Austria: The end of trust-based working hours in Austria?

Under Austrian law, the employer is generally obliged to record the working hours for all employees. The obligation to record covers the daily working time, all breaks, as well as the start and end time of the working day. For employees who can largely determine their working hours and place of work themselves or who predominantly perform their work in their home, only records of the duration of the daily working hours must be kept. There is no recording obligation for employees who are exempt from the Austrian Working Hours Act, such as senior executives or other employees with decisive decision-making authority. The term “trust-based working hours” does not exist under Austrian law - although it is certainly used among heads of HR departments. The agreement on trust-based working hours would therefore only be permissible for employees who are exempt from the Working Hours Act.

The decision has no relevance for the Austrian legal situation, especially since there is a comprehensive recording obligation and the exceptions provided for under the Austrian legal system are covered by the Working Hours Directive.

According to the decision of the Federal Labour Court dated 13/09/2022, we do not see any need for adjustment for the national legal system because the obligation imposed by the ECJ in the judgment of 14 May 2019 in the legal case C 55/18 (Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras v. Deutsche Bank SAE) was fulfilled with regard to the recording of working hours.

Autor: Roland Heinrich
Autor: Anna Rupp