In a major qualitative leap, the directive also allowed collective agreements to go beyond derogations and define or define relevant standards, the most striking example being that of rest periods during working time (Article 4). Again, the provisions of Article 4 may be derogated by collective agreements, in accordance with the general derogatory provisions of Sections 17, paragraphs 2 and 18. The effect of such a derogation is made more difficult by the fact that the derogational standard to collective agreements may also have been established by collective agreements. This raises complex questions about the relationships between different levels of collective agreements. Legislation on these issues is not uniform in the Community. National labour laws, which purport to structure collective agreements in an articulated hierarchy, may conflict with EU provisions authorizing derogations. In essence, the decision specifies that, although the Working Time Act is the relevant legal basis for the orientation of working time will be maximum, social partners retain the ability to determine whether working hours exceeding the normal eight-hour daily working time should be considered normal hours of work (without increases) or overtime (with an increase). Accordingly, the Tribunal followed the defendant`s argument and rejected the applicant`s theory that, under the order of the new Working Time Act, collective agreements limiting working hours to 10 hours are irrelevant and that the new Working Time Act, with its 12-hour working limit, , cancels collective agreements designed to maintain the 10-hour threshold. Agreements are usually specific to the field. They include the conditions of employment of working office workers, for example. B, in the finance, IT services, construction, metallurgical and data communication sectors. Austrian labour law obeys a hierarchy of legal sources that require that a lower law does not limit the rights of a higher right (the principle of favouritism).

Therefore, the terms of an employment contract should not normally be less favourable than those set out in an enterprise agreement between employers and their works council. On the other hand, enterprise agreements should not be less advantageous than the collective agreement between the “social partners” (i.e. the Chamber of Commerce and the trade unions).