Key provisions


On August 21 2017 the Ministry of the Civil Service and Administrative Reform submitted Bill 7171, which:

  • defines the terms and conditions of so-called 'time savings accounts' for civil service officials; and
  • modifies the amended law of April 16 1979, which defines the general status of civil servants.

The bill was introduced as part of the implementation of the salary agreement of December 5 2016, which was signed with the General Confederation of the Civil Service.

A time savings account is a tool through which public officials can accumulate free time and save it to use at a later date of their choice. Doing so will allow officials to achieve a better balance between their private and professional lives, within the limits of statutory conditions.

Key provisions

Bill 7171's key provisions are as follows:

  • Annual leave in excess of the statutory 25 days which is not taken, excess flexi-time balances and bonus leave awarded in the context of the professional performance appreciation system will automatically be added to a public official's time savings account.
  • A public official can add annual leave included in the statutory 25 days that could not be granted due to extended leave for health reasons, compensatory leave and extra lessons for teachers, up to a maximum of 20% of the public official's average hours for the year in question, to his or her time saving account on a voluntary basis.
  • The balance of a time savings account is limited to a maximum of 1,800 hours. Any surplus will be lost without compensation in order to remind public officials of the importance of taking leisure and recovery time to preserve their health.
  • The balance of a time savings account must be taken in hourly increments and in accordance with the public official's preferences – as long as this does not affect the operation of his or her department – as time savings accounts are regarded as an integral part of active service.
  • A time savings account can be cashed in only if the public official's employment relationship is permanently ended or he or she dies (in which case, payment of the balance will be made to the public official's beneficiaries).

The bill also includes transitional provisions regarding balances of leave not taken or carried over, as well as flexi-time balances that exist when the law comes into force. These provisions provide for the automatic allocation of these balances to an official's time savings account and require the official to reduce any balance above the 1,800-hour threshold within five years from the law coming into force. Any surplus leave not taken during this period will be lost without compensation.


According to the bill, the enhanced flexibility in working patterns that the time savings account has introduced will increase the appeal of the government as an employer. As such, it is a win-win measure for both the government and public officials, with the latter being able to achieve a better balance between their private and professional lives.

As regards the private sector, following the abandonment of a bill submitted in 2011, social partners are now responsible for negotiating a national framework agreement on time savings accounts within the context of a cross-industry social dialogue.

For further information on this topic please contact Guy Castegnaro or Ariane Claverie at Castegnaro by telephone (+352 26 86 82 1) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Castegnaro website can be accessed at