EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Austria: Young people and temporary employment in Europe

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 08 December 2013



About
Country:
Austria
Author:
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In a European comparison, Austria fares relatively well with regard to the employment of young people. However, in Austria young persons have above average unemployment rates when compared to the overall employment population. Labour market transitions between education and employment are not always friction-free; they are smoothest for apprentices, while university graduates seem to have most difficulties. The most common types of temporary contracts are apprenticeships and traineeships. Temporary contracts for young people are, however, not extensively discussed; rather, youth employment and labour market transitions are discussed under the framework of increasing precariousness.

Introduction

Youth unemployment has been a persistent problem in many parts of Europe for many years. Over the past 3-4 years, however, since the onset of the financial crisis and the economic recession which followed, it has become an even greater and more widespread problem and one which, given the on-going depressed state of the European economies, is likely to remain for some time to come. The latest monthly figures (for September 2012) show the unemployment rate of those aged 15-24 averaging 22.8% in the EU – just over 1 percentage point higher than at the time a year earlier. In Spain, the figure was over 54% and in Greece, 57%, in both cases, much higher than a year earlier. In the worst affected countries, therefore, as in most Member States, there is very little sign of any easing of the youth unemployment problem. There are, however, a few exceptions. In Germany, in particular, youth unemployment has declined since the global recession hit in 2009 and now stands at only 8%, well below the level it was before the recession. In Norway too, the rate is only 8%, though this is slightly above the level in 2007 before the crisis. Germany, apart, there are two other countries in the EU with youth unemployment below 10% according to the latest monthly figures - the Netherlands (9.4%) and Austria (9.9%). As in Norway, in both cases, the rate is above the pre-crisis level.

Moreover, young people who do manage to find jobs often have to settle for a temporary one, defined as one with a fixed-term contract of employment. According to the European Labour Force Survey (LFS), in 2011, just under 43% of employees under 25 were in temporary jobs in the EU and well over half in Germany (56%), France (55%), Portugal, (57%), Sweden (57%), Spain (63%), Poland (66%) and Slovenia (75%). (In Norway, the figure was much lower than in most EU countries, at around 24%.) While around 40% of the young people concerned on average were in temporary jobs because they had a fixed-term training contract and another 9% were on probationary contracts, a substantial proportion (37% on average) were in temporary jobs because they were unable to find permanent ones. In the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Portugal, this figure was over 75% and in Spain and Slovakia, well over 80%.

Among young people making the transition from education or initial vocational training into employment, the proportion who take up temporary rather than permanent jobs is much higher than for the age group as a whole. In 2011, 57% of those aged 15-24 in employment who were in education the previous year were in temporary jobs in the EU and 86-87% in Spain, Portugal and Poland. For those moving from unemployment into employment, the proportion who take up temporary jobs is even higher on average in the EU (61%) as well as in Spain (90%).

The fact that a relatively large proportion of young people in employment are in temporary jobs may be a reason why they have been hit disproportionately hard by the crisis. In the economic downturn in 2009, many of the people who lost their jobs first were on fixed-term contracts since not renewing these contracts represented the easiest way for employers to reduce their work forces. In 2009, therefore, there was some decline across Europe in the proportion of young people in work employed in temporary jobs (see the Tables attached to the questionnaire). Since then, there has been some tendency for the proportion to increase again, in part perhaps because employers are reluctant to take on people on permanent - or standard – contracts given the uncertainty about future economic prospects.

Given the above, it is understandable that there is growing public interest, and some concern, over the nature of the jobs that young people are taking up. This concern is mirrored at EU-level where a ‘flexicurity’ approach to labour market policy has increasingly been advocated, which, in practice, means that while flexibility is an important objective, it needs to be accompanied by protection of workers’ interests if it is not to lead to a growth of precarious employment in low quality jobs. Accordingly, there is a need to obtain a better understanding of the terms and conditions applying to temporary jobs, the extent to which they are a stepping stone to permanent jobs and a working career in line with a person’s qualifications and capabilities, the access to social protection which comes with them and the measures in place to encourage employers to convert them into more stable jobs. These issues form the focus of the present study.

Definition of temporary jobs

The interest in the study is in all young people employed in temporary jobs of whatever kind, in the sense of all jobs that they are not subject to a standard contract of employment which is normally one of indeterminate length, or at least one for which no specific length is specified. Such temporary jobs can be for a period of training (i.e. traineeships or apprenticeships) or probation, intended to enable employers to check the suitability or aptitude of people for the jobs concerned. They might also be to replace someone on maternity leave or on a training programme or they might relate to a specific project of fixed duration.

