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Working in Austria: A roundup of the latest jobs news and information

Find out all the latest information related to working in Austria with The Local's weekly roundup of job news.

Wine taverns are still doing good business in Burgenland according to a recent survey. (Photo by Sandra Dempsey on Unsplash)
Wine taverns are still doing good business in Burgenland according to a recent survey. (Photo by Sandra Dempsey on Unsplash)

Record vacancies in tourism and retail jobs sectors

There are a record number of job vacancies in Austria’s tourism, temporary and retail jobs sectors as the economy picks up sharply following the Covid-19 pandemic, Die Presse newspaper reports. At the end of August, public employment agency AMS reported 113, 849 vacancies, up 72.5% compared to the same time last year. There were around 27,500 jobs in the temporary sector and 18,200 in retail being advertised. 

City tourism and micro businesses still suffering

Although in Austria’s rural regions tourism is recovering, tourism in cities such as Linz is still far behind pre-pandemic levels, according to the Wiener Zeitung newspaper. The paper features an interview with Lower Austrian self-employed tour guide Sonja Thauerböck, who says cruise ships on the Danube are running at well below 50 percent occupancy. According to the paper, more than 330,000 one-person companies (EPU) in Austria are faring similarly to Thauerböck, with hairdressers, physiotherapists, artists and restaurateurs all suffering a downturn in fortunes. Many are dreading the end of October, when government aid for micro businesses may end. Many debts, including deferred social insurance payments, are also now due.  “For many EPU it is now a period of rude awakening,” Sonja Lauterbach, founder of the EPU forum on Facebook, is quoted as saying.

Labour law around employers and vaccinations explored

The labour lawyer Georg Schima has attempted to answer the question whether employees can make being vaccinated against Covid-19 a condition of employment.

He also explores if an employee who refuses to be vaccinated can be dismissed in a blog post in  Der Standard newspaper.

He says employers are allowed to require applicants for a job to be vaccinated. If the applicant lies that she or has been vaccinated, or refuses to vaccinate, having promised to do so, they can be dismissed.

He says it is not possible to dismiss employees who were hired before a vaccine requirement was in place if they refuse to get the jab. However, these people could be asked to wear masks at work or bear the cost of testing for Covid-19.

Inflation is expected to rise in Austria

In August, Austria’s inflation rate jumped to 3.1 percent, the highest in ten years, and it is also expected to rise in 2021. According to Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas, speaking to the Krone Zeitung, the inflation is being caused by both short-term and structural effects.

The strong rise in energy prices is currently having an impact, with the price of crude oil having risen from a low of $20 a barrel in February 2020. The general economy is picking up again strongly after the pandemic year, which is driving up many raw material prices such as wood and metals, leading to increases in prices.

An additional driver of inflation  in Austria is the disproportionately high share of tourism and other services in the shopping basket, which is used to measure the inflation rate.

Since 2015, services have been 14.8 percent more expensive on average, but general inflation has only increased by 11.3 percent.  Despite these influences, according to the Austrian Institute for Economic Research Wifo, inflation should only rise moderately this year to 2.3 percent.

Wine taverns continue in business in Burgenland

After a sharp decline over the past few decades, the number of wine taverns (Heurige und Buschenschänke) in Burgenland has stabilised. There are currently estimated to be around 340 taverns according to the Burgenland Chamber of Agriculture, and the number has stayed stable for the past five years, broadcaster ORF reports. The communities with the most wine taverns and wine taverns in Burgenland are currently Leithaprodersdorf (Eisenstadt-Umgebung district) and Rechnitz (Oberwart district).

Useful links

Looking for a job in Austria or just want a little more information about working here, then check out the following links: 

Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job

Working in Vienna: How to find a job in the Austrian capital

How to survive as a freelancer in Austria

The jobs roundup is new addition and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]

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WORKING IN AUSTRIA

What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

There comes a time in many people’s working life when overtime is required (or even welcomed). But what are the rules in Austria?

What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

Working overtime (Überstunden) usually means earning extra money – but it also requires more work and less time for your private life.

Plus, whereas some people might jump at the chance to boost their income, others might not have the capacity to take on more work due to family commitments, or even poor health.

READ ALSO: Reader question: How can foreign doctors practise medicine in Austria?

So what happens if your employer asks you to work overtime in Austria?

Here’s what you need to know.

What are regular working hours in Austria?

Regular working hours are set by the Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz), which applies to most private-sector employees in Austria over the age of 18.

The law states that regular working hours are eight hours within a 24-hour period, or a 40-hour week.

However, this is not set in stone as working hours can be adjusted by collective agreements or negotiations with an employer. 

This means a working week can be reduced to 38 hours, for example, or a working day increased to 10 hours to allow for a four-day work week or flexible working.

Likewise, shift work has different rules and staff can work up to 12 hours during one shift without stepping into overtime territory.

FOR MEMBERS: Will a 4-day week and free German lessons help Vienna’s transport network find staff?

What is considered as overtime?

If someone has a job with regular working hours of eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, then overtime starts when they go over those hours. But only if there are no previously agreed exceptions in place.

Furthermore, employees can only be expected to work overtime if it does not create a conflict with their other responsibilities, such as child care or health care.

For anyone that does work overtime, they should be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their usual pay.

For part time (Teilzeit) staff with a set number of contracted hours (e.g. 25 hours), the pay for overtime is 1.25 the usual rate. This is known as “extra work” (Mehrarbeit).

READ MORE: How Austrian employers use private detectives to check if workers are sick

What are the rules for working overtime in Austria?

According to the employment law in Austria, staff can work up to 20 hours per week in overtime. This means up to 12 hours a day and up to 60 hours a week.

But any request by an employer to work overtime can be refused if it would result in working more than 10 hours per day or 50 hours a week. An employee does not have to give a reason for turning down overtime.

It’s also worth noting that conditions around overtime can vary depending on an employment contract or collective agreement, so always check the rules in your workplace before agreeing to (or declining) overtime work.

Vocabulary

Overtime – Überstunden

Extra work – Mehrarbeit

Full time – Vollzeit

Part time – Teilzeit

Flexible working – Gleitzeit

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