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JOBS

Working in Austria: Longer notice periods for workers come into force

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

A cup of coffee sits next to a pad and a laptop on a wooden desk. Isn't it nice? Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Looking for a job in Austria? Here's what you need to know. Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Already working in Austria, looking for a new job or thinking about moving to Austria? Here’s what you need to know about the job market.

Longer notice periods for workers

From October 1st, there will be very little difference in notice periods between blue-collar and white-collar workers in Austria when the Legal Equality Act from 2017 will be implemented.

The Act was planned to be introduced at the start of 2021 but was delayed due to Covid-19 and the impacts on the economy.

Up until now, blue-collar workers in industries like hospitality, trade and craft could be dismissed with just two weeks’ notice.

FOR MEMBERS: Everything you need to know about health insurance for freelancers in Austria

Instead, from Friday, a statutory notice period of six weeks will apply to workers in the first and second year of employment.

From the third year the notice period will increase to two months, and from the sixth year it will be three months.

After 16 years of service, the notice period will be four months, followed by five months after 26 years.

It is estimated that 600,000 workers will benefit from the new rules, with most employed in the hotel and catering industry.

However, there are exceptions in some seasonal roles where the 14-day notice period will still apply.

The notice period for temporary workers will increase from two weeks to three weeks in 2023.

More unemployed people in Austria access training courses

The number of unemployed people in training programmes in Austria has increased by 1,186 since last week. The total number of people in training is now 68,216.

Training courses are being offered to unemployed people to ensure their skills are up to date and suitable for the modern job market.

It is expected that 100,000 people will have taken advantage of the scheme by 2022. So far, 60,000 people have received training and 30,000 people have since found a job.

Unemployed people in Austria can access financial support for attending professional courses via Public Employment Service Austria (AMS).

Wage negotiations start for Austria’s metal workers

On Wednesday, wage negotiations started between employers and trade union representatives of metal workers in Austria.

Metal workers are demanding a 4.5 percent pay rise – an amount that was requested in 2019 but instead was negotiated down to a raise of between 2.6 and 2.8 percent.

Last year, workers in the industry received a pay rise of just 1.45 percent. According to the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (Wifo), this has resulted in real wage losses in 2021 due to inflation.

Rainer Wimmer from the Pro-Ge union recently highlighted “horrific inflation” as a valid reason for a significant wage increase. 

However, Gabriel Felbermayr from Wifo said he does not think metal workers will receive a 4.5 percent rise in wages.

Negotiations will continue on October 11th. 

Austria’s Labour Minister looks to Sweden to tackle unemployment

Last week, Austria’s Labor Minister Martin Kocher was in Sweden to find out how the Nordic country deals with unemployment.

Sweden is known for a high employment rate and quickly places unemployed people in new roles, resulting in low levels of long-term unemployment.

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

Kocher was reportedly inspired by the focus on the individual in Sweden, where there is a system of protecting people, not the workplace.

Additionally, Kocher is keen to combat the risk of poverty that comes with unemployment and to provide protection for people that have difficulty in finding a job.

Next week, Kocher will visit Lithuania for a similar trip.

3-G in the workplace?

Discussions are continuing about the possibility of 3-G Covid-19 rules (vaccinated, recovered or negative test) for the workplace in Austria.

Those in favour of the measure cite Italy as an example, where all workplaces (public and private) will have to comply with the measure from Friday, October 1st.

Der Standard reports that the Ministry of Health is coordinating with the Ministry of Labor on the issue, but it is not known when a decision will be made.

Ex-Health Minister Rudolf Anschober recently said he would support the implementation of 3-G in the workplace after seeing how vaccination rates have increased in Italy.

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For members

WORKING IN AUSTRIA

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

If you are moving to Austria and planning to work once you're here, there are a few websites that you need to know.

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Austria is certainly one of the best countries to work in, with strong labour laws that give employees access to public health insurance through their employers, a minimum five weeks of paid vacation and many rights for families.

The alpine country is also known for its high quality of living. Residents can enjoy cheap public transport, public schools and plenty of free or cheap cultural, sports and leisure options.

There are also many vacant jobs, and the country is aiming to make it easier for foreigners who have qualifications to come fill in those jobs – many in nursing and healthcare professions, but a lot in several other so-called “shortage occupations”.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

If you are planning to work in Austria, here are a few government or government-linked websites to know.

Migration.gv.at

It may not look very modern, but this website will have most of the things you’ll need if you want to move to Austria – especially coming from countries outside of the European Union.

This is where you will find the infamous “point calculator” to see if you get the minimum amount of points based on specific criteria (such as age, education, and language knowledge) to be able to apply for certain work-based residence permits.

There are also many pages explaining the different visas, permits, and many other issues with migration to Austria. The website has a very extensive and complete English version.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Austria’s EU Blue Card

ABA – Work in Austria

ABA – Work in Austria is a department of the Austrian Business Agency, which operates under the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs in Austria.

The website has plenty of information – in English – about Austria, living and working in the country, and its job market. ABA – Work in Austria also offers services, including relocation and recognition of qualifications.

Vienna Business Agency

Another site aimed at expats and immigrants but connected to the City of Vienna. The website is entirely in English (there is a German version, too), and most of it will have tips and services for businesses and startups settling in the Austrian capital.

However, there is also an extensive advice area for foreigners. 

People moving to Vienna can also schedule in-person and free appointments to receive advice on anything from setting up a company to paying taxes.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

Portal der Arbeiterkammern

This is the Chamber of Labour website, which is an organisation that represents the interests of 3 million Austrian employees and consumers.

Even if you are not a member, it still has plenty of valuable information on Austria’s working and labour market. The website, however, is only in German.

Der Wirtschaftskammer

Also, a local website, WKO is the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and even though it is only in German, it holds a lot of information, especially on labour laws in the country.

Furthermore, it is possible to schedule a free appointment with an English-speaking representative to answer questions on employment, self-employment, and more.

READ ALSO: Which are the best companies to work for in Austria?

Public Employment Service Austria (AMS)

This is Austria’s official provider of labour-market related services. The government agency offers placement assistance and vocational counselling.

It is also the point of contact for those looking to register as employees, hire people or seek many of the benefits (including unemployment payments) that they are entitled to. It also has a job-looking platform.

Even though a part of the website is in English, most of the pages are in German only. It is also challenging to find people willing to speak English at the AMS offices.

Bonus website: The Local

Besides our news website, with pieces that will help you learn more about life in Austria and be up to date on the latest and most important information, The Local also has a job search platform where you can look for open positions which require only the English language.

Check out our jobs platform here. 

Do you know any other government or government-linked websites that might be useful for people working in Austria? Let us know: [email protected]

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