All such jobs and others which are of fixed duration should be covered, whether they are part-time or full-time and irrespective of whether they are specifically for young people (such as perhaps in the case of traineeships or apprenticeships) or for people of all ages which young people happen to be doing. In some cases, it should be noted, it is relevant to include, in addition, to temporary employees, the ‘bogus’ self-employed – i.e. those people who have self-employment status but who are contracted to work for a single employer and who are effectively similar to employees who have a fixed-term contract of employment. (The cases in question relate to instances where employers use self-employment contracts as a means of employing young people without bearing the costs, and obligations, of a standard contract of employment.)

Outline of study

The study is divided in three sections. The first is concerned with the main types of job in which young people who are employed under temporary contracts work and the reasons why employers choose to use temporary contracts of employment instead of standard ones when they take on young people, as well as with the link, if any, with labour market conditions (i.e. with the extent to which the crisis has led to an increase in temporary employment). The starting point is the data summarised above, derived from the LFS, which indicate the relative number of young people employed on temporary contracts in the different European countries and the way that this has changed over the recent past (these data, as noted, are set out in the tables attached to the questionnaire). Correspondents are asked to check these data against any national data on temporary employment and to indicate where these show a different picture from the LFS data, perhaps because a different definition is adopted of temporary jobs.

Any description or commentary on national statistics should, however, remain brief, since the main task of the first section, is to review and summarise relevant sources of information on the different kinds of temporary contract under which young people are employed in each of the countries, the circumstances and areas (the types of job and the sectors of activity) in which they tend to be used and the main reasons why employers adopt them.

The second section is concerned with the access to social benefits which temporary jobs provide, distinguishing between the various kinds of benefit, and with the extent to which entitlement to benefit differs for young people employed in temporary jobs from that for those employed under standard contracts of employment. It should be emphasised that the concern is not only with the formal regulations which apply, which in many if not most countries do not make a formal distinction between temporary jobs and others, but also with de facto entitlement which stems from the nature of temporary employment. In particular, young people in temporary jobs may have difficulty in complying with the need to have a continuous period in employment, or a continuous record of paying social contributions, in order to be eligible for unemployment benefit.

The third section is concerned with the measures in place to regulate the use of temporary contracts of employment (such as specifying the number of times they can be renewed), with the attitudes of government and the social partners towards their use and with the incentives which exist to encourage the wider use of standard contracts of employment and the conversion of temporary jobs into permanent ones. A particular point of interest is the extent to which regulations and attitudes as regards temporary jobs have changed over the crisis period as the number of jobs available for young people to take up has diminished and as expanding these has become a policy priority.

A final point to note is that while it is customary to define youth employment (and unemployment) in terms of those aged 15-24, it is also the case that many of those aged 25-29 are also employed in temporary jobs, as indicated in the attached tables. Correspondents are therefore asked to extend the coverage of the study to this age group where relevant. It is recognised that in some countries the statistics available may not relate precisely to the age groups specified here, in which case correspondents should report on the age groups nearest to these.

Questionnaire

1. Importance of temporary employment for young people

1.1. Do the figures shown in the attached tables (on the number of temporary employed as a % of total employees based on Eurostat LFS data) give a reliable indication of the scale of temporary employment among the young in your country and the way that it has changed over recent years? Are there young people employed in temporary jobs who do not show up in the Eurostat figures? Are there national statistics which show a different picture from the Eurostat data? If so, please indicate what they show and give the source of the data.

Similar to numbers in the EU-27 countries, there is a major difference between the share of temporary employees among the 15 to 24-year age group and the 25 to 29-year age group in Austria: Among the 15-24 year age group, the percentage of temporary employees has been quite high and has continually increased from 32.4% in 2004 to 37.2% in 2011. In the older age group of 25-29 year old employees, the percentage of temporary workers has remained relatively stable and has constantly lain around 10% in the last decade. The high numbers of temporary employees among the lower age group can be explained with the fact that most of those temporary employment relationships are apprenticeships. While the share of temporary employees in Austria in the younger age group is only about 5 percentage points below the EU-27 average, it is less than half of the EU-27 percentage among the older age group.

