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Collective Agreements

The intention behind collective agreements is to ensure minimum wages and minimum standards as well as other important working conditions without the involvement of the state.

Collective agreements

Collective agreements are concluded between representatives of the employer and the employees who have the capacity to enter into such agreements. Alongside the minimum wage they also regulate other essential labour law provisions (such as arrangements regarding pay, flexible working hours and the termination of the employment relationship, etc.).

The capacity to conclude collective agreements

According to the Labour Relations Act, statutory interest groups of employers and employees have the legal capacity to make collective agreements as long as they are independent of their negotiating partners and are responsible for the regulation of working conditions. Independence from the other party means that it must be possible to clearly assign the organisation to the employers’ or the employees’ side.

The statutory interest groups which have the capacity to conclude collective agreements include:

  • the Chambers of Labour (representatives of employees);
  • The Austrian Economic Chamber (representatives of employers) and
  • the chambers of the liberal professions (e.g. doctors, lawyers).

The capacity to conclude collective agreements can, however, also be established via legislation (e.g. Bundesrechenzentrum GmbH – the Federal Computing Center).

In addition, the Federal Conciliation Office at the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection can also officially recognise the capacity to conclude collective agreements of voluntary professional associations of employers and employees and certain other associations.

In the field of agriculture and forestry, recognition of the capacity to conclude collective agreements is carried out by the High Conciliation Commissions which are incorporated into the offices of the respective provincial government.

Recognition of the capacity to conclude collective agreements by the Federal Conciliation Office

Professional associations of employees
The Austrian Federation of Trade Unions and specialist trade unions
– The Union of Private Sector Employees, Printing, Journalism and Paper
– The Union of Public Sector Workers
– Gewerkschaft younion_Die Daseinsgewerkschaft
– The Union of Construction and Wood Workers
– The Vida Trade Union
The Union of Postal and Telephone Workers
– The trade union PRO-GE
The Association of Upper Austrian Agricultural and Forestry Workers and the Federation of Employees and Pensioners in Agriculture and Forestry in Upper Austria
The Austrian Federation of Pharmacy Employees, occupational interest group
Professional associations of employers
The Association of Austrian Newspapers
The Association of Austrian Provincial Mortgage Banks
The Association of Austrian Banks and Bankers
The Association of Austrian Savings Banks
The Austrian Raiffeisen Association
The Association of Austrian Event Organisers
The Association of Austrian Insurers
The Main Association of Agricultural Employers in Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna
The Employers’ Association of Styrian Agriculture and Forestry
The Association of Austrian Cooperatives
The Consumer Association, Auditing Association of Austrian Consumer Cooperatives
The Employers’ Association of Upper Austrian Agricultural and Forestry Estates
The Austrian Industry Association
The Theatre Association of Austrian Provinces and Cities
The Austrian Pharmacists’ Association
The Viennese Stage Society
The Austrian Association of Private Hospitals
The Austrian Association of Power Stations
The Specialist Association of  Lottery Agencies
The Federation of Lower Austrian Property and Land Owners
The Association of Property Owners in Vienna and the Austrian Provinces
The Association of Carinthian Agricultural and Forestry Holdings
The Employers’ Society of Austrian Construction Associations
The Association of Austrian Festivals
The Association of Austrian Skiing School Entrepreneurs
The Austrian Hotel Owners’ Association
The Austrian Magazine and Specialist Media Association
The Association of Austrian Road Companies to represent their occupational and business interests
The Austrian Football Bundesliga
The Association of Protestant Pastors in Austria
The Association of Styrian Residential and Care Homes
Association of Hospitals, Residential and Care Homes Run by Religious Orders
Umbrella Organisation for Outpatient Assistance for the Aged and Home Helps
Social Economy Austria (formerly BAGS)
The Association of Charity Organisations of the Catholic Church in Austria
Austrian Red Cross
Employers’ Association of the Protestant Charity Organisation Diakonie Austria
The Austrian Association of Regional Media
The Employers’ Association of Social and Health Care Organisations in Vorarlberg, Bregenz
Professional Association of Employers in Private Educational Organisations
Austrian Research Society, non-protection organisation for Austrian non-university research centres
SOS Children’s Villages
Professional Association of Employers in Paramedical and Related Occupations (BARS
Societies with the capacity to conclude collective agreements
Vienna Symphonic Society
Vienna Animal Protection Society
New Start – Probation Aid, Conflict Solving, Social Work
Lower Austrian Hilfswerk Charity Organisation

Bylaws of collective agreements

A bylaw is a regulation to extend the area of application of a collective agreement.

The bylaw is intended to ensure that employers who are not covered by any collective agreement grant their workers the same wages and working conditions as those which would be laid down by the collective agreement.

The Federal Conciliation Office is responsible for the bylaws of collective agreements. When a bylaw is to be created, one party to the collective agreement has to make a relevant application to the Federal Conciliation Office. 

Current bylaws

Current bylaws can be viewed at the Rechtsinformationssystem des Bundes (RIS). bylaws are available for employees of private social and health care organisations, employees of private social and health care organisations in Vorarlberg, employees of ambulance and patient transport services, employees of private educational institutions and employees of the manufacturers of orthopaedic shoes in Salzburg, Carinthia and Styria; for the latter, amendments to labour market law and wages are also available.

Last update: 8 November 2019