Austria labor requirements

Labor regulations in Austria are defined by federal statutes, the general civil code, and collective bargaining agreements. Key federal labor statutes include:

  • Employees Act
  • Contract Law Adjustment Act
  • Labor Constitution Act
  • Working Time Act
  • Maternity Protection Act

Collective bargaining agreements cover the majority of Austrian workers and often provide greater employee benefits than the minimum required by law.

Replicon offers a default, configurable pay rule that allows you to easily meet Austria’s labor law requirements.

Hours and pay regulations

Normal working hours

The Working Time Act sets standard working hours at eight per day and 40 per week. The act allows a maximum workday of 10 hours and a maximum workweek of 50 hours.

As a rule, work beyond 40 hours per week is considered overtime. However, the threshold for overtime pay may be raised.

Overtime

Collective bargaining agreements generally include a 50 percent premium for overtime work. Compensatory time off is also available if both the employee and the employer agree to it.

The Working Time Act applies when a collective bargaining agreement does not cover overtime pay. According to the act:

  • Hours worked in excess of those agreed to in the employment contract but within the statutory maximum of 40 hours per week be compensated at 125 percent of the employee's regular rate
  • Work in excess of 40 hours in a week must be compensated at 150 percent of the employee's regular rate
  • Overtime on Sundays, public holidays, or between 12:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. must be compensated at 200 percent of the employee's regular rate

Hazardous conditions

Collective bargaining agreements generally provide for premium pay under certain conditions besides overtime, including night work, noisy workplaces, and heavy work.

The rate for premium pay varies from 50 percent to 200 percent of regular pay, depending upon when the work is performed (workdays, weekends, Sundays, or holidays).

Employee leave regulations

Annual leave

All employees are entitled to uninterrupted paid vacation of at least 30 working days (five weeks) annually. Employees with 25 years of service or more receive 36 working days of annual vacation (six weeks).

For purposes of the act, Saturdays are considered part of a work week. Part-time employees receive vacation on a prorated basis.

Sick leave

Depending on their length of service, employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave during an illness or following an injury. They are also entitled to an additional four weeks at half pay.

When paid sick leave from the employer is exhausted, the Health Insurance System provides partial pay for a maximum of 52 weeks.

Maternity leave

Pregnant employees are not allowed to work during the eight weeks preceding the expected date of delivery and the eight weeks following childbirth. During this time, the employee receives maternity pay from the social insurance system.

A pregnant woman whose doctor certifies that she is experiencing medical complications that endanger her or the child's life or health, may not work even before the eight-week mark.

An employee cannot be terminated during the protected period unless dismissal is authorized by a court or an administrative agency.

Paternity leave

Fathers may take unpaid paternity leave until a child reaches age 2, provided they live in the same household as the child, but cannot take leave at the same time the mother is on maternity leave.

Fathers who earn less than a certain yearly salary may receive a childcare allowance paid by the government.

Employees on paternity leave may only be dismissed if authorized by a court or administrative agency. The employee’s protected status ends four weeks after the end of the leave.

Fathers may reduce their working hours to part-time until their child's seventh birthday or until the child starts school, whichever is later, provided that:

  • The employee has been employed at the employer for at least three years, and
  • The employer employs more than 20 employees

Parental leave

Austrian law allows parents to take at least three months' unpaid parental leave between the birth of a child and his or her second birthday. Parents may take up to one month at the same time, and either parent may take the remaining leave.

Parents who earn less than a certain yearly salary may receive a childcare allowance paid by the government.

Nursing leave

Employees have the right to work reduced hours or to take paid family care leave to care for a dying relative or partner or a seriously ill child.

Education leave

After completing six months of service with an employer, an employee may apply for education leave, which may be granted at the employer's discretion. A total of one year's leave may be taken over the four calendar years following the employer's agreement.

The employee will not receive a salary during this time but will receive a training allowance from the employment service that is equivalent to the level of unemployment benefit to which the employee is entitled.