The Eurostat LFS data give a reliable indication of the scale of temporary employment among young people in Austria. The labour force survey of Statistics Austria (on which the LFS data are based) furthermore distinguishes two forms of temporary employment, which are apprenticeships and ‘other forms of temporary employment’. Numbers for 2011 show that among all age groups, 341,000 employees are in temporary employment, of which 141,000 are apprentices and 200,000 are in other forms of temporary employment. Thus, the percentage of workers in ‘other forms of temporary employment’ (excluding apprentices) lies at 5.6% over all age groups, but at 10.2% amonth the age group of 15-19 year olds, at 11% among the 20 to 24-year age group, and at 9.2% among the 25 to 29-year age group. It is thus shown that even if apprenticeships are not taken into account, young people are nonetheless much more often concerned by temporary employment than the average working population (almost twice as much).

1.2. Is there any evidence that other forms of employment are used as a substitute for temporary contracts, such as bogus self-employment where young people are contracted to provide services to a single work provider in a continuous manner so acting de facto as employees? If so, please give the source of the evidence and indicate the scale of the phenomenon in terms of the number of people concerned.

It is difficult to estimate the extent to which other forms of employment, like bogus self-employment is used as a substitute for temporary contracts, as the statistical data naturally cannot distinguish between ‘real’ and ‘bogus’ self-employment. There are two different types of statutory employment relationships which can be considered a bypassing of standard employment contracts (temporary or permanent): the so-called ‘freelance contractors’ (freie DienstnehmerInnen) and the ‘new self-employed’ (neue Selbstständige). Especially the latter can potentially take the form of bogus self-employment. Both types of these ‘atypical’ workers have in common that they do not employ other people and that they mostly work for one (main) client. In reality, though, their employment relationship largely resembles that of dependent employees, even though they are legally treated as self-employed workers in many aspects (for more information on these two types of employment relationships see AT0801019Q).

From a study by Statistik Austria (2010), which analyses data from the LFS ad-hoc module 2009 on the entry of young people into the labour market, some information on self-employment of young job entrants (which might be used as a substitute for temporary employment contracts) can be derived: Among all young persons aged between 15 and 34 years with a first paid job, 73% have a regular fulltime, permanent job with comprehensive social security (among people who have completed an apprenticeship, the share lies even at 82%). At the same time, approximately 1% were self-employed without a business licence, i.e. were among the so-called ‘new self-employed’ and a further 1% were so-called ‘freelance contractors’. Those data show that all together, only 2% of all young persons between 15 and 34 years with a first job have some form of non-standard employment contracts which might take the form of bogus self-employment (furthermore, the following types of first employment relationships were investigated in this study: part-time work, minimal employment, temporary jobs, temporary agency workers). Considering that part of those self-employment relationships (without a business licence) are not bogus self-employment, one can state that there is not much evidence that those types of employment relationships are systematically used to avoid regular, dependent employment relationships. However, there is evidence that these forms of employment are rather wide-spread in some sectors like the creative industries and call center sector (cf. Eichmann/Schiffbänker 2008, Schönauer 2005).

1.3. Please list (and give summary details, i.e. purpose and duration of the contract) the most common contract types or contractual arrangements under which young people are employed on a temporary basis (such as for traineeships, apprenticeships, probationary periods, replacement of workers on leave or projects of a fixed duration). What is the relative importance of each type of contract or arrangement in terms of the number of young people employed under them?

By far the most common form of temporary employment for young people is an apprenticeship. It is by definition of temporary nature and usually lasts between two and four years (depending on the sector in which the apprenticeship is taken) with a probationary period of three months. It is considered an employment relationship. In 2011, 80% of all temporary employment relationships among the 15 to 19-year age group were apprenticeships. There were 141,000 apprentices in Austria in 2011, the vast majority lying in this age group (no further details available).

In other forms of (standard) dependent employment, probationary periods of up to one month can be negotiated between the employer and employee. During this probationary period, the employment relationship can be unilaterally terminated by both sides without giving any reasons. There are no data about the use of probationary periods for young employees; however, it can be considered a wide-spread practice among all age groups. There are thus no indications of employers’ systematic misuse of these periods among young employees.

As shown above, about 10% of young people have a temporary employment relationship which is not an apprenticeship. Its duration is to be agreed upon and stated in the employment contract beforehand; if no duration is given, it can be assumed that it is open-ended. The end of a fixed-term employment relationship can either be specified by a calendar date or objectively (e.g. the end of the season). It then ends automatically and there is no need for a termination or cancellation of the contract.

