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Employer representation

Please note

These rules apply to all business proprietors established in Austria and citizens with employment contracts subject to Austrian law.

The political and economic interests of businesses, self-employed persons, certain groups of professions and industry vis-à-vis employees, the government and the political parties are represented by:

  • the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (compulsory membership by law);
  • other chambers (established under public law to represent the interests of professional groups, compulsory membership by law), e.g. the Chamber of Pharmacists, the Chamber of Civil Engineers, Architects and Engineers;
  • the Federation of Austrian Industries and other associations and organisations (voluntary membership).

Chambers of commerce

The chambers of commerce are comprised of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKO) and the nine regional chambers. Each of these is divided into seven sectors:

  • Crafts and trade
  • Industry
  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Banking and insurance
  • Transport
  • Tourism and leisure
  • Information and consulting

The Federal Economic Chamber and the regional chambers are responsible for representing the interests of all persons entitled to independently run an undertaking in one of these sectors or to provide other services.

  • Membership is compulsory, as laid down by law.
  • The class 1 contribution to the chambers of commerce is essentially based on VAT. It is calculated by each of the members of the chamber themselves, and is payable to the tax office by the 15th day of the second calendar month following the end of each quarter. In addition, there is a class 2 contribution and a basic contribution.

The main tasks performed by the chambers of commerce include:

  • negotiating collective agreements;
  • ensuring participation under the Economic and Social Partnership;
  • providing advice and legal services;
  • offering legal representation before the Labour and Social Court.

Please note

In Vienna, the Vienna Labour and Social Court has jurisdiction over disputes in relation to labour and social law. In the federal states, it is the regional courts that act as the court of first instance. Matters of labour law include, for example, disputes between employers and employees in relation to employment contracts or the initiation thereof.

You can obtain further information on the websites of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and its provincial organisations.

Further links

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 2 December 2020

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

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