01 December 2009
In the spring of 2008, the then Federal Minister of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Erwin Buchinger, agreed with representatives of all nine Austrian provinces (/Länder/) to introduce a ‘needs-oriented basic cover’ scheme by the summer of 2009. The aim was to replace the different social assistance schemes of each of the nine provinces by a uniform ‘basic cover’ scheme in order to set national minimum standards of assistance and thus prevent destitution among the country’s population. At that time, the proposal stipulated that impoverished people who are willing to work would receive a minimum gross income of €747 a month, which should be payable 14 times a year and revaluated annually (*AT0804019I* ). However, general elections held in September 2008 (which eventually led to a reinstatement of a social-democratic-conservative coalition government), the looming global economic and financial crisis as well as the permanent threat of one province, namely Carinthia, to withdraw from the planned nationwide scheme and to maintain its regional assistance scheme have together almost derailed the entire ‘basic cover’ project.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-to-introduce-basic-social-security-cover-in-2009
19 November 2009
In recent years, the Austrian legislator has endorsed a series of laws seeking to tackle the problem of social security  fraud in companies – particularly in the construction sector. For instance, on 1 March 2005, the Social Fraud Bill (/Sozialbetrugsgesetz/, SozBeG) came into effect, which extended the legal provisions of criminal law concerning organised tax and social fraud (*AT0506201N* ). Moreover, in 2007, a legal obligation was introduced for employers to register their employees with the relevant social insurance institutions before the commencement of work. This legal initiative sought to combat fraudulent practices in companies, whereby employers had failed to register some of their staff in time for the sole purpose of evading taxes and social insurance contributions (*AT0705019I* ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/industrial-relations-dictionary/social-security  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/building-industry-and-social-partners-call-for-stricter-social-fraud-bill  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/social-partners-agree-on-measures-to-combat-social-security-fraud
30 August 2009
On 9 July 2009, the Austrian parliament endorsed a package of measures designed to stimulate the national labour market. The measures follow a labour market package introduced in early 2009, which had failed to generate the desired effects. The latest measures aim to prevent a rise in unemployment due to the current economic downturn. This legal initiative was launched by the current social-democratic and conservative coalition government, in close cooperation with the core social partner organisations.
18 August 2009
From 30 June to 2 July 2009, the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB ) held its 17th general congress (/Bundeskongress/) – the ÖGB’s highest governing body – in Austria’s capital city Vienna. At this event, the federation adopted the continuation of an internal restructuring  process launched at the last congress in 2007. Restructuring had become necessary in the wake of the conflict related to the financial disaster concerning the Bank for Employment and Commerce (Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft AG, BAWAG ) and the former ÖGB leadership’s involvement in this controversy (*AT0703039I* ).  http://www.oegb.at/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=OEGBZ/Page/OEGBZ_Index&n=OEGBZ_0  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/industrial-relations-dictionary/restructuring  http://www.bawagpsk.com/bawag/home/nav.html  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/union-seeks-greater-autonomy-from-confederation
29 July 2009
This report sets out to provide the necessary information for establishing sectoral social dialogue in the tanning and leather sector. The report first identifies the relevant national organisations on both sides of industry and then goes o...
27 July 2009
With some delay, compared to most other highly industrialised European countries, the global recession has also spread to Austria since the beginning of 2009. According to the country’s most recognised research institutes in economics, Austria’s economic slowdown is expected to fall between minus 2.2% and minus 2.7% in 2009, and the year’s overall inflation rate is estimated to be between 0.6% and 0.9%. The business segment most affected by the current crisis is the exposed industry sector.
20 July 2009
During the spring of 2009, the five-yearly round of elections of representatives on the governing bodies of the Chambers of Labour (Arbeiterkammern, AK ) took place. The structure and function of the AK as well as the election results are briefly outlined below.  http://www.arbeiterkammer.at/beratung.htm
14 June 2009
Against the background of the current global economic recession, which has also substantially hit Austria, many companies facing financial difficulties have initiated restructuring  measures. As a consequence, a still growing number of businesses have closed or reduced their scale of operations, resulting in numerous job losses. According to the most recent data provided by the Labour Market Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS ), in April 2009 the overall unemployment rate increased by 1.4 percentage points compared with the previous year (according to the national mode of count).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/industrial-relations-dictionary/restructuring  http://www.ams.or.at/
31 May 2009
On 3 March 2009, a few days ahead of the International Women’s Day celebrated annually on 8 March, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimír Špidla, presented, at a kick-off event in Brussels, a new EU information campaign labelled Close the gender pay gap . In this context, the most recent gender pay  gap data for each EU country were released, indicating an estimated gap in earnings of 25.5% for Austria in 2007. This is the second highest value of all EU Member States, which is only outweighed by Estonia with an approximate 30% pay gap, while the EU average is estimated at 17.4%.  http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=681&langId=en  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/industrial-relations-dictionary/pay
28 May 2009
This report sets out to provide the necessary information for establishing sectoral social dialogue in the personal services sector. The report falls into three main parts: a brief summary of the sector’s economic background; an analysis ...