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Austria: Employee rights

Original and updating author: Silva Palzer, Eversheds Austria
Updating authors: Klaus Cavar and Lena-Sophie Kaltenegger, Eversheds Austria


  • Normal and total working hours, overtime, night work and working time flexibility are subject to various rules and restrictions. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are generally entitled to a minimum daily rest break of half an hour, a minimum daily rest period of 11 hours and a minimum weekly rest period of 36 hours. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • There is a general prohibition of work on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, although there are exceptions. (See Weekend work)
  • Employees are entitled to at least five weeks' paid annual leave, rising to six weeks after 25 years' employment. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees are obliged to take 16 weeks of maternity leave (during which they receive a state benefit equivalent to full pay) and have various rights, as do employees who are breastfeeding or who have recently given birth. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Working parents are entitled to take unpaid parental leave up until their child's second birthday, and to work part time up until the child's seventh birthday. (See Parental leave)
  • While working fathers have no specific statutory entitlement to take paternity leave, employees are generally entitled to a short period of paid leave for "important personal reasons", which in the case of male employees would include the birth of their child. (See Paternity leave)
  • Employees are entitled to various forms of paid and unpaid leave to care for their sick children and other close family members. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employees are entitled to a short period of paid absence from work if they are prevented from working by "important personal reasons" and, by agreement with the employer, may take unpaid training leave on either a full-time or part-time basis. (See Other leave)
  • Part-time employees generally have the same employment rights as full-time employees, and must not be placed at any disadvantage in relation to full-time employees because they work part time, unless objective reasons warrant such different treatment. (See Part-time workers)
  • Employees on fixed-term contracts generally have the same employment rights as employees on open-ended contracts (although specific rules apply to the termination of fixed-term contracts) and must not be placed at any disadvantage in relation to employees on open-ended contracts, unless objective reasons warrant such different treatment. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Temporary agency workers are employees of the temporary work agency and, while on assignment at a user company, must receive at least the pay rate applicable to comparable employees of the user company. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • Foreign employees posted by their employer to work temporarily in Austria are, for the duration of their posting, covered by various provisions of Austrian employment law, and must be paid at least the remuneration that is paid to comparable workers by comparable employers in Austria. (See Posted workers)
  • In the event of the transfer of an undertaking, business or part thereof from one owner to another, all rights and obligations under the employment relationship automatically transfer by virtue of the law to the new owner. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • In the event of their employer's insolvency, employees' pay-related claims are guaranteed, up to a limit, by a public insurance scheme. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • An employer may impose a disciplinary sanction on an employee (except disciplinary dismissal) only where this is permitted by an applicable collective agreement or works agreement, and the imposition of any disciplinary sanction on an individual employee generally requires, in each case, the approval of the works council. (See Disciplinary procedures and sanctions)
  • Employers must act immediately to stop any workplace bullying about which they become aware, or else may be in breach of their statutory duty of care towards employees. (See Bullying)
  • Data protection legislation applies to the processing of personal data in the employment context. (See Data and privacy protection)