A further common type of temporary employment for young people is a traineeship, for which there are no clear legal provisions in Austria. According to the jurisdiction, traineeships can in principle be organised in two ways: either within the framework of a temporary employment contract (which can be either a ‘regular’ employment contract or a freelance service employment contract (‘freelance contractors’, see above)) or as a so-called training relationship (Ausbildungsverhältnis or Volontariat). These forms of traineeships (Praktika) can be applied at all educational levels (school pupils and students), independent of whether they are of compulsory or voluntary nature. The major difference between the two types of traineeships is that the training relationship is conceptualised as an arrangement with an educational objective which is disconnected from the work performed by regular employees in a specific company. Data on the number of trainees in Austria are very scarce. In a recent study on traineeships in Europe (European Commission 2012: 145), the authors of the Austrian contribution (Eichmann/Saupe 2012) estimate that there are about 60,000 pupils in secondary education and 30,000 to 35,000 students in higher (tertiary) education undertaking traineeships. Both groups, however, take these internships as part of their curriculum and thus while still in education. During the last decade or so, traineeships have increasingly also been taken up by university graduates due to a lack of regular employment opportunities (see 1.4).

1.4. Please indicate the main reasons for the emergence and development of the different types of temporary contract which you have listed in response to question 1.3. To what extent are they linked to particular conditions in the labour market or employment protection legislation/regulation in your country? What is the main attraction of such contracts to employers? What effect has the crisis had on the use of such contracts?

Apprenticeships have always been a major form of fixed-term employment relationship for young people. Their numerical peak was reached in 1980 with more than 194,000 apprentices. Until 1996, their numbers decreased to below 120,000 apprentices (Dornmayr/Nowak 2011: 11) – both due to the demographic development and to the education expansion with more pupils gaining higher educational levels. Since 2004, their numbers have increased again, which can partly be contributed to policy measures promoting apprenticeships. Since 2004/05, apprenticeship places in supra-company training facilities have been offered in Austria for those young people who cannot find a regular apprenticeship place in a company. In the ‘crisis years’ 2009 and 2010, there was a slight decrease in their numbers; this can, however, not be solely contributed to the economic development. Instead, the decline is connected to the demographic development (fewer 15-year old persons). Furthermore, the Public Employment Service AMS started a programme of supra-company apprenticeships in 2009, which also contributed towards the fact that there was only a slight reduction in the number of apprentices. At the end of 2010, some 5,763 young persons took part in such a supra-company programme and their numbers have been constantly rising since. The rest of the apprentices take their training in companies; the companies have often cut back their places in the course of the crisis, which could be compensated by supra-company apprenticeship places.

With regards to the development of traineeships, one has to make a distinction between traineeships for pupils and university students and traineeships for university graduates. In secondary vocationary schools (a specificity in Austria), traineeships have always been part of the curriculum; with the growing numbers of pupils in these schools over the last decades, the numbers of trainees has been gradually rising. The same applies to mandatory (and voluntary) traineeships of university students. With the emergence of universities of applied sciences (which have a strong practical focus and traineeships as part of their curricula) in the mid-1990s, the number of student trainees increased.

The phenomenon of university graduates taking on traineeships is a fairly recent one and has gained a great deal of public attention in the last decade or so. Estimates by Eichmann/Saupe (2011: 43) show that between 4,000 and 4,500 university graduates (including graduates of applied universities) annually take up a traineeship after graduation. According to the above mentioned study conducted by Statistics Austria (2010) on young people in their first jobs, 23.1% of postgraduate trainees stated that they were not paid in their traineeship; 30.5% stated they were paid below the so-called ‘minor employment threshold’ (Geringfügigkeitsgrenze), below which no social insurance contributions have to be paid (in 2013, the threshold lies at EUR 386.80); and 46.3% stated that they were paid above this threshold. Graduate trainees resort to this type of employment relationship due to a lack of regular employment opportunities and thus due to labour market conditions. Those condititions have been caused by a significant increase in the number of university graduates within the last two decades. While in 1991, only about 200,000 persons with academic qualification were employed in Austria, this has increased to some 450,000 in 2008 (Schneeberger/Petanovitsch 2010). Even though the labour market has to a great deal absorbed this increased supply of academically trained employees (which is evidenced by the fact that unemployment among this labour market group is still low), there is also evidence that (depending on their field of studies) young graduates have difficulties finding a job that matches their qualification level. The share of academically trained employees who have a job position that matches their formal level of qualification has been decreasing from 83% in 1991 to 73% in 2009 (cf. ibid.). When highly qualified people take on jobs with lower educational requirements, a process of displacement is triggered concerning also workers with lower qualification levels. This yields benefits for employers as they have a larger pool of potential workers to choose from.

