Central Co-Ordinating Agency - Posting reports and reports on the hiring-out of workers

Below you will find information about the reporting duties to the Central Co-Ordinating Department of the Federal Ministry of Finance [Zentrale Koordinationsstelle des Bundesministeriums für Finanzen - ZKO] and information from the Central Register of Administrative Offences for public-sector contracting authorities. You will find further information on the posting or transfer of employees from abroad to Austria, links to other authorities and references to the respective forms. Further reporting duties concerning "responsible agents" and the obligation to monitor and report pursuant to Section 26 (6) of the Employment of Foreigners Act [Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz - AusIBG] for subcontracting companies (general contractors).

In Austria, the provisions of the Posting of Workers Directive (Directive 96/71/EC) and of the Directive on the enforcement of the Posting of Workers Directive (Directive 2014/67/EU) have largely been transposed into national legislation by means of the Anti-Wage and Social Dumping Act [Lohn-und Sozialdumping-Bekämpfungsgesetz] (LSD-BG, published in Federal Law Gazette I No. 44/2016, as amended). Basically, it is always a cross-border issue; the Employment of Foreigners Act must also be taken into account in regard to third countries. The distinction between the cross-border hiring-out of workers as a special form versus other types of posting is essential.

Characteristics of the posting of workers

  • the cross-border employment of workers AND
  • their customary place of work is outside of Austria, there exists the desire to return to the posting country AND
  • the focus of the employment relationship remains in the posting country, the authority to issue instructions lies with the contractor (employer): there is no integration of the employee into the operations of the Austrian client 

There are legal exceptions to the concept of posting of workers. Therefore, there is no need to report a posting if the employee is sent to Austria solely for the purpose of doing the following work, which is small-scale and of short duration (Section 1 (5) LSD-BG)

  • business meetings without rendering any other services or
  • participation in seminars and lectures without rendering any other services or 
  • participation in trade fairs and trade fair-like events, except for preparatory and concluding activities for the event (assembling and dismantling exhibition facilities and delivering and removing trade fair objects) or 
  • attending and participating in conferences and conventions or
  • participation in and organisation of cultural events in the areas of music, dance, theatre or cabaret performances and similar areas, taking place within the scope of a tour, in which the event in Austria is only of minor significance, provided that the employee works during most of the tour at least (the work to be provided by the employee must be provided at least for the majority of the tour), or
  • participation in and organisation of international competitions (international championships), with the exception of preparatory and concluding activities for the event (assembling and dismantling of facilities for the event, e.g. assembling and dismantling stages), as well as providing food and beverages at the event (e.g. catering services) or
  • work as a mobile employee or as a crew member (Section 4 of the Ordinance Governing the Minimum Ship Crew for Vessels [Schiffsbesatzungsverordnung]) in the cross-border transport of freight and passengers (transport sector), provided that the work is performed exclusively within the scope of transit traffic and the habitual place of work is not in Austria. Intermittent transit (transit in stages) and destination traffic based on cabotage work are the exceptions to this; or 
  • work as an employee who receives a monthly gross remuneration of at least 125% of 30 times the maximum contribution base per calendar day, pursuant to Section 108 (3) of the General Social Insurance Act [Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz - ASVG] (Status 2016: € 6,075.00), within a group as defined by Section 15 of the Stock Corporation Act [Aktiengesetz - AktG] or Section 115 of the Limited Liability Companies Act [GmbH] or
  • work within the scope of international education and further training or research programmes at universities (Universities Act 2002), at University Colleges of Teacher Education (Higher Education Act 2005) or universities of applied sciences (University of Applied Sciences Studies Act)

True economic substance - assessment criteria

When assessing whether an employment relationship, a cross-border posting or hiring-out of workers exists, it is the true economic substance that is relevant, not the outer appearance of the facts (Section 2 (1) LSD-BG).

The existence of a posting does not require the conclusion of a service contract between an employer not established in Austria and a recipient of services operating in Austria (Section 2 (3) LSD-BG).

Characteristics of the hiring-out of workers on a cross-border basis:

The hiring-out of workers on a cross-border basis exists if a temporary work agency not established in Austria "makes employees available" for the provision of work to a user undertaking in Austria. The rules for hiring-out by a temporary work agency established in an EU Member State, an EEA State or in Switzerland are contained in the LSD-BG. The AusIBG and the Temporary Agency Work Act [Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz - AÜG] regulate the hiring-out from a third country and the hiring-out of employees as citizens of third countries.

