Employment

Austria:
New Law on Hiring-Out of Labour

Based on directive 2008/104/EC, the Austrian hiring-out of labour law will be amended (RV 1903 d.B. XXIV. GP). According to the directive, the national law should have been implemented by 5 December 2011. After a first failed attempt in February 2012 to implement the directive effective 1 July 2012, the implementation will now finally take place from 1 January 2013.

Fur­ther­more, the new law on hir­ing-out of labour will not only imple­ment the direc­tive but will also stip­u­late fur­ther reg­u­la­tions for tem­po­rary work. An overview of the most impor­tant amend­ments fol­lows.

Equal treatment

Leased employ­ees (über­lassene Arbeit­skräfte) will enjoy the same pro­tec­tion against dis­crim­i­na­tion as per­ma­nent employ­ees of the user com­pa­ny (Beschäftiger). The equal treat­ment and equal sta­tus of leased employ­ees will be explic­it­ly reg­u­lat­ed with­in the Aus­tri­an Hir­ing-Out of Labour Act (Arbeit­skräfteüber­las­sungs­ge­setz). This will pre­vent cir­cum­ven­tion of equal treat­ment laws, such as the Equal Treat­ment Act (Gle­ich­be­hand­lungs­ge­setz), because of the giv­en tri­an­gu­lar rela­tion­ship: leased employ­ee – user com­pa­ny – tem­po­rary place­ment agency (Über­lass­er). Thus, it will be pos­si­ble for leased employ­ees to claim enti­tle­ments based on equal treat­ment laws direct­ly against the user com­pa­ny. Leased employ­ees will also have access to the ameni­ties and col­lec­tive facil­i­ties in the user com­pa­ny (eg, can­teen, child-care facil­i­ties, trans­port ser­vices, etc). Leased employ­ees will also be remu­ner­at­ed the same as per­ma­nent employ­ees.

Addi­tion­al­ly, leased employ­ees will be enti­tled to com­pa­ny pen­sions after more than four years of assign­ment to the same user com­pa­ny, if a pen­sion fund agree­ment (Pen­sion­skassen­vere­in­barung) or a cor­po­rate group life insur­ance (betriebliche Kollek­tivlebensver­sicherung) exists in the user com­pa­ny. After the assign­ment in the user com­pa­ny, the leased employ­ee will be enti­tled to a fic­ti­tious vest­ed amount (fik­tiv­er Unver­fall­barkeits­be­trag), cal­cu­lat­ed on the same basis as the vest­ed amount for per­ma­nent employ­ees. This enti­tle­ment will not, how­ev­er, exist for direct com­pa­ny pen­sion com­mit­ments (direk­te Leis­tungszusagen) pro­vid­ed by the user com­pa­ny.

If the Aus­tri­an law is more favourable for the leased employ­ees, cross-bor­der leased employ­ees will be equat­ed with per­ma­nent employ­ees, inde­pen­dent of any applic­a­ble for­eign law, with regard to hol­i­day, remu­ner­a­tion, work­ing time, con­tin­ued pay­ment, rules on ter­mi­na­tion and ter­mi­na­tion com­pen­sa­tion.

Notification obligation

An assign­ment will be allowed only if an agree­ment that includes at least 13 in the law list­ed pro­vi­sions is con­clud­ed between the tem­po­rary place­ment agency and the leased employ­ee. Before an assign­ment begins, the tem­po­rary place­ment agency will be oblig­ed to inform the leased employ­ee of sev­er­al cir­cum­stances at the user com­pa­ny. If the assign­ment last­ed at least three months, the tem­po­rary place­ment agency gen­er­al­ly will be oblig­ed to inform the leased employ­ee of the end of the assign­ment at least 14 days in advance.

Reporting obligation

Once a year, the tem­po­rary place­ment agency will be oblig­ed to elec­tron­i­cal­ly trans­mit sev­er­al types of data about the assign­ments of the last year (1 July until 30 June) by the end of July. If the data is not trans­mit­ted with­in two months after the trans­mis­sion is due, the failed trans­mis­sion will be pun­ished with a fine of up to EUR 2,000. How­ev­er, this amend­ment will be effec­tive only from 1 Jan­u­ary 2014.

Social and training fund

To sup­port unas­signed or unem­ployed leased employ­ees, a social and train­ing fund will be estab­lished. Tem­po­rary place­ment agen­cies with a busi­ness licence for the assign­ment of leased employ­ees will have to pay a con­tri­bu­tion for every assigned leased employ­ee per month into the fund. The con­tri­bu­tion will be 0.25% in 2013, 0.35% in 2014, 0.6% in 2015 and 0.8% from 2016 on of the con­tri­bu­tion basis (Beitrags­grund­lage) accord­ing to the Aus­tri­an Gen­er­al Insur­ance Act (All­ge­meines Sozialver­sicherungs­ge­setz). Until 31 Decem­ber 2016 this con­tri­bu­tion need only be paid for leased blue col­lar work­ers.

Increase of administrative fines

Admin­is­tra­tive fines with­in the Hir­ing-Out of Labour Act will be increased by 40%. Admin­is­tra­tive fines for a cross-bor­der assign­ment of leased employ­ees will also be adjust­ed in accor­dance with the admin­is­tra­tive fines for cross-bor­der post­ings.

Employee protection

The infor­ma­tion oblig­a­tion under the Aus­tri­an Employ­ee Pro­tec­tion Act (Arbeit­nehmer­schutzge­setz) between the tem­po­rary place­ment agency and the user com­pa­ny on the one hand and the tem­po­rary place­ment agency and the leased employ­ee on the oth­er hand will have to be ver­i­fi­able and in writ­ing. An infringe­ment of this oblig­a­tion may lead to admin­is­tra­tive fines of up to EUR 14,530.

Conclusion

The amend­ment pro­vides for increased admin­is­tra­tive fines and new and fur­ther infor­ma­tion and report­ing oblig­a­tions for the tem­po­rary place­ment agency and the user com­pa­ny. More­over, a new con­tri­bu­tion into a social and train­ing fund for leased employ­ees will be imple­ment­ed to sup­port unas­signed or unem­ployed leased employ­ees. Based on direc­tive 2008/104/EC, the equal treat­ment of leased employ­ees will be reg­u­lat­ed by law. Leased employ­ees will even be enti­tled to com­pa­ny pen­sion com­mit­ments in the user com­pa­ny under cer­tain con­di­tions and after a cer­tain time.

To support unassigned or unemployed leased employees, a social and training fund will be established. Temporary placement agencies with a business licence for the assignment of leased employees will have to pay a contribution for every assigned leased employee per month into the fund.