Which rights and obligations arise in connection with the Austrian Construction Workers’ Holiday and Severance Pay Fund (BUAK)?
The legal principles presented on this website under the sections discussing other topics also apply to posting and hiring out construction workers.Yet for the case of construction works as specified in the Austrian Construction Workers’ Annual Leave and Severance Pay Act (Bauarbeiter-Urlaubs- und Abfertigungsgesetz, BUAG) the special provisions of said law provide for rights and obligations that are more specific than the general principles or supplement them.
What is construction work as defined in the Austrian BUAG?
Whether work is to be regarded as construction work or not does not depend on the business licence but on the type of work actually performed in Austria.
In the context of the exception for assembly (Montageprivileg) and of a liability of the client commissioning the construction works, the term “construction works” is defined differently than in the BUAG.
When determining whether the BUAG is applicable, the key consideration is whether the type of work performed in Austria can be classified under one of the types of businesses and activities listed below:
Master mason and bricklayer
Bending and installation of structural iron
Businesses whose owners are licensed to carry out masonry and bricklaying
Earth-moving, digging and ditching
Concrete drilling and cutting
Water regulation businesses
Torrent control and avalanche protection
Road construction firms
Agricultural road construction
Grinding out chimneys and flues
Thermal insulation of building façades
Master stone masonry businesses
Businesses whose owners are licensed to carry out the stone masonry trade
Cast stone manufacturing
Terrazzo installation firms
Stove fitting businesses (except for manufacturing only)
Pavers and tilers
Master well sinker
Businesses whose owners are licensed to carry out the trade of well sinking
Deep drilling companies
Construction equipment rental with operating personnel
Thermal, acoustic and fire insulation
Sealing against moisture and water under pressure
Stucco and drywall installation
Installation of xylolite flooring
Screed manufacturing businesses
Businesses whose owners are licensed to carry out the carpentry trade
Parquet flooring businesses
Temporary work agencies hiring out workers to construction works
What rights and obligations exist?
When an employer temporarily deploys the company employees, who usually work outside Austria, to perform construction work in Austria within the framework of posting or temporary agency work, the employer is required to
report the posting or hiring-out of workers for the purpose of construction works in Austria;
Refer to the menu item Notification requirements for more information
meet the conditions for the employees’ annual leave entitlement as specified in the BUAG by remitting to the Austrian Construction Workers’ Holiday and Severance Pay Fund (BUAK) the monthly wage supplements for the category of annual leave (‘annual leave supplements’ and ‘holiday pay fund procedure’);
Refer to the menu item Holiday pay fund procedure for more information
pay the employees at least the minimum wage in Austria as stipulated in the collective agreement, for the duration of the period deployed;
Refer to the sections Minimum wage and Collective agreements for more information
where the posted or hired-out workers are insured with an Austrian social security institution, pay to the BUAK an additional wage supplement for the interim supplement paid to unemployed construction workers prior to retirement (Überbrückungsgeld);
For more information, refer to the BUAK website under Zuschlagsberechnung (in German).
in the event that construction workers are hired out to an Austrian user undertaking and the workers continue to be covered by social insurance in their home country, a contribution to the BUAK’s AÜG-Fonds-Service for the social and continuing training fund (SO-Beitrag), in addition to the annual leave supplement.
For more information, refer to the BUAK website under the section AÜG-Fonds-Service.
The employment of construction workers who usually work in Austria also qualifies as posting if the workers are employed within the framework of an employment relationship with an employer established outside Austria.
The provisions of the BUAG apply from the first day of employment of workers who are posted or hired out to Austria.
The exception for assembly (Montageprivileg) – which excludes from the scope of Austrian leave regulations those cases of posting that are for the purpose of initial assembly, repairs and first installation of machinery at a business and do not exceed eight days – is expressly ruled out for construction work.