Foreign employers (temporary work agencies) established in an EU Member State, an EEA State or in Switzerland must report the employment of workers or quasi-subordinate workers who are hired out to Austria on a cross-border basis PRIOR to the commencement of work to the Central Co-Ordinating Agency Charged with Investigating Illegal Employment. Subsequent changes must be communicated immediately to the Central Co-Ordinating Agency with the relevant change report. Only the electronic forms (ZKO4) of the Federal Ministry of Finance may be used for this purpose.

The following assessment criteria apply to a hiring-out (Section 4 (2) AÜG):

  • If the contractual work is not carried out for the employer (temporary work agency), but for a third party (user undertaking), or
  • the user undertaking employs the workers of the temporary work agency to carry out work on its behalf, or
  • the hired-out worker is integrated into the operations of the user undertaking for the duration of the hiring-out and is subject to its specialist and /or technical supervision, or
  • he/she must follow the instructions provided by the user undertaking, or
  • no work is carried out that deviates / is different from the products, services and interim results of the domestic user undertaking, or the work is not performed primarily with the tools and materials of the foreign employer, or
  • the contractor is not liable for the success of the provision of the work

True economic substance - assessment criteria

When assessing whether an employment relationship, a cross-border posting or hiring-out of workers exists, it is the true economic substance that is relevant, not the outer appearance of the facts (Section 2 (1) LSD-BG).

When assessing whether a hiring-out of workers exists, Section 4 (2) of the Temporary Agency Work Act [Arbeitskräfteüberlassungsgesetz - AÜG] or comparable Austrian legislation are decisive (Section 2 (2) LSD-BG).

Reporting duty for employers / temporary work agencies based in another Member State of the EU, EEA and in Switzerland

Party subject to the reporting duty

According to the forms used, these reports are referred to as "ZKO 3 reports" or as "ZKO 4 reports".

  • This reporting duty applies to
  • employers that post workers to Austria (ZKO3)
  • temporary work agencies that hire out employees to Austria on a cross-border basis (ZKO 4).

Reporting deadline

The report must be provided before the start of the posting (hiring-out). A separate report shall be filed each time a worker is posted (hired out) (Section 19 (1) LSD-BG). 

Framework reports (combined reports) are no longer permitted, with two exceptions:

  • A framework report can be provided for a period of up to three months in the case of service contracts and service procurement contracts, as well as in the case of postings within a group (Section 19 (5) LSD-BG).
  • In the case of repeated use of a worker who is posted to fulfil similar service contracts, provided that there is a close geographical and temporal connection between the service contracts (Section 19 (6) LSD-BG).

The report must be provided prior to the start of work; for services in the transport sector, the report must be provided prior to entry into Austria, pursuant to Section 19 (2) LSD-BG (exception Section 1 (5) no. 7 LSD-BG).

Form

The report shall be submitted exclusively by filling in the electronic forms of the Federal Ministry of Finance. (Section 19 (2) LSD-BG).

Content of the reporting duty

The exact content of the reporting duty is set out in Section 19 (3) (Postings) and (4) LSD-BG Abb(Cross-border hiring-out). It includes information on the employer, employee and the scope of the work in Austria.

Employers established in an EU Member State, an EEA State or in Switzerland are required to report the employment of workers posted to Austria, regardless of their nationality, pursuant to Section 19 of the Anti-Wage and Social Dumping Law (LSD-BG). 
Each posting must be reported separately and any subsequent changes to the information must be reported immediately (change report). 
The reports (ZKO 3 in respect to postings and ZKO 4 in respect to cross-border-hiring-out) must be submitted PRIOR to the commencement of work, with no exceptions, by using the electronic forms, to the Central Co-Ordinating Agency (ZKO) Charged with Investigating Illegal Employment, of the Federal Ministry for Finance.

With regard to mobile workers in the transport sector (rail, overland, air or maritime transport of freight and/or passengers), pursuant to Section 19 (2) LSD-BG, the report must be submitted BEFORE entry into Austrian territory. Mobile workers must keep the reporting documents readily available as soon as they enter Austrian territory (in the vehicle), except for transit traffic WITHOUT cabotage. 

