New Homeoffice Regulations in Austria

Published on March 30, 2021

As a result of Covid-19 Homeoffice is becoming more and more important in Austria. In general, home office must always be agreed between the employee and the employer. In the case of an agreement in the contract of employment, the employer may unilaterally order home office or the employee can demand home office (days).

The agreement must be concluded in writing. It can be revoked by the employee as well as by the employer, if there are important reasons subject to a notice period of one month.

Apart from this, the terms and conditions for terminating the home office agreement may be freely agreed.

The following points should be agreed on:

➔ Data protection and confidentiality

➔ Ensuring accessibility (e-mail, telephone).

➔ Provision of work equipment

➔ Employee protection regulations

➔ Costs to be borne by employer

➔ Working hours

➔ Determination of a specific place of work

➔ Liability for damages

➔ Possibility of termination

What tax advantages does home office offer?

If employers provide remote work equipment such as laptops, this is not a taxable benefit in kind. Lump sum payments by the employer to compensate additional costs in the home office are tax-exempt up to EUR 300 per year (EUR 3 per day for a maximum of 100 days). In addition, employees can receive up to up to EUR 300 per year as income-related expenses for the purchase of ergonomically suitable furniture e.g. a desk or office chair.

For the moment these regulations are limited until 2023.

Can employees claim for reimbursement for expenses?

Digital work equipment, e.g. laptop or mobile phone, together with the data connections (VPN access) must be provided by the employer. If this is not the case, the employer must reimburse the employee for the corresponding costs. However, it is recommendable to stipulate this contractually. In principle, reimbursement of expenses can be agreed as a lump-sum payment, or as a payment of individual costs (after submission of proper invoices).