12 March 2013
Austria’s federal Minister for Economy, Family and Youth, Reinhold Mitterlehner, has sparked a fresh debate on working time flexibility. In a recent interview, he demanded more flexible working hours and an extension of the reference period for the averaging of working time to two years.
24 July 2012
Peter Haubner, General Secretary of the Austrian Business Alliance (ÖWB ) which is affiliated to the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP ), has said that the first day of sick leave should not be paid by employers. His proposal was put forward after the publication of data showing that while total sick leave figures had decreased over the past few years, short-term sickness (of one to three days) had increased.  http://www.wirtschaftsbund.at/  http://www.oevp.at/
19 July 2012
Austria appears to have coped well after opening its labour market to workers from eight new central and eastern European Member States on 1 May 2011, according to data from the Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ ).  http://www.wko.at/
24 June 2012
Austrian Airlines  declared a record operating loss of €67 million in the first quarter of 2012, following a €60 million loss in 2011. The management of the Lufthansa  subsidiary announced an austerity package to save €263 million, €45 million of which was to come from cuts in personnel costs. The airline has 6,000 employees, 2,300 of whom are flight crew. Even though the airline has cut 1,500 jobs since 2009, annual staff costs have not fallen from their 2009 level of €438 million a year, largely due to wage increases.  http://www.austrian.com/  http://www.lufthansa.com
02 May 2012
The 2011 autumn collective bargaining round in the retail sector brought about significant improvements for employees, the majority of whom are women.
22 January 2012
Collective bargaining in the metalworking sector got off to a bad start when the demands of both sides were made public. This action was highly unusual, as demands are normally kept secret and exchanged only at the first meeting of the negotiations. However, in the weeks before the meeting the employers’ side had stated that they would offer a wage increase roughly compensating for the inflation rate. After the first, unsuccessful bargaining round, union representatives held a press conference announcing their aim of securing a 5.5% pay rise. This was seen by some experts as being highly ambitious.
21 December 2011
The 2011 annual meeting of the Austrian social partners, held in the spa town of Bad Ischl, was dedicated to consideration of ‘The effect of demographic developments on the labour market and the social security system’. At the meeting, the heads of the major social partner organisations discussed a set of measures to increase Austria’s average actual retirement age.
11 October 2011
Just before the onset of the annual autumn bargaining round, Austria’s largest trade union, the Union of Salaried Employees, Graphical Workers and Journalists (GPA-djp ), which represents mainly private-sector white-collar workers, came forward with a proposal to conduct additional wage bargaining rounds specifically for female employees, in order to narrow the gender pay gap. The union’s Chair Wolfgang Katzian suggested this should be done regularly, perhaps three times in every ten-year period.  http://www.gpa-djp.at
17 August 2011
The new criteria-based labour immigration model (called the ‘Red-White-Red’ card after the colours of Austria’s national flag, or ‘RWR card’ for short) was implemented as part of the new Immigration Law Package on 1 July 2011. The initiative was started by the Federal Economic Chamber (WKO ) and the Federation of Austrian Industry (IV ), in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM ), and is modelled on immigration systems in Australia and Canada. The new model stipulates that if specific predefined criteria are met, the person is granted access to Austria’s labour market without further labour market checks. It replaces a quota-based system applying to so-called ‘key workers’, which granted a certain number of immigrants access to the labour market (in 2010 the quota was 2,450 persons) if specific criteria were met (such as labour market skills or qualifications which were in demand on the Austrian labour market, a university degree or being employed as manager and earning a minimum gross monthly income (in 2010) of at least €2,466).  http://www.wko.at/  http://www.iv-net.at  http://www.iomvienna.at/
07 July 2011
On 1 May 2011, the transitional period of seven years following the accession of ten new Member States to the European Union ended. This meant that workers from eight new central and eastern European Member States are now free to work anywhere in the EU.