Austrian General Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in Support of Governmental COVID-19 Testing Strategy in Force | ZFZ Postcard Cases

The Austrian General Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) aims to create a level playing field for COVID-19 testing of employees, to ensure a safe working environment and to prevent future lockdowns.

It grants employees who are statutorily obliged to participate in COVID-19 testing before entering their place of work (hospital personnel, employees with direct customer contact, etc.), entitlement to be exempt from work and to continued remuneration for the required testing time. Employees without a statutory testing obligation only enjoy such entitlements if it is impossible for them to
be tested outside working hours.

The CBA further prohibits any termination of the employment or other disadvantages (remuneration, promotion, etc.), due to participation in COVID-19 testing or a positive test result. Finally, the CBA stipulates that employees who are obliged to wear a mask, have to be provided with the possibility to remove the mask for at least 10 minutes after any 3 hours of wearing it.

Concluded as a general collective bargaining agreement, the CBA statutorily applies to all employers who are members of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. The CBA came into force 25 January 2021 and is valid until 31 August 2021.

The CBA can be found here (in German).