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Dismissal

The term "dismissal" refers to the premature dissolution of an employment relationship declared by the employer for good cause. The reasons that entitle the employer to a dismissal must be of such a serious nature that in the employer’s objective consideration, the continued employment of the employee, even just for the duration of the (statutory or agreed) notice period, is unreasonable. The dismissal must be announced immediately after the employer becomes aware of the reason for the dismissal.

Caution

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

Austrian labour law lists the reason that justify a dismissal for white-collar workers as defined under the Federal Salaried Employees Act (AngG) in a demonstrative fashion (i.e. based on example) and in an exhaustive fashion (i.e. complete) for blue-collar workers under the GewO. The general clause of Section 1162 of the ABGB stipulates that the right to premature withdrawal in the event of good cause is open to either contracting party in the employment relationship.

For example, white-collar and blue-collar workers can be dismissed for the following reasons:

  • White-collar workers under the Federal Salaried Employees Act, if they:
    • are disloyal in their service or are found guilty of an act that makes them appear unworthy of the employer’s trust
    • are not able to perform the promised work or perform the work considered appropriate given the circumstances
    • do not perform the work without a lawful reason (e.g. illness, accident) or persistently refuse to perform the work
    • operate an independent commercial undertaking or enter into transactions in the same line of business as the employer for their own account or the account of a third party without the consent of the employer
    • are prevented from performing their services due to an extended custodial sentence or due to a significant absence in light of the circumstances, except due to illness or an accident
    • violate moral decency, are guilty of defamation or commit acts of violence (e.g. theft, misappropriation, physical injury) against the employer or employees
  • Blue-collar workers under the GewO, if they:
    • when concluding the employment contract, mislead the business owner by presenting false certificates, documents, etc., or do not disclose the existence of another employment relationship
    • persistently breach their obligations
    • are found to be incapable of performing the work
    • abandon the work without authorisation
    • fail to overcome their alcohol addiction despite multiple unsuccessful warnings
    • are found guilty of a theft, misappropriation or another criminal offence that makes them appear unworthy of the employer’s trust
    • are found guilty of a gross defamation of character, physical injury or a dangerous threat against the employer or employees
    • disclose a business or trade secret or operate a detrimental secondary business without the consent of the business owner
    • attempt to induce other workers to dissent, to rebel against the business owner, to enter into disorderly conduct or immoral or unlawful actions
    • are afflicted with a deterring disease or are at fault for becoming incapacitated for work
    • are required to serve a custodial sentence in excess of 14 days

Caution

If a pregnant woman is dismissed without knowledge of her pregnancy, she remains entitled to protection against dismissal despite this, if she meets her duty to provide information on the pregnancy in line with the termination regulation under the Federal Maternity Protection Act and informs the employer of her pregnancy within five working days of notification of the dismissal.

Further Links

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 30 November 2020

responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Labour, Family and Youth

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