The degree of consensus achieved generally in the Austrian economy is reflected in the system of industrial relations and labour law. In particular, workers’ representatives have been successful in securing a particularly strong and influential position in the legislative and rule-making processes. This stands in stark contrast to countries such as the UK, where workers are often the subjects of labour laws rather than participants in their creation.1 In Austria, all laws passed which affect the system of industrial relations after the Second World War have been reached with the consensus of the major social partners.