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Austria’s News in English: Week of July 9-15

Welcome to the first edition of MyExpatCommunity Austrian news feature! Here we’ll provide you with snippets of the most important Austrian news of the last couple of weeks so you can stay up to date. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share your feedback with us.

1. Amendment of Austrian Law on Working Hours

©PHILIPP DIMITRI/WESTEND61/PICTUREDESK.COM

You may have come across the word Arbeitszeitflexibilisierung, – flexibilization of working hours – a lot in the past few weeks. The reason behind this lies in the fact that the Austrian government has agreed on a specific amendment with the Austrian law on legal working hours.

The biggest change concerns the number of working hours: starting September 1st, 2018 employers can legally employ their staff up to a maximum of 12 hours per day. Previously, this was only possible under specific conditions, and employers who broke the law were penalized.

This means for a 12-hour working time frame to happen, it must be agreed upon between employer and employee with a flexible working time schedule.

Current legal situation:

Maximum Time allowed:

  • 10 hours/day
  • 50 hours/week
  • Employees can refuse to work longer than 10/50 hours without giving a reason

Flexible working time schedule (Gleitzeit):

  • Maximum 10 hours/day, 5 times a week

Starting September 1, 2018:

Maximum Time allowed:

  • 12 hours/day
  • 60 hours/week
  • Employees can refuse to work longer than 10/50 hours without giving a reason

Flexible working time schedule (Gleitzeit):

  • Maximum 12 hours per day, 5 times a week

 

Once September 1st hits and the employee works more than 10 hours but less than 12, these hours are not considered overtime hours, (and are not susceptible to overtime premium). Anything over 12 hours is overtime.

Employees can, however, refuse to work longer than 10 hours per day/50 hours per week without giving a reason. As you can imagine, the amendment has sparked criticism and protests in Austria.

Source: Austrian Economic Chamber (WKO)


2. Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU)

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The Council of the European Union (EU Council), together with the European Parliament and the European Commission, is responsible for passing laws which apply to member countries of the European Union.

From this, Austria is taking over the position of the EU Council Presidency from July 1st until December 2018. Plus, Austria has chosen the motto ‘’a Europe that protects.’’ This is the third time Austria is holding the position since joining the EU in 1995.

Click here for more information on the Austrian Presidency of the EU Council.

Additional Sources: bmeia.gv.at & Der Standard


3. E-mail scams: Austrian Ministry of Finances Issues Warning

bmf.gv.at

The Austrian Ministry of Finance has issued a warning against opening e-mails with the subject Ihre Steuerrückzahlung (“Your tax refund”).

The email contains a link which leads to a forged website in the style of the ministry’s FinanzOnline.at site. It asks the reader to enter personal information as well as bank account information. By opening the website malware might be spread.

The Austrian Ministry of Finance warns about clicking on the link and sharing personal information such as passwords or account information online. Instead, the ministry advises deleting the e-mail immediately.

For more information of the spam email, please click here.

Source.

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