Term denoting an arrangement whereby, during the employment relationship concerned, the latter may be terminated at any time by either party without observing the normal period of notice or termination date and without needing to be justified on any grounds.

As a general principle, under Austrian law probationary employment relationships are restricted to a maximum duration of one month. Special rules apply in the case of theatrical performers, domestic workers, caretakers and apprentices. For cases where a probationary period (Probezeit) is agreed which is longer than the maximum laid down by law, a distinction is made between the following situations: where the arrangement allows either party to terminate the employment without normal notice over the longer period agreed, the first month is treated as a probationary period and the remainder of the time is classed as a fixed-term employment contract; if the right to terminate the employment is excluded for the whole of the probationary period, the presumption is that the entire period constitutes a fixed-term employment relationship; but if the employee has been hired on a probationary basis without any specified maximum duration, the employment relationship is classed as a probationary relationship for the first month, and thereafter as a permanent employment relationship (see employment contract of unspecified duration).

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.