ECCLESIASTICAL LABOUR LAW

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AUSTRIA
ECCLESIASTICAL LABOUR LAW
KIRCHLICHES ARBEITSRECHT

Although Austrian labour law makes no provision for a separate system of ecclesiastical labour law, a number of specific rules restrict the applicability to churches and religious communities of the general statutory provisions. If a church or religious community makes use of the contract of employment it must observe the corresponding state labour law, which means that a schoolteacher employed in a parochial nursery school, for example, is entitled to invoke the protection applicable to employees in general. However, since a church's objectives are primarily religious (in particular, doctrinal, educational and charitable purposes) and it is consequently classed as what is called a “Tendenzunternehmen”, its right to demand on the part of its employees a particular set of mental attitudes and beliefs or a particular manner of conducting their private lives is more extensive than that permitted in the case of other employers (see employer's managerial authority). As regards the works constitution, it should be noted that the relevant statutory provisions are not applicable to enterprises and establishments which serve the religious purposes of a legally recognized church or religious community in so far as the special nature of the enterprise or establishment concerned conflicts with that application. However, no special ecclesiastical system of works constitution law exists.


Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.