A foreign employer sending employees to work in Austria is obliged to notify this fact to the appropriate Austrian authorities. Failure to comply with this obligation constitutes a violation of the law and may result in very serious consequences.

1. Obligation to notify entry of workers

The obligation to notify the entry of foreign employees into Austria is stipulated by the Act on combating wage and social dumping – Bundesgesetz, mit dem ein Gesetz zur Bekämpfung von Lohn- und Sozialdumping (STF: Act No. 44/2016). Pursuant to the provisions of § 19, paragraph 1 of the indicated Act: Employers and temporary workers having the head office in an EU Member State, an EEA State or the Swiss Confederation must declare the employment of workers posted to Austria and workers hired to Austria. The notification shall be made separately for each posting or assignment. Subsequent changes to the information referred to in paragraph 3 or paragraph 4 shall be reported immediately (notification of change). An employer who posts an employee to work in Austria is deemed to be the employer for the purposes of the reporting obligations based on this paragraph and paragraphs 2 and 3.

Zentrale Koordinationsstelle für die Kontrolle der illegalen Beschäftigung (ZKO) – the Central Office for Illegal Employment constitutes the competent authority for the notification.

It’s necessary to make the notification before employees start working. If the declaration concerns mobile workers from the transport industry, it should be sent before the employee enters Austrian territory.

2. Online form

The notification shall be made via an online form. It’s impossible to sent it by e-mail or fax.

There is no one universal model form. Notifications can be made on:

  • ZKO3 form – it’s used to report the posting of workers;
  • ZKO4 form – it’s used to the notification of the loan of employees;
  • ZKO3-T form – it’s used do notify the posting of mobile workers in the transport sector.

A change to the declaration should also be made using the appropriate form template (Änderungsmeldung).

The forms are available in: German, Czech, English, Spanish, Croatian, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian.

It should be noted that a time limit has been introduced for completing the form. After 30 minutes, it’s impossible to enter any data into the form, save it in the computer’s memory, as well as to send it.

After sending the form, the operation number and a PDF file appear on the computer screen. The operation number confirms successful data transmission and should be provided when contacting offices. The pdf document is a record of the notification. This file constitutes the sole proof of sending the declaration.

3. Update to the notification

An update to the notification is only permissible in the event that the principal doesn’t change. It may occur when:

  • the place or places of work actually carried out have changed (if additional jobs arise after sending the notification, a new application must be made);
  • the date of starting work in Austria has been delayed compared to the date indicated in the original declaration;
  • there has been a change concerning the working hours or schedule of individual employees;
  • an additional employee is sent to work;
  • the employment of the worker indicated in the original notification has been ceased;
  • the secondment of individual or all employees indicated in the original declaration didn’t take place.

The notification should be updated immediately. The term ″immediately″ means ″the day on which the change occurs″. The change may take place on the next working day only in very exceptional situations.

A change to the notification requires providing the number of the original operation.

It isn’t necessary to prepare an update declaration or a new one if, within the limits of the original notification, there is a short interruption, of no more than 1 week, in the stay in Austria and the data indicated in the original application doesn’t change. If the periods of possible interruption are known at the time of the submission of the notification, they shall be indicated in the declaration.

4. Storage of the notification documentation

The Austrian provisions require the employer to keep a number of documents. These include:

  • a declaration and notification of change to the original application;
  • the A1 certificate or equivalent documents drawn up in German;
  • in the event that the worker being sent is a third-country national – an employment permit in the country where the foreign employer has the head office;
  • the employment contract or confirmation of the essential contents of the employment contract;
  • documents concerning salary grade;
  • salary records or a comparable statement of remuneration components;
  • working time records;
  • proofs of payment of wages.

As a general rule, documentation should be kept at the place where work is carried out. However, the declarant may indicate a different place for storing the documentation in the application form. This may be:

  • authorised contact person in accordance with § 23 of the Act on combating wage and social dumping LSD-BG;
  • a person permanently staying in Austria who is qualified as a professional representative of the parties;
  • a branch of the company registered in Austria in which the foreign employer conducts its activity, not only occasionally,
  • a subsidiary running an independent economic activity in Austria or an Austrian parent company of the group concerned.

It isn’t allowed to change the place where the documentation is stored.

5. Framework notification and aggregated declaration

In certains situations, it’s possible to use specific forms of notification of work in Austria. There are the framework declaration and the aggregated one.

A framework notification may be sent if secondments are recurrent and take place within one service contract concluded with the same counterparty in Austria or within one group. It must be submitted before the first provision of work in Austria. The framework declaration should cover a maximum period of 6 months and refer to a counterparty in Austria, as well as indicate all persons sent to this country. It isn’t allowed to submit a framework application in the construction sector.

An aggregated declaration may be presented in the event that several of the same type of service contracts will be performed in Austria for several different contractors, and the period covered by the declaration can’t exceed one week. The notification shall indicate all persons who stay in Austria during the period covered by the declaration, as well as all principals.

The framework notification and aggregated one shall be submitted using general forms.

6. Sanctions

Failure to comply with the notification obligation, as well as failure to notify about changes to the declaration, constitutes an administrative offence punishable by a fine of up to EUR 20,000. The same penalty applies to an entity that didn’t submit the declaration on time or didn’t notify in full, as well as intentionally provided incorrect information in the application or in the notification of change.

7. Legal notice

The study is a work within the meaning of the Act of 4 February 1994 on Copyright and Related Rights (OJ 2006, No. 90, item 631, consolidated text, as amended). Publishing or reproducing this study or its part, quoting opinions, as well as disseminating in any other way the information contained therein without the written consent of Crede sp. z o.o. is prohibited.

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