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What is a collective agreement?
A collective agreement is an agreement between employer’s representatives (chamber of commerce/ “Wirtschaftskammer”) and the employee’s representative (trade union), which are negotiated for certain industries. In Austria currently several hundert different collective agreements are in place.
Which collective agreement applies?
The applicable collective agreement primarily depends on the business license. Usually, for one business only one collective agreement applies. However, there are exceptions in which at the same time several collective agreements are in place for one company. Kindly note, that the collective agreement needs to be stated in the employment contract.
Content of a collective agreement
Primarily, a collective agreement contains regulations on minimum wages, special payments, absences, and working time. Often, the collective agreement includes more favorable regulations regarding consideration of maternity leave periods and termination periods.
Prior to making a staffing decision – whether it is a change in working time or a dismissal - it is crucial to check the newest collective agreement for special regulations on the applicable topic, in order to make sure that this decision is in line with all deadlines and regulations.
Kindly note: regulations of the collective agreement can not be replaced by individual, for the employee less favorable, agreements.
As member of the Wirtschaftskammer you can find your applicable collective agreement at www.wko.at.