Since Friday, March 26th, a decree has been stipulated that hospital staff, who are indispensable for vaccinations, as well as those involved in vaccine delivery can work outside of the legally regulated working hours with immediate effect. The rest of the work should be undercut and the daily and weekly maximum working hours exceeded.
Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) hopes that the fight against the corona pandemic will accelerate: More available staff should enable the population to be vaccinated more quickly. “Due to the pandemic, we are in an exceptional situation that requires special measures. By making working hours more flexible, we are making it possible for trained personnel to deliver the vaccine and vaccinations even outside of the statutory regular working hours. We are thus helping to ensure that all those willing to vaccinate get vaccinated as soon as possible, “said the minister.
Exception in hospitals
The additional human resources should also make it easier to deliver vaccines on weekends and public holidays. So far it has always been said that the rather slow pace of vaccinations in Austria is due to a lack of vaccines and not to insufficient staff.
There is an exception in the decree: In hospitals, the average maximum weekly working time of 48 hours per week may only be exceeded with the written consent of the person concerned. In addition, the special regulation only applies during the first vaccination phase, i.e. until all persons willing to vaccinate have received the first and second partial vaccinations. It is therefore not valid for the entire duration of the pandemic, emphasized the Ministry of Labor in a broadcast. The decree can be viewed on the Labor Inspectorate’s homepage from March 29th.
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