The report and change report must be submitted to the contact person (Section 23 LSD-BG) or, if only one worker is posted, it must be submitted as a copy or in electronic form.
A user undertaking that posts an employee to Austria to perform work shall be deemed to be an employer in terms of the reporting duties pursuant to Section 19 LSD-BG

According to the reporting duty pursuant to Section 18 (12) AuslBG, all posting reports regarding third-country nationals or Croatian citizens during transitional periods must be forwarded to the Public Employment Service [Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS) ] for review in regards to whether work subject to authorisation is involved.

The exact content of the reporting duty is set out in Section 19 (3) (Postings) and (4) LSD-BG (Cross-border hiring-out). It includes information on the employer, employee and the scope of the work in Austria.

Employers established in an EU Member State, an EEA State or in Switzerland are required to report the employment of workers posted to Austria, regardless of their nationality, pursuant to Section 19 of the Anti-Wage and Social Dumping Law (LSD-BG). 
Each posting must be reported separately and any subsequent changes to the information must be reported immediately (change report). 
The reports (ZKO 3 in respect to postings and ZKO 4 in respect to cross-border-hiring-out) must be submitted PRIOR to the commencement of work, with no exceptions, by using the electronic forms, to the Central Co-Ordinating Agency (ZKO) Charged with Investigating Illegal Employment, of the Federal Ministry for Finance.

With regard to mobile workers in the transport sector (rail, overland, air or maritime transport of freight and/or passengers), pursuant to Section 19 (2) LSD-BG, the report must be submitted BEFORE entry into Austrian territory. Mobile workers must keep the reporting documents readily available as soon as they enter Austrian territory (in the vehicle), except for transit traffic WITHOUT cabotage. 

The report and change report must be submitted to the contact person (Section 23 LSD-BG) or, if only one worker is posted, it must be submitted as a copy or in electronic form.
A user undertaking that posts an employee to Austria to perform work shall be deemed to be an employer in terms of the reporting duties pursuant to Section 19 LSD-BG

According to the reporting duty pursuant to Section 18 (12) AuslBG, all posting reports regarding third-country nationals or Croatian citizens during transitional periods must be forwarded to the Public Employment Service [Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS) ] for review in regards to whether work subject to authorisation is involved.

In case of work performed by workers hired by an employer established in Croatia, in a protected sector in Austria, i.e. certain services in which restrictions on the freedom to provide services are permitted within the framework of the transitional arrangement, the provisions of Section 18 (1) to (11) AuslBG must be applied. This means that a posting permit, in the construction sector - a work permit, must be applied for with the Public Employment Service.

For further information on the legal employment rights of workers and the Anti-Wage and Social Dumping Law, as well as on the issuance of a registration certificate for stays longer than three months, please visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection at http://www.entsendeplattform.at/

Obligation to keep “reporting documents” readily available

In the case of a posting of workers for the provision of work in Austria, employers established in an EU Member State, in an EEA State or in Switzerland must keep the following documents readily available at the place of work/employment in Austria during the entire posting period or make them accessible electronically on site at the time of the investigation: 

  • a copy of the posting report (ZKO3) and any reports regarding subsequent changes (change report), as well as
  • documents regarding the employees’ registration for social security insurance (social security insurance document A 1 or E 101.), if there is no social security insurance requirement for the posted workers in Austria. If, at the time of investigation, the employer furnishes evidence in German  showing the inability to obtain these documents from the competent social security institution prior to the posting, equivalent documents in German must be provided. Equivalent documents include an application for the issuance of the A1 or E 101 AND confirmation of the competent social security institution that the worker is subject to the foreign social security scheme for the period of posting.
  • If an official permit is required to employ the posted workers in the country where the employer is established, this permit or a copy thereof must also be kept readily available. 

If the option is used to keep the documents at one of the locations mentioned in Section 21 (2) LSD-BG, in derogation of the above, and this is indicated in the report (ZKO3), they must also be made accessible electronically at the time of survey or investigation.

In the case of a hiring-out of workers on a cross-border basis, the obligation to keep all of the reporting documents (ZKO4, social security documents, required permits) readily available or to provide them applies to the user undertaking at the domestic place of work/employment.

In this case as well, the option to keep the documents readily available in an approved location, pursuant to Section 21 (2) LSD-BG, can be used, if this is notified by the temporary work agency established in an EU Member State, in an EEA State or in Switzerland in its report (ZKO4).

