Good Friday - Potential changes for employees (Vienna)
I don’t know whether you followed the news, but the Austrian policy which only permitted Good Friday as a holiday to members of certain religious denominations was held discriminatory by the ECJ.
Accordingly, the Austrian legislators had to come up with a quick fix to its ‘Good Friday’ rule, without stepping on too many toes. They introduced the idea of ‘half a holiday’ for all people employed under Austrian employment law, effectively taking away half a day from the groups who had previously enjoyed an entire holiday.
Naturally, this was met by much (in part valid) criticism from different stakeholders. Although the ink has hardly dried under the last commentators’ opinions, the ruling parties’ coalition government now announced an interesting U-turn: Good Friday will no longer be considered a holiday - not even for the groups that formerly enjoyed it. Instead, employees can now designate a day out of their annual leave entitlements contingent for religious reasons (aka “personal holiday”). They will not require employers’ consent but shall announce their leave 3 months in advance.
As the corresponding bill is yet to be published, one can only wait in anticipation whether the coalition government is now done flip-flopping.