Weekly rest period and rest on public holidays

General Information

Weekly rest period

Employees are entitled to a weekly rest period of at least 36 hours in every calendar week.

In case of shift work, the weekly rest period can be reduced to 24 hours, but the average weekly rest period must amount to 36 hours within an averaging period of four weeks. Only rest periods of at least 24 hours may be used to calculate the average weekly rest period.

The entire Sunday must generally fall within this rest period (weekend rest). The weekly rest period may only include a different full weekday (weekly rest) if weekend work is permitted under certain legal conditions.

In some cases, the Labour Inspectorate needs to be notified by law.

Caution

These rules apply to all citizens and entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

Start of the weekend rest

The weekend rest must start no later than on Saturday at 1:00 PM. A later start is possible in the following cases:

  • In case of essential end of work, cleaning, maintenance or repair work: Saturday 3:00 PM
  • When incorporating bridge days: Saturday 6:00 PM
  • In retail: in accordance with the opening times on Saturday, one additional hour for end of day work
  • In retail-like service establishments: Saturday 6:00 PM, one additional hour for end of day work
  • In non-continuous shift operation: Saturday midnight

In partly continuous operation (weekdays), the night shift leading into the Sunday and the night shift leading into the Monday can be worked. Only the day shifts on the Sunday must remain a non-working period.

Compensatory rest

The planned weekly rest period (weekend rest or weekly rest) must be defined in the working time arrangements. If employees are required to work during this period, they are entitled to compensatory rest in the following working week.

The extent of the compensatory rest must correspond to the period of work within the 36-hour period before starting work for the next working week. The compensatory rest must be provided immediately before the start of the following weekly rest period, unless otherwise agreed before the start of the work for which the compensatory period is owed.

The compensatory rest is credited to the working time. The remuneration must continue to be paid.

Public holidays

The following days are official holidays:

  • 1 January (New Year)
  • 6 January (Epiphany)
  • Easter Monday
  • 1 May (National Holiday)
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Corpus Christi
  • 15 August (Assumption Day)
  • 26 October (National Holiday)
  • 1 November (All Saints' Day)
  • 8 December (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
  • 25 December (Christmas)
  • 26 December (St. Stephen’s Day)

The provisions on weekend rest and weekly rest apply for public holidays that fall on a Sunday.

Public holiday rest

Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of at least 24 hours on public holidays.

The public holiday rest must start between midnight and 6:00 AM on the public holiday. For partly continuous shift operation (weekdays), the public holiday rest must start no later than at the end of the night shift leading into the public holiday and may end no earlier than at the start of the night shift of the next working day.

Remuneration must continue to be paid if this would have been a working day.

Working on public holidays

Employees may only work on public holidays if this is permitted under certain legal conditions.

They are also entitled to remuneration for the work provided.

Example

In an establishment, work is carried out for six hours on a public holiday. The employee receives their normal remuneration if this would have been a working day. In addition, the employee receives the remuneration for six working hours.

In some cases, the Labour Inspectorate needs to be notified by law.

Good Friday and personal holiday

Good Friday has not been an official holiday since 2019. All Austrians have previously had and will continue to have 13 public holidays (for 94 percent). This does not change and no public holiday has been removed. In addition, no day off has been removed, instead a day off has been upgraded. A unilateral legal entitlement exists for all employees for this one day, i.e. everyone must receive a certain personally important day off.

All employees have the option of taking a day off without any agreement with the employer on a day that is important to them (personal holiday). This day must be announced at least three months in advance. This allows members of the Protestant Church AB (Augsburg Confession) and HB (Helvetic Confession), the Old Catholic Church and the Protestant-Methodist Church, for which Good Friday was previously a public holiday, to continue to take this day off.

Please note: A notification period of two weeks applies until 21 June 2019 (i.e. including for Good Friday 2019).

If an employer requests employees to work on the selected day despite this, employees may refuse this request. However, if they accept this request, they are entitled to holiday pay as well as to the remuneration for the work performed on this day; so to double their remuneration. Moreover, the day off does not lapse.

Enterprises Affected

Employers are responsible for complying with working time provisions. Infringements of the provisions relating to the weekly rest period, compensatory rest and public holiday rest are punishable.

Competent authority

The  →Labour InspectorateGerman text

Competent body for administrative penalties:

The amount of the administrative penalties differ. The details are regulated in section 27 Arbeitsruhegesetz (ARG - Federal Act on Rest Periods).

 

Further information

Further links

Legal bases

sections 10 to 18 Arbeitsruhegesetz (ARG)

Expert Information

There is no expert information available.

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 30 November 2020

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour

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