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Working in Austria roundup: How good is the post-Covid job market?

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

Working in Austria roundup: How good is the post-Covid job market?
How well has Austria's economy rebounded since Covid? Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

Will the 3G rule be introduced in the workplace?

As other countries around Europe bring in measures to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, Austria is now mulling whether to implement 3G rules in the workplace.

The 3G rule means people have to prove they are vaccinated, recovered or tested negative for the virus to enter certain places, like cafes, bars, restaurants and events.

But what is the likelihood of a 3G rule in the workplace in Austria?

According to Vienna Online, the Austrian Federation of Trade Union has a positive view of the suggestion after the announcement of similar measures in Italy increased the vaccination rate there. 

READ MORE: Will Austria require the Covid green pass in workplaces? 

From October 15 in Italy, all workplaces will have to implement the 3G rule.

In Austria, talks are currently ongoing between the social partners and the trade union federation, and the Ministry of Health is reported to be open to expanding 3G to the workplace.

The measures being discussed would include all workplaces, not just offices.

There are also calls for a nationwide antibody study to determine the effectiveness of immunity against Covid-19.

Metal workers demand pay rise

The metal technology industry is calling for a 4.5 percent pay rise, as well as an increase in the apprenticeship and night work allowance.

Rainer Wimmer from the PRO-GE union argues that the industry is in an “exceptionally good situation” with full order books and an increase in productivity of 3.3 percent.

Wimmer also referenced “horrendous inflation” as a reason for demanding a pay rise.

In Austria, there are around 80,000 employees in the metal technology industry, including 8,000 apprentices.

Apprentices currently earn a monthly salary of €749 in the first year. In the electronics industry it is €914 and in the chemical industry it is €993.

Unions are calling for apprenticeship salaries to be raised to €1,000 in the first year, €1,300 in the second year, €1,600 in the third and €2,000 in the fourth year.

Austria has a high level of long-term unemployment

General unemployment in Austria is now back to pre-pandemic levels but long-term unemployment is still above average – especially when compared with Scandinavian countries.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), twelve to 17 percent of unemployed people in Scandinavia have been without a job for more than a year. 

READ MORE: How to find a job in winter sports in Austria

However, in Austria the figure is 24 percent.

One reason for the difference in long-term unemployed figures is that more people in Austria have “company-specific skills”, according to an article in Der Standard.

Whereas in Scandinavian countries, there is a stronger emphasis on transferable skills and general “know-how”.

Fewer people on Kurzarbeit than expected

In Austria, there are fewer people on Kurzarbeit (short-time work) than previously expected.

There are currently 52,056 people registered for Kurzarbeit but experts had expected around 120,000 people.

There are also fewer people in general unemployment with around 339,000 people out of work in Austria. This is around 7,000 less than a week ago.

Kurzarbeit was introduced as a protective measure against the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It allows people to keep their jobs but work fewer hours, with the state paying a percentage of the salary.

Useful links

Looking for a new job or just interested in learning more about working in Austria, then take a look at the articles below.

Explained: What is like being self-employed in Vienna?

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

Unemployment benefits in Austria: Who is eligible and how much can you get?

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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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