The Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz, MschG) provides special rights and protective provisions for pregnant women and mothers. What are the regulations for taking up secondary employment during parental part-time work?
The full text of the Maternity Protection Act can be found through this link.
Parental part time employment and protection against termination of employment
According to Section 15h MSchG, mothers are entitled to part-time employment if their employment relationship has lasted at least three years and their company employs more than 20 employees. If that is not the case, she has to enter into an agreement on part-time employment with the employer or try to claim it in court. The previous working time must be reduced by at least 20%, but it may not be less than 12 hours per week.
Starting from four months before the beginning of parental part-time employment and until its end, the employee has special protection against termination of employment and dismissal. Prior consent of the Labor and Social Court (ASG) must be obtained for a valid termination.
Secondary employment during parental part-time employment
Pursuant to Section 15n para 3 MSchG, the situation is different if during parental part time employment another gainful employment is taken up without the employer’s consent. As soon as the employer obtains knowledge of this secondary employment during the parental part-time, notice of termination may be given within eight weeks. Prior court approval is therefore not required in these cases.
This eight-week window must be strictly adhered to. As confirmed in a recent ruling by the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH), a notice of termination issued after this period and without the consent of the ASG is inadmissible. The taking up of secondary employment – depending on the specific circumstances – may also constitute grounds for dismissal.
Interested in employment law? Have a look at out article about the compensation for annual leave not taken in the event of premature termination without valid reason.