Mag. Balazs Esztegar LL.M.
Attorney-at-law Vienna

Piaristengasse 41/10
1080 Vienna, Austria
Tel. +43 1 997 4102
Fax +43 1 997 4102-99

Labour law

Labour law is a very relevant area of law for the everyday life of most people, as it determines significant parts of the lives of employees and employers alike. It is often necessary to reconcile different interests. Labour law is therefore often also an area of law characterised by conflicts of interest. A large number of different laws, individual collective agreements and often unsuccessful employment contracts make labour law a complex subject. It is precisely in this area that case law plays an important role.

In order to avoid costly mistakes with far-reaching consequences, it is therefore important for employers and employees alike to seek qualified advice on labour law in good time. The most common problems concern, for example

  • the conclusion and content of a service contract
  • the termination of an employment relationship
  • working time regulations and
  • financial claims arising from the employment relationship.

Labour law advice for employers and employees

Especially for companies as employers, practical questions frequently arise in everyday life. These concern very different aspects of the employment relationship, such as:

  • formulation of a employment contract
  • probationary period and level of employment
  • overtime regulation
  • regulations for the use of company cars
  • confidentiality obligations
  • non-competition clause
  • termination of employment (termination, dismissal, amicable solution)
  • issuance of a certificate of service

In such situations a short consultation can be helpful and counteract wrong decisions or wrong assumptions. Advice on employment law for companies is one of the fields of activity of our law firm. We advise numerous companies in labour law matters and represent them in labour court proceedings.

Court representation - the labour court

Labour court proceedings have some special features. They typically take place at a time when the employment relationship has already ended. Regularly it is about the employee's monetary claims against the employer, for example:

  • salaries
  • special payments
  • compensation for overtime "holiday compensation benefit" or
  • termination indemnity

The individual collective agreements provide different periods of limitation and expiration for the judicial assertion of claims arising from the employment relationship. It is therefore important for the employee to assert his claims at an early stage and not to wait too long. If the claim is asserted or sued too late, it may under certain circumstances have already expired or even become statute-barred, which will thwart further judicial assertion.

Employers, on the other hand, are sometimes confronted with seemingly unjustified claims by employees in labour court proceedings and have to defend themselves against them. If these claims have to be asserted in the dunning procedure, a certain haste is also required here, as an objection to the payment order of the labour court is only possible within 4 weeks of delivery.

Procedure for contestation of termination and contestation of dismissal

If the employer wishes to terminate the employment relationship unilaterally, this is usually done by giving notice. Termination is usually subject to a period of notice and a termination date. However, it does not need a special reason. If, however, the employee has realised a reason for dismissal, immediate dismissal without notice can also be considered. Here urgent action is necessary for the employer, since he must pronounce the dismissal "immediately".

Both the notice and the dismissal can be fought however in certain cases by the employee judicially: The employee can challenge the notice or dismissal at the labour court (challenge to notice or challenge to dismissal).

If a dismissal has been pronounced, the employee usually asserts that there was no reason for the dismissal and that the dismissal was therefore unjustified. In the event of a challenge to dismissal, the following are the main reasons for a court action:

  • social illegality
  • frowned upon motif or
  • discrimination question

Especially in the case of older employees, the challenge of dismissal on the grounds of social unlawfulness is an issue that employers should deal with even before the notice of dismissal is given. Here it is important to think about the possible consequences and the alleged arguments of the employee in the rescission procedure before the notice of termination is given and, if necessary, to secure evidence in good time.