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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure AT-2020-12/590 Updated – measures in Austria

Recommendation on teleworking

Empfehlung von Telearbeit

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 16 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Non-binding recommendations or other texts
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 14 April 2020 (updated 04 February 2022)

Background information

The Ordinance of the Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Nursing and Consumer Protection in accordance with Section 2 No. 1 of the COVID-19 Measures Act (see sources, expired on 30 April 2020), formulates the prohibition of entering public places in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the exceptions to this prohibition is when it is required for professional purposes. However, the ordinance states that it should be ensured that a professional activity should preferably take place outside the workplace, if this is possible and employers and employees agree on this.

Content of measure

The ordinance states that it should be ensured that a professional activity should preferably take place outside the workplace, if this is possible and employers and employees agree on this. Furthermore, accident insurance coverage of home office was achieved. The retroactively applicable regulation states that accidents at work are also accidents that occur at the place of residence of the insured person (home office) in a temporal and causal connection with the employment that forms the basis of the insurance. This makes it clear that if an accident occurs in temporal or causal connection with the activity, it is covered at the respective place of residence. This applies retroactively to all accidents that have occurred in the home office since 8 March 2020. Accidents on the way to or from the home office are also covered.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

22 November 2021

Amid increasing infection numbers and the implementation of a lock-down in autumn 2021, the recommendation of using telework (i.e. home office work), wherever possible, was taken up again. Also, the use of an FFP2-mask indoors, with more than one person in the room, was re-installed.

08 April 2021

The recommendation has been prolonged with the Third and Fourth Protective Measures Ordinances, which are currently valid until 25 April 2021 (subject to be extended).

07 December 2020

With the Second Protective Measures Ordinance, the recommendation to work from outside the usual place of work was added again: "[...] it must be ensured that the professional activity should preferably take place outside the workplace, as far as this is possible and the employer and employee reach an agreement on the performance of work outside the workplace." (§6, 1).

Use of measure

Currently unknown.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

In principle, both employer and employee organisations are against an obligation to home office work, which has been brought up by experts. Thus, their views were taken into account when the government provided a recommendation only.

Views and reactions

Ordinance by the federal government. The social partners are in favour of a recommendation only (instead of an obligation).

Sources

  • 16 March 2020: Ordinance of the Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Nursing and Consumer Protection in accordance with Section 2 No. 1 of the COVID-19 Measures Act (expired 30 April 2020) (www.ris.bka.gv.at)
  • 07 December 2020: Second Protective Measures Ordinance (www.ris.bka.gv.at)
  • 17 December 2020: Third Protective Measures Ordinance (www.ris.bka.gv.at)
  • 08 February 2021: Fourth Protective Measures Ordinance (www.ris.bka.gv.at)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Recommendation on teleworking, measure AT-2020-12/590 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2020-12_590.html

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