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After months of negotiations, the Temporary Work Act was yesterday amended in the Council of Ministers, improving working conditions for temporary agency workers and aligning Austrian with European law to guarantee equal treatment.
“The long negotiations have paid off. We have found a suitable compromise for both sides,” said Gerhard Flenreiss, who represents the interest of staffing firms at the Austrian Economic Chambers.
The changes to the law will bring with it improvements for temporary workers who will have to be better informed about their remuneration in the future. The amendments also outline that temporary workers will receive better information about safety measures at work and will be more aware when their assignments come to an end.
Temporary workers will also have legal certainty over pay while employers should see a reduction in administrative duties. Mr Flenreiss emphasised that the changes will significantly help to combat “black sheep” in the Austrian staffing industry.
The amendments will also see the creation of a special fund for jobless temporary workers, which will be available in 2014. This will increase unemployment benefits to workers with extra one-off payments. The fund aims to collect €10 million and could also be used to finance further training for temporary workers.
“With this agreement we have made an important contribution to a functioning and socially secure labour market,” Mr Flenreiss said. He added that temporary workers in Austria have long enjoyed social security through collective agreements.
Unions have welcomed the new additions to the law and said it will bring more equality to temporary workers and reduce accidents at work.