On January 27, 2021, the Ministerial Council and the social partners agreed on the home office measures and especially the following points:
- Home office remains voluntary, but any agreement on this must be made in written form. The agreement may be terminated by either party for good cause by giving one month’s notice. In companies where a works council has been installed, home office can be regulated within the framework of an optional works council agreement pursuant to Section 97 of the Labour Constitution Act (ArbVG).
- All provisions of the Austrian Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz), the Austrian Rest Act (Arbeitsruhegesetz) and the Austrian Employee Liability Act (Dienstnehmerhaftpflichtgesetz) also apply to home office work. In addition, the Austrian Employee Liability Act clarifies that damage caused by household members (or pets) to work equipment provided is considered to be made by the employee (responsibility).
- The current Corona regulation on accident insurance for home office remains and becomes permanent law. Employees are continuously insured for accidents in the home office.
- In general, employers must provide the digital work equipment (incl. connection to internet and data) required for work in the home office. However, the use of employees’ own work equipment can be agreed. In this case, appropriate (flat-rate) compensation must be paid.
- A total of EUR 600 per year can be tax-reductible for home-based work. Employer payments e.g. for laptops or mobile devices are tax-free up to EUR 300 per year. Employees will also be able to deduct other expenses of up to EUR 300 as income-related expenses. The regulations will be limited until the end of 2023.