Are workers entitled to annual leave?
Pursuant to Austrian law, employees posted or hired out on a cross-border basis are entitled to paid annual leave for the duration of the period they are posted.
Such entitlement to annual leave exists on condition that the law of the posting country specifies less annual leave.
Where an employee does not take time off for annual leave while being posted or hired out to Austria, annual leave remuneration in a monetary amount equal to the annual leave entitlement is nonetheless required to be paid out.
The method of calculating the amount of annual leave entitlement at the end of the posting period is described in the following.
- First, the amount of annual leave entitlement pursuant to employment law in the posting country is subtracted from the amount stipulated by Austrian law to determine the difference.
- This difference is then multiplied by the number of days the employee was posted or hired out and divided by the number of days in the current year (365 or 366).
Please note: The annual leave of construction workers is governed by a separate annual leave act that sets forth different regulations in part.
Amount of annual leave entitlement
For every working year (i.e. annual leave year), employees are entitled to five calendar weeks of paid annual leave (i.e. 30 working days for a six-day working week and 25 working days for a five-day working week).
Where the employment relationship lasts less than one year, the employee is granted the proportionate share of annual leave. The ratio is determined based on the number of months the employee actually worked.
Example: Where the employment relationship is limited to six months, annual leave is half the annual leave entitlement.
With a five-day working week, the employee in this example is entitled to 13 days’ annual leave.
25/2 = 12.5 – fractions are rounded up, thus 13 days.
With a six-day working week, 15 days of annual leave result (30/2 = 15).
Annual leave remuneration
During the period off work, annual leave remuneration equal to the remuneration due on every working day is to be paid.
Using up annual leave
The date when annual leave begins as well as the duration are to be agreed in the specific case between the employer and the employee. In this case, consideration is to be given both to the employee’s needs and to the requirements of the business.
Lapse of annual leave entitlement
Any annual leave not used up is automatically carried over to the following annual leave year.
Yet these “old” leave days lapse after two years as of the last day of the year in which entitlement accrued. After that those annual leave days can no longer be taken.
Example: For an employee joining the company on 1 January 2023, the lapse period for annual leave accrued during the first year begins on 1 January 2024 and ends on 31 December 2025. After that the annual leave is lapsed or forfeited.
Every time an employee goes on annual leave, the “oldest” leave entitlement still open is always used up first.