Weather is a significant factor in work operations in the construction professions.
If certain requirements are fulfilled, companies that fall under the scope of application of § 1 (1) of the 1957 Bad Weather Compensation for Constructions Workers Act [Bauarbeiter-Schlechtwetterentschädigungsgesetz] (BSchEG) can seek bad weather compensation from BUAK.
What counts as bad weather pursuant to BSchEG?
Atmospheric effects with an adverse impact on work (rain, snow, freezing temperatures and heat) are so strong or so sustained that work cannot be started or continued, or workers cannot reasonably be expected to start or continue work, or
the consequences of these atmospheric effects with an adverse impact on work interfere with work to such an extent that starting or continuing work is technically impossible or cannot reasonably be expected of the employees.
See here for a detailed explanation of the criteria.
Who decides when to stop work?
After consultation with the works council, the company alone decides whether work should be stopped, continued or resumed (see § 5 (1) BSchEG).
What alternative work do employees have to perform?
Employees are obliged to perform other reasonable work within the company (with no reduction in wage). By order of the company, workers must remain on-site for 3 hours in case weather conditions improve. Appropriate shelter must be available, however (see § 5 (2) BSchEG).
How many hours can be bad weather hours?
The amount that can be claimed for bad weather compensation is set at different levels for the summer and winter periods:
Summer period: 1 May to 31 October
For all work sites: 120 hours
Winter period: 1 November to 30 April
For all work sites: 200 hours
Hours which are not used during the summer period may be carried over to the subsequent winter season for the awarding of bad weather compensation.
Changes as of 1 January 2017
From this point onward, all apprentices are covered by the bad weather provision.