Austrian Parliament Allows 12-Hour Working Day

The Austrian Parliament has passed a law that makes it possible for employers to introduce a 12-hour work day without higher pay.

Changes in legislation were supported by deputies of the Austrian People’s Party, Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz, right-wing populists from the Freedom Party and liberals from the opposition Neos. The changes were accepted despite the massive protests in Vienna last week.

The new law will enter into force on September 1, although it was planned that it will be effective only from January 1, 2019.

Previously, the law allowed no more than 10 working hours a day or 50 hours a week, now it is allowed 12 hours a day and 60 hours a week.

Overtime hours will be paid, as before, 50 percent higher than the standard rate, or free time will be provided for them.

However, workers will be allowed to refuse to work more than 10 hours a day without giving reasons. However, unions emphasize that in Austria there is no mechanism for protection against dismissal in the event of a permanent refusal to work overtime. That is, theoretically, the employee can be fired without explanation.

The leading parties assure that the new law will not change anything for most workers. In addition, according to them, company leaders will not be able to make decisions behind the back of employees about how much they should work.

The opposition believes that the ruling parties act in the interests of businessmen who are not profitable to pay more than overtime.

Austria protests against 60-hour work week

The Austrian government intends to increase the allowed working hours. These plans brought tens of thousands of people to the streets of Vienna. In Vienna, on Saturday, June 30, a rally of many thousands took place against the plans of the Austrian government to increase the allowable working day to 12 hours, and the working week to 60 hours. According to police, 80 thousand people took part in the rally, unions announced 100 thousand participants.

The current protest rally was the first in the country after Sebastian Kurtz became Chancellor of Austria at the end of 2017. The government headed by him considers exemptions in working hours as a measure due to which enterprises will receive greater “flexibility”. The relevant bill will be put to the vote in the Austrian parliament next Thursday, July 5.

To date, the standard working day in Austria is 8 hours, and the working week is 40 hours. But now, enterprises have the right to occupy their employees for ten hours a day and up to 50 hours a week. Under pressure from the opposition, the government softened the norms of the previously prepared bill, giving the increase in working time to the discretion of the employer.

Canadian Prime Minister fined for undeclared points

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was ordered to pay a fine of $ 100 due to the fact that he did not declare sunglasses.

Points were donated by Trudeau to the governor of one of the country’s provinces. The prime minister had to declare them within 30 days of receipt, as required by law. All gifts to the premiere that have a value of more than $ 200 are subject to declaration.

Trudeau did not report two pairs of glasses, worth from 300 to 500 dollars.

Thus, the supervisory body of the Canadian Parliament on Ethics issued a fine for violating the conflict of interest law. Trudeau’s spokeswoman replied in an email to the request that he did not declare points due to an administrative error.

Macedonian government approves new country name

The Government of Macedonia has approved a bill ratifying the agreement on renaming the country. This is stated on the government website.

“At the 74th session, the government of the Republic of Macedonia considered and adopted a bill ratifying the final agreement, resolving the differences described in UN Security Council resolutions No. 817 and 845,” the statement said.

Now the bill should be submitted to the Parliament of Macedonia.

Greece and Macedonia signed an agreement on June 17 to change the name of the former Yugoslav Republic to the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

The agreement paves the way for joining NATO and the EU for the former Yugoslav republic and puts an end to the 27-year dispute between the two countries.

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