For employers, graduate traineeships are an attractive cost-saving option which in many cases bypasses regular employment. However, traineeships for tertiary-level education graduates are only one variant of precarious or atypical first jobs. Thus the labour market entry problems of this group must not be underestimated. According to a tracking of alumni of the University of Vienna having graduated between 2003 and 2008 (cf. Himpele 2009), half a year after graduation, 15.4% of the alumni were atypically employed. One year after graduation, this was reduced to 12.3% and three years after graduation the percentage of atypically employed graduates was at 6.9%. Thus, one can conclude that university graduates are confrontated with a partly difficult entry into the labour market, but after some time a normalisation of employment relationships is taking place. However, there is evidence that precarious forms of employment are concentrated in specific sectors (like the creative industries – architecture, design and media, cf. Eichmann/Schiffbänker 2008). According to Himpele (2009), especially graduates of the humanities are concerned by precarious and atypical forms of employment even three years after graduation.

As the Eurostat data (see below) show, the crisis had no significant impact on the share of temporary employment contracts among young people in Austria. No major changes to the employment protection legislation/regulation in Austria have taken place which could be attributed to the rise of temporary employment contracts of young people.

1.5. To what extent are temporary contracts a ‘stepping stone’ to ‘permanent’ jobs (or those with standard contracts of employment of undefined duration)? Are apprentices and trainees typically taken on by the companies or other organisations concerned on standard permanent contracts once they complete their training? Has the situation changed over the crisis period? Please summarise any relevant studies which have been carried out in your country or other evidence at the national level which exists and give the reference to them.

In general terms, an employer is obliged to further employ a former apprentice for at least three months after the completion of the apprenticeship. The apprentice, however, can waive this employment possibility. In some collective agreements (e.g. in the metalworking sector), the duration of the ‘further use perod’ (Weiterverwendungszeit) lies at six months. There are no studies available which assess whether those former apprentices are employed after the expiration of this ‘further use period’. Therefore, it cannot be fully assessed in how far firms employ former apprentices sustainably. However, a study conducted by Moser/Bilgili (2010) on the topic of a career change within the first years after the completion of an apprenticeship gives limited information. One of its findings was that a quarter of all young persons of 19 to 24 years who were investigated for the study have already had a change in occupation and were employed in a job which substantially differs from their original trade they had learned. A further result was that about 18% of all 19 to 24-year old persons with a completed apprenticeship were still working at the firm where they had completed their apprenticeship; epending on the age of the respondents, the completion of the apprenticeship had either just taken place at the time of questioning or may have lain up to six years back.

With regards to traineeships, there is a lack of studies that systematically investigate the extent to which former trainees are employed in standard, permanent employment contracts after completion of their traineeships. However, one study from 2001 (Eickhoff/Nowak) could be identified in which university graduates are asked how they found their first job; 8.3% of the respondents of this representative study conducted in the late 1990s stated that they found their current job either through traineeships or other forms of student jobs. It is difficult to estimate whether 15 years later, these finding might still be plausible, considering the increase in the numbers of traineeships within this time span.

2. Access to social benefits

NOTE: Entitlement of young people to unemployment social benefits generally does not differ along the lines of whether a standard employment relationship is fixed term or permanent. There are, however, differences in the access to social benefits between standard employment relationships, freelance contracts and the ‘new self-employed’. In the following, these differences are referred to.

2.1. Does entitlement of young people to (contributory) unemployment insurance benefits and (non-contributory) unemployment assistance (i.e. benefits, usually means-tested, which provide a minimum level of income) differ if they are employed on temporary contracts as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate briefly the differences in eligibility conditions and any differences between types of temporary contract (including those working as self-employed for a single employer). Have there been any changes over the period of the crisis?

There are special regulations for young unemployed as compared to older unemployed with regards to the qualifying period for unemployment insurance: While older first-time claimant workers need to have completed a qualifying period (i.e. must have been insured for a certain minimum period of time) of a minimum of 52 insurance weeks within a timeframe of 24 months prior to application and a minimum time period of 28 insurance weeks within the past 12 months for further claims, for young persons under 25 years of age, 26 weeks of insured employment within the past 12 months are sufficient in order to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Since 2008, freelance contractors who earn more than the threshold of minimal employment (EUR 386.80 in 2013) have the same social protection as ‘standard’ dependent employees with regards to access to unemployment insurance and unemployment assistance.

Self-employed persons, including the ‘new self-employed’ who are on a so-called ‘contract for work’ (Werkvertrag), were included into an optional unemployment insurance scheme at the beginning of 2009.

2.2. Does entitlement of young people to sickness benefits and maternity benefits differ if they are employed on temporary contracts as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate briefly the differences in eligibility conditions and any differences between types of temporary contract (including those working as self-employed for a single employer). Have there been any changes over the period of the crisis?

