Author: Anna Mertinz
Directive (EU) 2019/1152 – Implementation Status in Austria
There have not yet been any official steps concerning the implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/1152 into Austrian labour law. It cannot be foreseen when and how the Austrian legislator will implement the Directive or if any implementation actions are necessary at all. Below, please find an overview on some interesting aspects regarding which changes the Directive could bring for Austrian employers:
Austrian labour law already contains many information duties for employers. Many of the provisions of the Directive (EU) 2019/1152 are already part of Austrian labour law. However, the Directive might bring additional and new duties for employers.
The Directive provides that Member States shall require employers to inform employees in writing about essential and important aspects of the employment relationship. This information must be provided in paper or electronic form and shall include e.g., name and address of the employer and employee, the place of work, the activity, the start of the employment relationship and information on remuneration. Apart from this information, the employee must be provided with information such as the duration of paid leave, termination procedures and the applicable collective agreement within one month from the first working day.
In Austria, the minimum information is regulated in § 2 AVRAG and already coincides with most information mentioned in the Directive. Even though most of the provisions have already been standardised, individual points are not yet included in Austrian law. At present, for example, the employment contract does not have to specify the procedure for termination or the reason for termination (and this is neither recommended nor done in practice).
In addition, the Directive regulates the necessary information in the case of cross-border posted employees. In Austria, there are already strict mandatory rules on information duties vis-a-vis persons who work abroad. Some information mentioned in the Directive are not yet included in the Austrian information duties.
According to the Directive, the maximum probationary period for employment relationships is six months. Austrian labour law allows only one month for a probationary period.
Regarding the prohibition of entering into another employment relationship, under Austrian law secondary employment can be permitted if it does not violate the prohibition on competition. Employees are not allowed to run an independent commercial enterprise without their employer’s consent.
The Directive allows “work- on-demand” under certain conditions. In Austria, “work-on-demand” is considered illegal. It is yet unknown whether there will be any changes to Austrian law in this regard.
The concrete implementation of the Directive into Austrian is still awaited.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
- Many of the duties and provisions of the Directive are already regulated and covered by Austrian labour law.
- Although there is currently no draft legislation in Austria regarding the implementation of the Directive, employers must be aware of the duties under the Directive and implement necessary changes in their HR work.