22 January 2021



Austria Austria
Geographical scope
  • Type

    Negotiation of working conditions

  • Type

    Organising and representing workers

View Initiative


Social partners in Austria have agreed on the first collective agreement for bicycle couriers. The new collective agreementapplies to all bicycle couriers, that is, both those who have an employment contract with a traditional company and those who have an employment contract with a platform. One of the key reasons for signing the collective agreement was the mounting pressure on small-scale carriers (Kleintransporteure) stemming from the proliferation of cargo bikes which are currently more environmentally friendly and provide cheaper last-mile services. Therefore, the collective bargaining agreement initially sought to level the playing field and prohibit social dumping.

Scope of the initiative

The collective agreement for bicycle delivery was negotiated and signed by the trade association for the carriage of goods (Fachverband für Güterbeförderungsgewerbe), which is a member of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the Austrian Trade Union Federation, and the Vida trade union which represents workers in the transport and service industries.

Among others, the collective agreement regulates the weekly normal working time (40 hours), daily breaks and resting periods, night work, overtime and work on weekends and holidays. The agreement also regulates pay, entitling riders to a monthly minimum pay of €1.539,98 for full-time employment and to an additional compensation of EUR 0.24/km if a privately owned bicycle is used and another €20 per month if a privately owned mobile phone is used. In addition, employed riders are entitled to holiday and Christmas allowances, each amounting to one gross monthly salary. According to section IV of the collective agreement, the employer must provide helmets, rain jackets, rain trousers, gloves and overshoes of appropriate quality. However, the collective agreement does not dedicate a particular section to the ownership of the bicycle itself. Furthermore, employed people working in bicycle delivery are entitled to continued payment in case of accidents and sickness as stated in the Continued Remuneration Act.

Scale of the initiative The number of employees covered by the collective agreement is difficult to estimate. Lieferando employs in Austria around 950-1000 workers with an employment contract and Mjam employs around 50 workers with an employment contract. Besides, other bicycle delivery companies, such as Heavy Pedals and Pink Pedals employ their riders. However, the number of riders employed by these companies is relatively small. As of November 2021, there are no official reports indicating the actual number of covered workers.

Strengths and weaknesses One of the key strengths of the collective agreement is that it sets minimum standards for employees in the sector. Crucially, the collective agreement also entails 14 monthly salaries (which include holiday and Christmas allowances) in an industry where previously only 12 monthly salaries were the norm. Furthermore, the collective agreement allowed for pay negotiations for situations when delivery riders use their own bicycle. As the agreement is negotiated on an annual basis, conditions can be updated and agreed between unions and employers. This was indeed the case for the second version of the agreement which raised the amount paid to riders who use their own bicycles from €0,14/km to €0,24/km.

However, the main weakness of the agreement relates to its coverage. There are still many riders in the sector who are not classified as employees, but who are holding a free service contract. This means that while the collective agreement contributes to better working conditions for riders who hold an employment contract it produces no consequences for self-employed riders, or riders with free service contracts and contracts for services.

Generally, in Austria ‘personal subordination’ (persönliche Abhängigkeit) is used as a criterion for determining the employment of workers. Personal subordination refers to a work situation in which a person performs work ‘under the command, authority and control of another person and with resources that belong to the other, namely the employer’. As of November 2021, no legal cases in Austria have focused on the employment status of people working through online or on-location platforms. 

Regarding the contents of the collective agreement, union representatives point that it does not regulate conditions for work in very high or very low temperatures. Furthermore, while the agreement specifies surcharge rates for Sundays, it sets only a free Sunday every three weeks. In addition, the level of pay negotiated in the collective agreement is relatively low and only slightly above the minimum wage of the €1.500 threshold set by the social partners for collective agreements.

Overall, despite its limitations, the agreement sets a precedent for including bicycle delivery riders through platforms into a regulatory framework and sets minimum standards regarding for pay, working time, insurance or continued payment in case of accidents or sickness. It also creates a level playing field in sector.

Additional metadata

representation, industrial relations, social dialogue, income, working conditions, collective bargaining
Employee organisation
Transportation and storage
Lieferando, Heavy Pedals, Pink Pedals


Eurofound (2021), Collective agreement for bicycle couriers in Austria (Initiative), Record number 3015, Platform Economy Database, Dublin,