Freelance contractors are insured under the terms of the General Social Insurance Act (Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz, ASVG), which applies to all employees. They are therefore covered by health and occupational accident insurance, as well as by pension insurance. Since 2008, they are also eligible to income-dependent sickness benefits (which start on the fourth sick day – thus, the first three days they receive no income compensation) and income-dependent maternity benefits (in the eight weeks before the calculated day of birth and the eight weeks thereafter; in case of a premature or multiple births or caesarean section 12 weeks). Both types of benefits are paid by the health insurance company and provide full income compensation. Freelance contractors are, however, not eligible to continued pay by the employer in case of sickness as employees with a standard employment contract are (these employees, in contrast, receive sickness benefits from the employer from the first sick day onwards).

The ‘new self-employed’ are not eligible for sickness, nor for maternity benefits.

No changes over the period of the crisis were implemented.

2.3. Are there any differences in the entitlement of young people to old-age pensions between those employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate what these are. Have conditions of eligibility to pensions changed over the period of the crisis (including through pension reforms introduced as part of a long-term strategy to improve the financial sustainability of the system)?

As mentioned above, freelance contractors are insured under the terms of the General Social Insurance Act which applies to all employees. They are therefore covered by health and occupational accident insurance, as well as by pension insurance.

The ‘new self-employed’ are insured under the terms of the Social Insurance Act on Self-Employed Persons (Gewerbliches Sozialversicherungsgesetz, GSVG) and are therefore not covered by labour law. They are insured against the risk of ill health (without receiving sickness benefits, though), occupational accidents and old age. However, the new self-employed are only insured under the terms of the GSVG if their annual income exceeds a certain threshold; this lies at EUR 6,453.36 (and for those who have a parallel employment relationship which constitutes statutory social insurance it lies at EUR 4,641.60 in 2013).

No changes over the period of the crisis were implemented.

2.4. Are there any differences in entitlement of young people to health care between those employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate what these are. Have conditions of eligibility to health care changed over the period of the crisis?

As mentioned above, freelance contractors are insured under the terms of the General Social Insurance Act which applies to all employees. They are therefore covered by health and occupational accident insurance, as well as by pension insurance.

The ‘new self-employed’ are covered by the compulsory insurance scheme for health care, occupational accidents and old age only above a certain income threshold (see 2.3). If the annual income lies below this threshold, then generally no contributions need to be paid; one can, however opt into this insurance for health care and occupational accidents (but not old-age pensions).

No changes over the period of the crisis were implemented.

3. Regulation of temporary contracts and policies to support transitions into permanent contracts

3.1. Please describe briefly the regulations applying to the main types of temporary contract in your country. Do restrictions exist on the maximum duration of the different types of temporary contract for young workers or the number of times they can be renewed? Do these regulations differ by age (i.e. between young people and older workers) and/or by type of temporary contract (as mentioned in question 1.3), by occupation, or by sector of activity? Do special regulations exist for those completing apprenticeships or traineeships? Have the regulations changed over the period of the crisis – i.e. has there been a tendency for them to have been tightened or relaxed?

As shown above, there are no differences between the regulations of a permanent and a fixed-term standard employment relationship. There are differences with regards to employment regulations along the lines of standard employment, freelance contracts and ‘new self-employed’. They have been mapped out above.

No restrictions on the maximum duration of temporary contracts are in place. The only exception to this is an apprenticeship, which is by definition of temporary nature and usually lasts between two and four years (depending on the sector).

There are no regulations on the number of renewals of temporary contracts.

3.2. Do incentives exists in your country to encourage employers to opt for standard rather than temporary contracts of employment, to convert temporary contracts into permanent ones or to make it easier for employees to move from temporary to permanent contracts? If so, please briefly describe the form that these incentives take. Do they apply equally to young people as well as to older workers? Are any incentives in place to encourage employers to take on young people who have completed an apprenticeship or traineeship on permanent contracts? Have there been any changes to incentives over the period of the crisis? Are any such changes being proposed or being actively discussed at present in your country?

There are no incentives which encourage employers to opt for standard rather than temporary contracts of employment, to convert temporary into permanent contracts or to facilitate an employee’s move from a temporary to a permanent contract. Likewise, there are no incentives in place encouraging employers to take on young people having completed an apprenticeship or traineeship on a permanent contract. The topic is currently not discussed in Austria.

