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02.09.2016 | KPMG Law Insights

Tightening of registration and proof requirements for business trips to Austria

Tightening of registration and proof requirements for business trips to Austria

Employees of a company in Germany and especially German nationals probably do not think about possible regulations before business trips to Austria. This can have serious consequences for the employer: There is a risk of fines, exclusion from public procurement procedures and even economic activity bans for Austria.

Austrian law has already known for some time about registration obligations for posted foreign employees of companies based outside Austria. This also applies to companies based in other EU/EEA member states or Switzerland. Also affected by the registration requirements are assignments of employees with the nationality of another EU/EEA member state or with Swiss nationality.

The fact that the business travelers do not have an employment contract with a company in Austria does not exempt them from the registration requirements.

The existing regulations were significantly tightened effective January 1, 2015. This was done in two ways: previous exemptions from registration requirements were limited and economically more serious legal consequences were introduced.

If the employer of a business traveler fails to comply with the obligation to register, the company faces further sanctions in addition to the imposition of fines, depending on the type and severity of the violation of the legal requirements. Austrian authorities may prohibit fee payments by the contractor to the employer or place the employer in a “black book” and thus exclude it from public procurement procedures.

The registration requirements now also apply if a business trip to Austria is to last only a few hours.

Business meetings” in connection with service contracts concluded solely abroad (both contracting parties are domiciled outside Austria) also trigger registration obligations, for example when the next project phases are to be discussed.

Austria has also introduced proof requirements for documents that business travelers must also fulfill. In individual cases, this includes the submission of certain wage documents upon official request. If these obligations to provide evidence are violated, the company may even be banned from economic activity for a period of one to five years if the violation is severe enough.

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German business travelers who travel to Austria for a German employer must also be registered by the employer with the Central Coordination Office of the Federal Ministry of Finance (ZKO). This must be done at least seven days before the start of the trip. Only in emergency situations may this deadline be exceeded by way of exception.

However, it is precisely the somewhat inconspicuous obligations to provide evidence that can cause enormous economic damage. These go far beyond the economic return or benefit from the employee’s use of a single business trip.

Services of KPMG Law

We provide comprehensive advice on work permit and residence law issues in Germany and abroad*. With regard to the obligations for business trips to Austria, we will be happy to assist you in particular with the following aspects:

  • Further explanations on the details of the registration obligations and proof requirements (content, scope, implementation, etc.)
  • Examination of whether and to what extent individual activities trigger a registration obligation and verification obligations must be fulfilled
  • Support in the implementation of the registration

*We provide consulting services in connection with issues relating to foreign legal systems with the support of member firms from the international KPMG network or foreign law firms.

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Dr. Thomas Wolf

Partner
Head of Employment Law

Heidestraße 58
10557 Berlin

tel: +49 30 530199300
twolf@kpmg-law.com

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