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Factsheet for measure AT-2021-14/1742 – measures in Austria
|Country||Austria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 April 2021 – 31 December 2023|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
|Author||Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||27 January 2021 (updated 11 November 2021)|
Home office work was not very wide-spread in Austria before the onset of the pandemic. With the onset of COVID-19, this changed. According to the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), around four out of ten employees in Austria have been doing mobile work (on and off) since then. The vast majority of these employees have worked in their home offices. Home office work was first recommended by the federal government in spring 2020, amid the first lock-down in the country ( see case 590 in the COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database ).
With the prolongation of the health crisis, it has become clear that home office work will remain part of employees' working lives and many businesses will rely on also in the future, when the crisis is over. Due to the lack of specific legislation, the social partners already started to negotiate on a home office package in September 2020. Tripartite meetings with the government were held in September and December 2020 and in January, an agreement was found. Legislation came into effect on 1 April 2021.
The legislation put forward is colloquially called a 'home office' law in Austria, but it is not a stand-alone law, but rather a package of several measures. Existing legislation regarding - among other areas - labour law, tax law, income law, or social security law was amended with clauses on home office work.
The following provisions have been put into legislation:
Survey reports show that around one quarter of employees have worked in their home offices on and off since the onset of the pandemic (see background info).
Employees in standard employment
||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners jointly
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
|Form||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The social partners (peak-level) negotiated the measures beforehand and in tripartite meetings with the government. Participants included the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), the Chamber of Labour (AK), the Federal Economic Chamber (WKO), the Federation of Austrian Industry (IV) and the Agricultural Chamber (LKO). Their involvement was not requested by institutional setting, but is common practice in Austria concerning topics of labour law. The social partners negotiated an agreement beforehand and participated in tripartite meetings with the government (labour ministry). The government installed the legislation (with amendments of the social partner agreement).
In general, both sides of the social partners are content with the home office regulations, as they were taking part in the negotiations.
Eurofound (2021), Home office regulation, measure AT-2021-14/1742 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2021-14_1742.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.