Workers, Protection of, comprises all legal provisions designed to protect the life, health and morals of employed persons from any dangers that may arise in connection with their integration into a business enterprise and the work they are to perform. Originally covered by the provisions of Trade Law, it was re-stated in the Protection of Workers Act of 1972, which includes provisions regarding company buildings, workshops, offices, furnishings and equipment as well as working conditions. The new Protection of Workers Law (1997, Arbeitnehmerschutzgesetz) also provides for the comprehensive provision of medical facilities in the workplace.
Special provisions cover the following groups of persons:
Children and juveniles (Federal Law on the Employment of Children and Juveniles of 1987): Working hours, prohibition of night work as well as work on Sundays and holidays, prohibition of piecework, protection of health and morals, enumeration of types of enterprises, work and materials forbidden for children and juveniles, special physical stress etc.
Pregnant women and mothers (Federal Law on the Protection of Mothers of 1979): Prohibits night work as well as Sunday and holiday work for women during the last months of pregnancy and during lactation, protection from notice and dismissal, maternity leave, part-time employment. Contains many special provisions.
Women (Federal Law on Night Work by Women of 1969);
Night shifts and heavy work (Federal Law of 1981): grants additional holidays, stipulates rest periods, severance pay.
Protection clauses are also contained in the Home Help and Domestic Servants Act, Home-Workers Act, Bakery Workers Act and others. Compliance with the provisions of the laws is monitored by labour inspectors under the Labour Inspection Law of 1974.
Literature#J. Berger, Einfuehrung in das oesterreichische Arbeits- und Sozialrecht, 1981; Arbeitsrecht, ed. by W. Mazal, 101992.