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Criticism in Austria has been widespread over the introduction of new staffing regulations next year which some say will have a detrimental effect on the temporary staffing market. This comes after the amendment to the Temporary Employment Act (AÜG) was adopted in Parliament on Tuesday.
The changes to the law will be enforced from January 2013 and secure equal treatment of agency workers regarding, for instance, working hours and leave.
“Discrimination will be reduced but the requirement to pay customary wages remains unfilled,” said MP of the Green Party, Birgit Schatz. She criticised that agency workers will be exempt from receiving bonuses.
But the President of the Austrian federation of staffing agencies (VZa), Klaus Lercher, said that agency workers are not paid “badly” and in some cases earn more than permanent employees. He warned that higher costs for staffing firms could lead to some companies ducking pay by using contract labour, or move into sectors with lower wage agreements.
There have been mixed reports from staffing firms, which have complained about the additional costs. In the future, staffing companies will be charged €113 if the employment service between a temporary worker and their agency is terminated. This applies even in cases when the agency worker is taken on as a permanent worker with a client company.