3.3. Is the employment of young people on temporary contracts an important issue of concern for the social partners? Are there strong differences in attitudes and policies between employers and trade unions towards the use of temporary contracts? Have any initiatives been taken by the social partners, either jointly or separately, to encourage the use of permanent rather than temporary contracts? Have any specific initiatives been taken in respect of young people completing apprenticeships or traineeships over the types of job they are offered when their temporary position comes to an end?

The employment of young people on temporary contracts is not as much a topic as the increase of precarious employment for young people is. Especially traineeships are in the focus of attention. The unions provide pupils and students with information concerning legislative issues. Precarious employment across all age groups and not just specifically among young people is the focus of union campaigns (‘Fair statt prekär’). The employer side has kept rather quiet on the topic. No mutual initiatives have been taken by the social partners to encourage the use of standard rather than non-standard precarious types of employment. No initiatives have been taken over the types of jobs offered to young persons who have finished an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Sources :

Dornmayr, Helmut/Nowak, Sabine (2011): Lehrlingsausbildung im Überblick 2011. IBW-Forschungsbericht 163, Vienna.

Eichmann, Hubert/Schiffbänker, Helene (Hg.) (2008): Nachhaltige Arbeit in der Wiener Kreativwirtschaft? Architektur, Design, Film, Internet, Werbung. Lit-Verlag, Wien.

Eichmann, Hubert/Saupe, Bernhard (2011): Praktika und Praktikanten/Praktikantinnen in Österreich. Empirische Analyse von Praktika sowie der Situation von Praktikanten/Praktikantinnen. FORBA Forschungsbericht 4/2011, Wien.

Eichmann, Hubert/Saupe, Bernhard (2012): National Report on Traineeships Austria, in: European Commission (2012), pp. 140 – 154.

Eickhoff, Volker/Nowak, Günter (2001): Beschäftigungssituation und –chancen von UniversitätsabsolventInnen. AMS Endbericht, Wien.

European Commission (2012) : Study on a comprehensive overview on traineeship arrangements in Member States. Final Synthesis Report, Brussels.

Himpele, Klemens (2009): Karrierewege von Graduierten der Universität Wien („AbsolventInnen-

Tracking“). Eine registergestützte Analyse von beruflichen Einstiegs- und Verdienstmöglichkeiten

der AbsolventInnen der Jahre 2003-2008. Wien: Uniport und Statistik Austria.

Download: www.qs.univie.ac.at/weitere-aktivitaeten/absolventinnenerhebung/

Moser, Winfried/Bilgili, Marcel (2010): Berufswechsel nach der Lehre. Das Phänomen des Berufswechsels in den ersten Berufsjahren nach der Lehrausbildung am österreichischen Arbeitsmarkt. Studie im Auftrag des BMASK, Wien.

Schneeberger, Arthur/Petanovitsch, Alexander (2010): Zwischen Akademikermangel und prekärer

Beschäftigung. Zur Bewährung der Hochschulexpansion am Arbeitsmarkt. ibw-Forschungsbericht Nr. 153, Wien.

Schönauer, Annika (2005) : Qualität der Arbeit in Callcentern. Fallstudie Österreich im Global Call Center Industry Project. FORBA Forschungsbericht 5/2005, Wien.

Statistik Austria (2010, Korrigierte Version vom Februar 2011) : Eintritt junger Menschen in den Arbeitsmarkt. Modul der Arbeitskräfteerhebung 2009, Wien.

Bernadette Allinger, FORBA (Working Life Research Centre)

Temporary employees as a share of total employees aged 15-24, 2004-2011

 

% total employees

% point change

 

2004

2007

2009

2011

2004-2007

2007-2009

2009-2011

2007-2011

EU27

37.6

41.3

40.4

42.5

3.7

-0.9

2.1

1.2

BE

28.6

31.6

33.2

34.3

3.0

1.6

1.1

2.7

BG

15.3

10.3

9.3

8.3

-5.0

-1.0

-1.0

-2.0

CZ

18.0

17.4

18.7

22.3

-0.6

1.3

3.6

4.9

DK

26.9

22.5

22.8

22.1

-4.4

0.3

-0.7

-0.4

DE

55.5

57.4

57.3

56.0

1.9

-0.1

-1.3

-1.4

EE

:

:

:

13.8

 

   

 

