06/27/2018 Working time: How many hours of work are allowed in Austria?

Currently, in Austria there is a debate about increasing the working time up to a 12-hour-day. Therefore, we would give you an overview about the current legal regulations.

Austrian law defines a full time employment by normal working time of 8 hours per day and 40 hours a week.   
Some collective agreements shorten the full time working time to for example 38.5 hours (most common “full time working time” – e.g. Collective Agreement “Trade” (Handel)).
The terms and conditions of working time have to be agreed between the employer and employee. It is also allowed to shift the daily working time: It can be agreed up to 9 hours working time per day, if this leads to a longer weekend rest period (i.e. working time on Friday is shortened).

According to the current legal working time 12 hours are only allowed if a necessity of working is given and under certain circumstances (all have to apply):

  • temporary necessity
  • no other measures are reasonable 
  • Approval of workers’ council, occupational health practitioner and employee
  • maximum of 24 weeks per year
  • interruption for 2 weeks after 8 weeks

On Sundays and bank holidays working is only allowed if there are legal regulations, like the Austrian law (“Arbeitszeitruhegesetz”), legal orders or collective agreements, permitting such working time. This means that the Collective Agreement has a big impact on working time – it is recommended to always have a look into the CA (especially, also for surcharge payments for overtime, work on special days, and/or within certain time frames).

Employees are entitled to a weekly rest period of minimum 36 hours a week including the Sunday. If the employees are entitled to work on weekends the rest period can be switched to another day of the week (e.g.. hotels, restaurants,..).

If you have any questions, please just send a mail to welcome@huebner.at or contact one of our specialists directly.

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