In the event of dismissal, the law provides that an employee is entitled to a notice of a duration which varies depending on his seniority as follows:
- Length of service of less than six months: no notice period applicable;
- Length of service between six months and less than two years: one month;
- Length of service of at least two years: two months.
For any dismissal, the employer may choose whether the employee works during the notice period.
In either case, employee is entitled to receive the same salary, including any benefits.
Although Austrian law does provide statutory minimum notice periods and dates, employers are free to designate their own notice regimes based on collective agreements and employment contracts. In case of conflicting regulations, however, employees will always benefit from the most favourable rule, pursuant to the “favourability principle” (Günstigkeitsprinzip).
Austrian employment law distinguishes between white-collar (Angestellte) and blue-collar workers (Arbeiter), providing separate notice models for each.
White-collar workers are entitled to receive at least six weeks notice and up to five months notice, always depending on the length of their employment relationship. These terms may be modified, although no notice period may exceed six months. In addition, white-collar workers benefit from statutory notice dates, ensuring that employment relationships may only end at the end of any given annual quarter. It is possible to agree contractually that a termination is possible on the 15th or last day of any given month.
If not otherwise stipulated by collective agreement, blue-collar workers are subject to a notice period of at least 14 days. In practice, however, collective agreements often guarantee more generous notice periods.
From 1 January 2021, the notice periods and termination dates for white-collar workers will apply to blue-collar workers. In industries where seasonal businesses predominate, collective agreements may contain different provisions and set shorter notice periods. When concluding employment agreements with blue-collar workers, it is also possible to contractually agree on a termination on the 15th or last day of any given month.