IE

11.2

20.5

25.0

34.2

9.3

4.5

9.2

13.7

EL

26.3

27.0

28.4

30.1

0.7

1.4

1.7

3.1

ES

64.8

62.8

55.9

61.4

-2.0

-6.9

5.5

-1.4

FR

46.7

53.5

52.4

55.1

6.8

-1.1

2.7

1.6

IT

34.4

42.3

44.4

49.9

7.9

2.1

5.5

7.6

CY

16.1

23.3

18.4

17.2

7.2

-4.9

-1.2

-6.1

LV

17.3

9.3

9.3

10.7

-8.0

0.0

1.4

1.4

LT

13.8

9.8

5.0

9.1

-4.0

-4.8

4.1

-0.7

LU

24.1

34.1

39.3

34.5

10.0

5.2

-4.8

0.4

HU

15.1

19.1

21.4

22.9

4.0

2.3

1.5

3.8

MT

9.2

11.0

11.3

17.7

1.8

0.3

6.4

6.7

NL

37.9

45.1

46.5

47.7

7.2

1.4

1.2

2.6

AT

32.4

34.9

35.6

37.2

2.5

0.7

1.6

2.3

PL

60.6

65.7

62.0

65.6

5.1

-3.7

3.6

-0.1

PT

47.4

52.6

53.5

57.2

5.2

0.9

3.7

4.6

RO

6.6

4.6

3.7

5.8

-2.0

-0.9

2.1

1.2

SI

63.1

68.3

66.6

74.5

5.2

-1.7

7.9

6.2

SK

9.9

13.7

12.5

18.6

3.8

-1.2

6.1

4.9

FI

49.8

42.4

39.0

43.4

-7.4

-3.4

4.4

1.0

SE

53.1

57.1

53.4

57.3

4.0

-3.7

3.9

0.2

UK

11.0

13.3

11.9

13.5

2.3

-1.4

1.6

0.2

NO

31.2

28.0

25.7

24.3

-3.2

-2.3

-1.4

-3.7

Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey

         
Temporary employees as a share of total employees aged 25-29, 2004-2011

 

% total employees

% point change

 

2004

2007

2009

2011

2004-2007

2007-2009

2009-2011

2007-2011

EU27

19.5

21.1

20.2

21.4

1.6

-1.0

1.2

0.2

BE

12.4

13.1

12.5

14.6

0.7

-0.5

2.0

1.5

BG

9.0

5.3

4.4

4.2

-3.8

-0.8

-0.2

-1.0

CZ

9.8

8.1

8.4

10.8

-1.7

0.2

2.5

2.7

DK

16.5

13.9

13.8

16.4

-2.6

-0.1

2.7

2.5

DE

17.2

21.2

21.2

22.0

4.0

0.0

0.8

0.8

EE

3.0

1.8

4.2

4.2

-1.2

2.4

0.0

2.3

IE

3.4

10.1

9.5

12.7

6.7

-0.6

3.2

2.6

EL

18.4

16.1

19.9

19.0

-2.3

3.8

-1.0

2.9

ES

44.0

41.2

37.5

39.8

-2.7

-3.7

2.3

-1.5

FR

18.3

20.8

20.2

22.0

2.5

-0.6

1.8

1.2

IT

17.2

22.7

23.5

26.7

5.5

0.8

3.2

4.0

CY

19.2

17.7

16.2

18.1

-1.5

-1.5

1.9

0.4

LV

11.8

3.2

4.2

5.5

-8.6

1.0

1.4

2.3

LT

5.3

4.2

2.5

3.6

-1.1

-1.7

1.1

-0.6

LU

7.6

12.5

11.2

12.7

4.9

-1.2

1.5

0.3

HU

8.1

8.9

11.3

11.0

0.8

2.5

-0.3

2.2

MT

1.1

5.6

5.0

6.3

4.6

-0.6

1.3

0.6

NL

16.8

22.9

24.2

25.8

6.1

1.2

1.7

2.9

AT

10.0

8.8

9.6

9.8

-1.1

0.8

0.2

1.0

PL

33.8

38.7

35.6

38.9

4.9

-3.1

3.3

0.2

PT

30.3

36.6

38.6

39.2

6.3

2.0

0.6

2.6

RO

3.4

2.1

1.2

2.1

-1.3

-0.9

0.9

0.0

SI

30.7

33.7

34.1

33.9

2.9

0.4

-0.2

0.3

SK

6.8

5.7

4.1

7.7

-1.2

-1.6

3.7

2.1

FI

28.7

24.5

25.5

26.0

-4.2

1.1

0.5

1.5

SE

24.0

27.4

24.0

25.0

3.4

-3.3

1.0

-2.4

UK

6.2

7.1

6.3

5.0

0.9

-0.8

-1.3

-2.1

Source: Eurostat, European Labour Force Survey

       
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Add new comment