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Austria: Mandatory declaration of minimum remuneration in job postings

12 January 2012 | legal insights

The latest amendment of the Austrian Act on Equal Treatment (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz – GlBG; in force since 1 March 2011) sets into force a provision requiring the declaration of minimum remuneration in job postings. As of 1 January 2012, any infringement of this provision may lead to sanctions.

The term “job posting” within the meaning of this provision has to be interpreted broadly. Every written announcement to a group of people, internally or externally, is covered by this term. Announcements in a newspaper, on the internet or intranet, internal circular letters, billboard announcements and the like are covered.

A job posting must contain the mandatory minimum remuneration only if it refers to a specific position. Therefore, in general advertisements, such as “Are you interested in our company? Feel free to make an application!”, or invitations to get to know each other (so-called “get-togethers”) remuneration does not need to be stated.

In addition, a mandatory minimum remuneration provision (“mmrp”) must be applicable to the specific position. The mmrp can be stated by law, by a collective bargaining agreement, by a minimum wage rate (Mindestlohntarif), by a standing rule (Satzungserklärung) or by a shop agreement.

If the undertaking, posted position or working relationship is not subject to a mmrp, the remuneration does not need to be declared in the job posting (e.g., freelancers, managing directors or trainees, if they are excluded from the applicable collective bargaining agreement).

If the specific workplace and mmrp requirements are fulfilled, however, the minimum remuneration, including allowances which accrue in any case, has to be stated as an amount of money. The corresponding time unit (per hour/month/year) also has to be stated. If the employer intends to offer more than the minimum remuneration, an additional note is needed.

Statutorily a reference to the mmrp in a job posting without stating a specific amount of money is insufficient. The provision on which the minimum remuneration is based does not have to be indicated in the job posting.

As indicating the minimum remuneration in a job posting is not considered as a public offer of a reward, the employer is not bound by this declaration. If the job applicant does not meet all the qualifications, even a lower remuneration may be agreed upon. Nevertheless, the agreed remuneration has to be at least the mandatory minimum remuneration applying to the position and to the employee’s qualifications.

As of 1 January 2012, the regional administrative authorities in Austria (Bezirksverwaltungsbehörden, BVB) are authorised to issue fines of up to EUR 360 for any violation of this provision, upon application. However, a first violation will only lead to an admonition of the employer. An application to the BVB can be made by every job applicant or the “Ombud for Equal Treatment” (Gleichbehandlungsanwaltschaft).

The intention of the law is to provide the job applicant with a higher level of information. Therefore, the minimum remuneration of a specific position has to be provided. The provision intends to prevent a discriminating ex post change of the minimum remuneration classification of a position by the employer.

Under the law, the ideal remuneration phrase within a job posting may be as follows: “We are searching for a [job position], remuneration of gross EUR [amount of the mandatory minimum remuneration] per [time unit]. Higher remuneration is possible.”