[NOTE.—The German, French, and English editions of the Bulletin are referred to as G.B., F.B., and E.B., respectively.]

National Labour Legislation


I. Austria

1. Erlass des Handelsministeriums im Einvernehmen mit dem Ministerium des Innern Z. 25,866 betr. Sonntagsruhe und Arbeitspausen in industriellen Betrieben. Vom 22. September, 1913. (Soziale Rundschau 1913, II., 315.) Decree of the Ministry of Commerce in agreement with the Ministry of the Interior (Z. 25,866) respecting Sunday rest and breaks in work in industrial undertakings. (Dated 22nd September 1913.)

The Ministerial Orders of 12th September, 1912* (R.G.Bl. No. 1866), and 14th September, 1912† (R.G.Bl. No. 187), respecting the regulation of industrial work permitted on Sundays and breaks in work in industrial undertakings, come into force on 1st October, 1913. The necessity of all authorities and groups affected becoming familiar in due time with the important, and in some respects essential, changes resulting from these Orders, leads me to explain the new regulations in the following observations drawn up after consultation with the Ministry of the Interior.

The essential importance of the two Orders is, in general, to be found in the fact that they ensure a weekly day of rest and suitable breaks in work to the workers in continuous industries to a greater extent than was formerly the

Although a demand of the workers, which is important from the point of view of social reform, is no doubt satisfied by these Orders, it cannot be denied, on the other hand, that the question of how the reform is to be effected and to what extent binding regulations can be adopted on the matter is a very

Text E.B. VIII., p. 1. † Text E.B. VIII., P. 17.


difficult one, in view of the continuous nature of the processes in question. The fact that labour legislation in industrial States has so far been, comparatively speaking, less concerned with this matter than with the regulation of work in non-continuous industries, may be regarded as due to this consideration. The Ministry of Commerce finds it desirable to emphasise this point, in order to draw attention to the importance of the task devolving upon the industrial authorities in dealing scientifically with the new regulations. Although, in this connection, attention should, in the first place, be devoted to ensuring that the new regulations shall be enforced to the greatest possible extent, yet, on the other hand, care should be taken by the industrial authorities, when issuing instructions in this matter, to avoid burdening or restricting manufacturers to a greater degree than is absolutely necessary. In particular, it is not the intention of the Ministry of Commerce that more restrictions than are absolutely necessary should be placed upon the occupier's freedom to manage his undertaking and organise the work in such a way as may be essential to the proper utilisation of his premises and plant. Consequently, particularly in those industries where it is impossible to grant the compensatory rest and breaks in work which are now required without a complicated arrangement of shifts or the employment of reserve men, it will not merely be the function of the authorities, and especially of the industrial inspectors, to condemn any contraventions of the Orders which they may observe; it will be the duty of the authorities to draw the employers' attention to practicable arrangements of shifts and to assist them as far as possible to carry out the obligations laid upon them by the new Order.

Co-operation of this kind will be necessary especially in the period of transition following the date of the coming into force of the Orders. It is only in this way that it will be possible to overcome the difficulties with which the enforcement of the new regulations will be frequently met at first.

In this connection it will be important that the workers should take up a reasonable attitude; it is to be hoped that, in their own interests, they will in general assist in bringing the new Orders-which were adopted for their advantage-successfully into operation in practice, without interfering with the management of the enterprise.

It will be a further duty of the authorities to observe, as closely as possible, the effects of the new Orders, and to investigate carefully any objections raised by interested persons, when the regulations come into force, and to ascertain whether they are justified. Special attention should be devoted to this supervisory work in view of the fact that-as may here be anticipated-the Ministry of Commerce contemplates issuing in the course of the month of October, 1914, a detailed report on the experience gained by the industrial authorities in this respect.

The following remarks may be made on the two Orders:

(a) Ministerial Order of 12th September, 1912 (R.G.Bl. No. 186), by means of which the Order for carrying out the Act concerning the regulation of rest on Sundays and holidays in industrial concerns is partially modified and supplemented.

The provisions of this Order came into force on the day of its notification, viz., 18th September, 1912, only in so far as Sunday work, not formerly allowed, was declared permissible for certain classes of industry and for particular processes. The provisions of the Order on this subject, which are quite clear, need no special explanation-particularly so since, up to the present, no doubtful points as regards their application or interpretation have been notified to the Ministry of Commerce.

As regards the other provisions of the Order, which, as mentioned above, come into force on 1st October, 1913, the Ministry of Commerce begs to make the following remarks.

Above all, it should be noted that no change is made in the right of the employer to fix the beginning of the Sunday rest at any hour he likes within the period from 12 midnight to 6 a.m., since this licence is allowed by §11 of the Act of 16th January, 1895 (R.G.Bl. No. 21), out of consideration for the interests of the undertaking.

