Wolf Theiss, together with Beiten Burkhardt, Advantage Austria, commercial section of the Austrian Emabassy in Poland and the Lewiatan Polish employers’ association, hosted a seminar on the posting of workers abroad, to discuss regulations on foreign markets and other formal requirements. A large number of Polish companies carry out business contracts in Austria and Germany, mainly in the construction, transportation and IT industries. Among the key speakers at the Warsaw conference was Matthias Unterrieder, Partner at the Wolf Theiss Vienna office, who specialises in employment law and cross-border staff assignment.
"The complexity of the legal regulations and procedures that a Polish firm must comply with while posting workers to Austria is enormous," said Matthias Unterrieder. "Misunderstanding or improperly applying these regulations may mean the posting brings more harm than benefit to the Polish firm."
Matthias Unterrieder added that Polish companies should pay particular attention to the level of compensation, which cannot be lower than the minimum wage in Austria. Minimum wage is set in sector-specific collective agreements in both Austria and Germany, therefore companies need to get acquainted with these documents in order to calculate the correct compensation. Moreover, Polish employers are also obliged to file a notification when workers are posted, as well as maintaining certain documents and making them available for control. Significantly, Austrian law also differentiates between posting and temporary employment. "The difference is unfortunately hard to define," said Unterrieder.
Polish companies post the largest number of workers abroad of any European Union member state, according to Eurostat data. Poles make up about 23 percent of all posted workers in the EU, amounting to more than 500,000 people last year.