Obligation to keep “wage or salary documents” readily available

All employers that are not established in Austria, whose employees perform work in Austria, are required to keep all wage documents that are necessary to determine the wages due to the employees according to Austrian legislation readily available in the country and in German, during the period of employment or during the entire period of the posting at the place of work/employment in Austria, or make these accessible electronically directly on site and at the time of the investigation, even if the employment of the individual employee in Austria ended earlier.

Required wage documents in German

  • Employment contract or statement of terms and conditions
  • Payslip,
  • Proof of wage payment or bank transfer statements, 
  • Wage records, 
  • Records of hours worked and
  • Documents relating to pay categorisation in order to verify the remuneration that is payable to the posted worker under Austrian law for the duration of the employment

The employment contract must be kept readily available in either German or English.

In the case of a hiring-out of workers on a cross-border basis, the domestic user undertaking is obligated to keep the wage documents readily available.

The temporary work agency must demonstrably provide the wage documents to the user undertaking.

Special arrangements for posting by companies from Croatia and from third countries

If a company with an operations office in Croatia posts Croatian citizens or third-country nationals to Austria for the purpose of performing temporary work, an EU posting confirmation is required for the liberalised sector.

For employment in the areas indicated below, a posting permit, and if the legally permitted time periods are exceeded - a work permit, is required.

  • Gardening services
  • Stone masonry work
  • Production of steel and light metal construction
  • Construction and related industries
  • Protection services
  • Cleaning of buildings, stock and means of transport
  • Home health care
  • Social services

In the construction industry and related trades, the issuance of a work permit is required in any case.

Employers (companies) established in a third country are not required to submit a posting report to the Central Co-Ordinating Agency (Section 19 (1) LSD-BG). The Austrian client must apply for a posting permit at the Public Employment Service.
You can find more information at the AMS.

In the case of assembly work, implementation and related training or in repair and servicing work in connection with the delivery of equipment (exclusively) that cannot be performed by domestic workers, the obligation to comply with the collective agreement requirements applicable in Austria does not apply within the first three months of the posting. Furthermore, if the posting does not last longer than eight days, the obligation to grant the posted worker the higher paid holiday time than he/she is entitled to according to Austrian law (assembly prerogative pursuant to Section 3 (5) and Section 4 (3) LSD-BG) does not apply. The posting report must be submitted in any case. 

What are construction jobs (construction work)?

Whether work is to be viewed as construction work is not determined according to the business licence, but according to the work that is actually performed in Austria.
Construction work is the activity that is actually performed in Austria, if it can be assigned to one of the following types of operations:

  • Master construction companies
    Master bricklayer companies
    Construction companies
    Construction iron bending and iron laying companies
    Demolition companies
    Companies owned by licence providers for bricklaying
    Earth moving companies (dike building companies)
    Earthworks companies
    Concrete drilling and cutting companies
    Water regulating companies
    Torrent and avalanche control structure companies
    Soil improvement companies
    Road construction companies
    Transportation route construction companies
    Fireplace construction companies
    Companies that provide coatings for façades for thermal insulation purposes
    Master stone masonry companies
    Companies owned by licence providers for stone masonry
    Artificial stone production companies
    Terrazzo production companies
    Roofing companies
    Paving companies
    Stove setting companies (except for simple production companies)
    Flooring and tiling companies
    Master welling companies
    Companies owned by licence providers for welling
    Deep drilling operations companies
    Scaffolding services companies
    Companies which let construction machinery with operating staff
    Heat, cold, sound and fire insulation companies
    Asphalt companies
    Blacktop companies
    Companies that provide sealing against moisture and pressurised water
    Plaster and drywall construction companies
    Plaster masonry companies
    Xylolite flooring companies
    Screed manufacturing companies
    Carpentry companies
    Companies owned by licence providers for carpentry work
    Parquet flooring companies
    Temporary work agencies that hire out workers to construction companies

    More information is provided by the Construction Workers' Holiday and Severance Pay Fund (Bauarbeiter-Urlaubs- und Abfertigungskasse - BUAK] as the competent authority.

