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Austria Backtracks On Good Friday Public Holiday

Source: Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA)
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2019
Most recent follow-up news item: October 2, 2021

The Government of Austria has backtracked on its plans to implement a half-day public holiday on Good Friday, beginning in 2019.

Three years ago (2016-07-10), we had reported that the Court of Appeals for the Vienna Circuit had ruled that a provision in the "Act on Rest Periods", the law regulating public holidays in Austria, violates EU law in the manner in which it treats entitlement to the Good Friday holiday in Austria, paving the road for Good Friday to become an annual non-working public holiday for everyone in Austria.

Then, last week (2019-02-23), following a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, the Government of Austria had announced that, beginning in 2019, Good Friday would be a general public holiday in Austria, but only from 2pm onward, leading to unanimous criticism.

The annual listings of non-working public holidays in Austria (2016-01-01, 2014-12-30 and 2013-12-23), apart from the list of regional non-working public holidays, one per state, contain 13 annual non-working public holidays to be observed by all in Austria, every year.

However, and this is the bone of contention, the act goes on to add a 14th public holiday on Good Friday, but only for members of the Evangelical Church Augsburg Confession, the Evangelical Church Helvetic Confession, the Old Catholic Church and the Evangelical Methodist Church.

The aforementioned ruling must now be confirmed by the Austrian Supreme Court, an eventuality which some Austrian legal analysts feel quite likely to occur.

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Austria Backtracks On Good Friday Public Holiday" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.