The Schedule to §2 is completely re-drafted, and now contains in the heading to the column in which the permitted processes are enumerated, an express reference to those provisions of the Ministerial Order itself which deal with the accessory and incidental processes which are permitted under the Act. This must not be overlooked, because the Schedule itself is limited exclusively to an enumeration of concrete processes which had to be expressly declared permissible on Sundays in particular industries and trades, for the information. of persons concerned, while the question whether any, and, if so, what accessory and incidental processes, in addition to those mentioned in the Schedule, may be carried on on Sundays, can be answered only in connection with the general permission contained in §2, third paragraph, and §5 (identical with §4 of the Order formerly in force). The provision respecting the compensatory rest for workers who may be employed on the aforesaid accessory and incidental processes, has been partially amended, for practical reasons, in the second paragraph of §3 of the Order. The compensatory rest of these persons is, in future. to be regulated as regards its extent in exactly the same way as the compensatory rest for persons who have to perform the industrial processes which are declared in the Schedule to be permissible on Sunday and for the purposes of which the accessory and incidental processes in question are necessary.

As regards the various provisions of the Schedule the following points need to be emphasised.

The first paragraph of §3 requires that the compensatory rest in the case of persons employed under the Sunday Rest Act for more than three hours on Sunday shall be of the duration specified for the different cases in the second column of the Schedule. It should be noted in this connection that the most important alteration introduced by the new Order consists in the fact that it repeals, in general, except as regards the sugar industry, the former arrangement by which it was permissible (subject however, to conditions) to reckon the 18hours period of rest on Sundays, arising from a change of shift under §3 of the Ministerial Order of 27th May, 1885 (R.G.Bl. No. 85), as the compensatory rest for the loss of the Sunday holiday. The following are the industries concerned [the figures relate to the existing Schedule and those in brackets to the new Schedule] :

4 [5]

5 [7].

6 [8].

7 [9]

8 [11].

9 [12].

Iron smelting works.

Manufacture of enamel ware.

Lime, plaster-of-Paris, magnesite and dolomite kilns, and manufacture of cement.

Brickworks, including the manufacture of fireproof bricks and slag bricks.

Earthenware manufacture.


10 [13]. Manufacture of carbon electrodes for electric lighting. II [14]. Manufacture of vessels of wood fibre.

17 and 18 [23]. Manufacture of wood fibre, cardboard and paper; manufacture of cellulose from wood, straw, etc.

20 [25].

23 [28].

24 [29].

28 [33].

32 [37].

Malt works and breweries.

Liquorice (liquorice juice) manufacture.
Syrup and grape-sugar manufacture.

Distilling and refining of spirits; manufacture of pressed

Chemical industry.

[blocks in formation]

34 [39].

35 [40].

Mineral oil refining works and the manufacture of paraffin.
Production of gas for lighting and of water gas.

37 [41].

Central plant for the production and supply of electric

51 [35]


Manufacture of potato starch.

Apart from the before-mentioned exceptions, the Schedule now requires that, in principle, a compensatory rest of 24 hours on the following Sunday or on a week-day or (but only in particular cases) 6 hours' rest on each of two days of the week, shall always be granted. In this connection, it should be noted that the manufacturer is responsible for granting the compensatory rest in accordance with the regulation, but that there is no further limitation as regards the method to be adopted for this purpose. It is the business of the manufacturer to arrange his shifts in such a way as to satisfy the new regulations and no objections ought to be taken to any such arrangement. In this connection, attention should be drawn, in particular, to the fact that it will not always be possible for the manufacturer to fix in advance and apply generally the selected alternative for granting the compensatory rest; he will find it necessary, especially at first, to reserve to himself a certain freedom of choice and the possibility of testing measures adopted. Thus it seems better that these circumstances should be stated in the rules of employment themselves, rather than appear as a contradiction between the rules of employment and actual practice.

Finally, it is desirable to emphasise the point that the new Order, which is concerned with Sunday work only, does not affect the admissibility of the 18-hour shift which is allowed once a week for the purpose of alternating from the day to the night shift.

The following remarks may be made on the details of the new Schedule :On (5). Iron Smelting Works.

As regards puddling furnaces and rolling mills (d), a new restriction is important, namely, that the exceptional Sunday work is no longer allowed in order to make up for any interruption of work during the week, but only if the work has been interrupted on a holiday in the course of the preceding week for at least 24 hours. It should be noted here, on a point of form, that the remark in the second column of the Schedule, which is bracketed to include this paragraph, is really meaningless in this connection, since no further compensatory rest need be allowed for the Sunday work allowed in puddling works and rolling mills in accordance with the above rule.

On (6). Manufacture of Metallurgical Products.

This item is entirely new. It should be observed that works of this kind. were formerly treated as coming under the regulations for chemical works, in view of various standardising provisions issued by the Ministry of Commerce.

« ForrigeFortsett »