    Specificity in relation to the freedom to provide services

    Companies established in the European Economic Area can offer their services on an unlimited, cross-border basis without a permanent branch office in Austria. The freedom to provide services also includes the right of companies to provide services through the use of their own staff in Austria. In the case of cross-border provision of services, the Austrian trade regulations must be adhered to. When conducting a business activity that is regulated in Austria, a "cross-border service notification" must be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and the Economy [Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft]. More information is provided by the Federal Ministry for Science, Research, and Business (BMWFW).

    Responsible agents 

    The appointment of responsible agents pursuant to Section 9 (2) and (3) VStG, who are intended to assume administrative penal responsibility in the area of employment of foreign workers of a domestic company, shall only become legally effective after a written notification (ZKO 1-l) has been sent to the Tax Authority / ZKO about the appointment, including proof of the agreement (ZKO 1-Z) from the appointed person.

    Legal basis: Section 28a (3) AuslBG and Section 9 Administrative Penal Act

    A company established abroad CAN, through the appointment of a "responsible agent", pursuant to Section 24 (1) no. 1 LSD-BG in conjunction with Section 9 (2) and (3) Administration Penal Code, have the administrative penal liability for compliance with this Federal Act transferred to it. Only upon receipt of the appointment (ZKO 1-A), with a signed declaration of consent by the appointed party (ZKO 1-Z) at the Central Co-Ordinating Agency, does it become legally effective. 

    The Central Co-Ordinating Agency must be notified immediately of the resignation of a "responsible agent" from the company or of his/her withdrawal from the appointment (ZKO 1-W).

    Central Register of Administrative Offences

    Pursuant to Section 72 Purchase Contract Awards Act [Bundesvergabegesetz], public-sector contracting authorities must base the assessment of the reliability of the bidder in particular on the information from the Central Register of Administrative Offences pursuant to Section 28b AuslBG. Companies that apply for a public contract abroad will receive a corresponding notification from the ZKO to submit to the foreign contracting agency.

    Pursuant to Section 30b (3) AuslBG, the entity deciding about a funding application pursuant to 30b (1) must seek information from the Central Register of Administrative Offences (Section 28b (5)).

    Liability regulations

    Liability according to the Employment of Foreigners Act [Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz - AusIBG).

    The client is liable for violations committed by its immediate contractor if it has not complied with the obligations to monitor and communicate pursuant to Section 26 (6) AuslBG. A company outsourcing in full or in part the performance of a service to another company shall request the subcontracted company, prior to the commencement of employment, to prove within one week that it has obtained the authorisations required under this Federal Act for the employed foreign workers. Unless the subcontractor acts on this request in due time, the subcontracting company shall notify without delay the Central Coordination Agency Charged with Investigating Illegal Employment of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

    Liability pursuant to the Anti-Wage and Social Dumping Act (LSD-BG)

    The client is liable as guarantor and payer pursuant to Section 1357 ABGB for the entitlement of workers posted or hired-out on a cross-border basis to remuneration they are entitled to receive from their employer under a law, ordinance or collective agreement, under consideration of the individual classification criteria, for construction work in Austria assigned in accordance with Section 3 (6). The client, who is not a contractor of the assigned construction work, is liable only if it knew about the non-payment of remuneration prior to commissioning the work, or if the client seriously suspected this to be possible due to obvious indications and accepted it (Section 9 LSD-BG).

    If the general contractor has subcontracted a project or part of a project in a way that is unlawful pursuant to the provisions of the Purchase Contract Awards Act [Bundesvergabegesetz] 2006, or any other similar legal provisions or the contractual provisions, he/she shall, pursuant to Section 1357 ABGB, be liable as guarantor and payer for the statutory pay entitlements determined by ordinance or collective agreement for the workers employed by the subcontractor to carry out the work and to which they are entitled within the scope of the agreed performance of work. The same applies to a subcontractor if it subcontracts a project or part of a project in an unlawful way (Section 10 LSD-BG).

    Central Co-Ordinating Agency of the Federal Ministry of Finance Charged with Investigating Illegal Employment

    Address

    Brehmstrasse 14

    Telephone
    +43 50233 - 554726 / 554499 / 554771
    Fax
    +43 50233-5954194

    You can find all of the ZKO forms in our form database.

  • Posting: ZKO 3 Form(s)
  • Hiring-out: ZKO 4 Form(s)
  • Appointment of a "responsible agent" ZKO1 Form(s)

Note the information windows in the online forms.