an employee who is a victim of unlawful dismissal should be as comprehensive as possible, but only harm that is directly linked to the dismissal should be compensated. Material damage suffered by an employee in a senior position may include benefits such as profit shares received in his or her position as an equity partner. In this case, the Court of Appeal ordered a firm to pay a former employee the exceptional amount of more than one million Euros in compensation for wrongful dismissal.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is an avocat with MOLITOR, www.molitorlegal.lu.
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