FFE Magazine

Austria metal sector wants official smoking breaks

by FFE EU News staff

Austria’s metal industry is calling to make smoker’s breaks count as official breaks.

As the industry is entering another round of wage negotiations with workers unions, they want to tackle the legal requirements of smoking breaks.

The Fachverband Maschinen & Metallwaren Industrie said that since most companies now ban smoking inside buildings, they are mostly taken in addition to official breaks. The company emphasised the need to clarify ‘whether it is fair to allow smokers extra breaks and be paid in the same way when they take more breaks.’

The question of putting smoking breaks into the contract as ‘an interruption of the working day’ is still up for debate. But from a legal point of view, workers currently are free to do whatever they want with their breaks, and companies aren’t required to give extra breaks for smokers.

In addition to the smoking break, the industry also wants to propose extending working hours during the wage negotiations. But unions see this as a way of slashing overtime payment.

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