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 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.
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.
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.
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:
*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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