Posting Employees to Austria: How Important are Collective Agreements?
By Edith Huber-Wurzinger, Gaedke & Angeringer Steuerberatung GmbH
When posting and hiring out employees to Austria, companies are required to comply with certain laws and agreements in Austria. Some regulations will be familiar to the employer abroad, others won’t.
EU Directive 96/71/EC requires every member state to ensure that the national regulations covering working times, rest periods, and health and safety at work are also applied in the case of posted workers. Furthermore, employees posted to Austria are entitled to at least the Austrian minimum remuneration (including special payments, overtime pay, other supplements and allowances).
The regulations to be applied can be found in laws, legal ordinances, and collective bargaining agreements (CBA).
CBAs are written agreements made between the bodies representing employees and employers (usually trade unions and associations representing employers) of a specific industry. They specify mutual rights and obligations arising from employment relationships, including rules for working hours and minimum wages. CBAs have statutory effect (similar to acts and ordinances); their terms cannot be modified to the disadvantage of employees by works council or employment agreements. They apply to employment relationships in the particular economic sector, even if the employee is not a member of a trade union. Virtually all employees working in Austria or posted to Austria by their employer or a temporary work agency are covered by CBAs.
There are more than 800 CBAs in Austria. The various trade unions negotiate roughly 450 CBAs each year. Minimum wages and minimum salaries, special payments (e.g. annual leave pay and Christmas bonus), as well as numerous other entitlements and obligations, are not defined in Austrian law but only in CBAs. Paying wages below the CBA level can cause heavy fines in Austria. It is therefore particularly important, prior to posting or placing workers, to be aware of the relevant CBA and the consequences for employer and employee.
Edith Huber-WurzingerGGI member firm
Gaedke & Angeringer Steuerberatung GmbH
Advisory, Auditing & Accounting, Tax
T: +43 316 3279 40 819
Gaedke & Angeringer Steuerberatung GmbH in Graz, Austria, offers professional support on all issues pertaining to taxation, accounting, business management, social security, and labour law and uses stateof- the-art technology and a strong base of knowledge to advise clients of every legal structure and from all economic sectors.
Edith Huber-Wurzinger is an Austrian certified tax consultant. Her focus is in the field of indirect taxes and international taxation. She is a member of the VAT working group of the Expert Committee for Tax Law of the Austrian Chamber of Tax Advisors and Auditors, and a specialist author and lecturer.
Published: Labour Law Newsletter, No. 07, Autumn 2019 l Photo: Evdoha - stock.adobe.com