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Austria - Substantive requirements for dismissals

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Austria - 2016    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
  • No grounds for dismissals required in the laws reviewed. This does not result in a total freedom to terminate the contract: it must be understood in light of the existence of prohibited grounds.

    For summary dismissals, important reasons are required: sec. 1162 CC. Are considered as "important reasons" those reasons relating to the worker's conduct or capacity (see sec. 82 Commerce Regulations, sec. 27 White-collar employees Act).

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; sex; sexual orientation; religion; political opinion; age; trade union membership and activities; performing military or civil service; ethnic origin
  • Under the Federal Equal Treatment Act (2004, as amended in 2005), are prohibited in connection with dismissals, discrimination on the grounds of sex (including marital and family status), ethnicity, religion, age and sexual orientation (sec. 3 (7) and 17 (1) 7)).
    On pregnancy and maternity leave, see: Maternity Protection Act, sec. 10.
    In addition, sec. 105 (3) 1) WCA provides a list of inadmissible reasons for dismissals: trade union activities (and assimilated : works council members, health and safety representatives..), absence as a consequence of military or civil service, filing a complaint against the employer (well-founded claims in respect of entitlement or benefits arising out of the employment contract).
    When contested before the Court, the judge will assess the existence of prohibited grounds for dismissal or whether it consititutes an unfair dismissal (verpönte Kündigungsmotive or sozialwidrige Kündigungsmotive).

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers with family responsibilities; older workers/workers on the verge of retirement; workers with disabilities; workers performing military/alternative service
  • The following categories can only be dismissed with prior authorization from the court and only under specific grounds:
    * Pregnant women and women on maternity leave: sec. 10 Maternity Protection Act (as an exception to the general prohibition of dismissal);
    * Employees on parental leave: sec. 7 and 8f Parental Leave Act and 10 Maternity Protection Act (furthermore, even if an employer terminates a pregnant women on the grounds other than her pregnancy for up to 4 months after she gave birth, the female employee who is dismissed only has to prove the probability that the termination was actually due to the pregnancy, so as to invalidate the termination, sec. 10 8) Maternity Protection Act)
    * Works council members: sec. 120 to 122 WCA;
    * Employee performing military service or alternative service.

    In addition, dismissal of a disabled worker requires the prior consent of the invalidity board (sec. 8, Disabled Persons Act).

    Lastly, an employer who intends to terminate an older worker's contract with a tenure of more than 2 years is required to take social aspects (difficulties in finding a job) into account (sec. 105 3) 2. b) WCA).