Under the special Employee Liability Act (Dienstnehmerhaftpflichtgesetz) which regulates employee liability in Austria, there is no employee liability towards the employer in respect of damage caused by excusable non-performance. In the case of damage caused by minor negligence, the courts are empowered to moderate the amount of compensation due or even discharge it altogether, and even where there is gross negligence they are able to order at least partial remission. Moderation is excluded only in cases of deliberate intent. In reaching a decision on liability in damages, apart from the actual extent of damage caused the courts are required to take account of circumstances such as the degree of responsibility involved in the work performed, the extent to which the inherent nature of the work entailed a high risk of causing damage incurring liability (Gefahrengeneigtheit), the level of training of the employee concerned and the conditions under which the work had to be performed.

If an employee is held liable by a third party to whom damage has been caused in the performance of work due under the contract of employment and pays compensation to that third party, he or she may reclaim it from the employer up to an amount governed by the rules on damages. If, conversely, the employer is held liable for the same damage, in certain circumstances he or she has a right of recourse against the employee concerned, subject to moderation by the court in accordance with the principles governing moderation of an employer's claim for damages against an employee.

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.