Engage In Austria

Table of Contents

About Austria

Capital City

Vienna

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Austria is 8.9 million.

Currency

The currency in Austria is the Euro (EUR). The currency symbol is €.

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Overview

Austria, a landlocked country nestled in the heart of Europe, is renowned for its captivating alpine landscapes, rich history, and cultural heritage. Surrounded by Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, Austria enjoys a strategic geographical location. The country operates under a federal parliamentary republic system, known for its political stability, strong social welfare, and commitment to environmental sustainability. Austria’s capital, Vienna, is a beacon of architectural marvels, classical music, and refined art. The city’s historic center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring magnificent palaces, grand squares, and world-class museums. Austria boasts a flourishing cultural scene, with a proud tradition of classical music and influential composers like Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert. The annual Salzburg Festival attracts music enthusiasts from all over the world. Moreover, Austria’s stunning landscapes offer a myriad of outdoor activities, including skiing in the Alps, hiking through picturesque valleys, and exploring crystal-clear lakes. With a population of approximately 9 million people, Austria takes pride in its high quality of life, excellent healthcare, and well-developed infrastructure.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

In Austria, the regulations for permanent employment are defined as a full-time permanent employment contract by which two parties (a prospective employee and an employer) engage in an agreement with no specific duration or termination time. Permanent employment contracts can be terminated at any time by giving notice by either party.

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

There are no restrictions regarding maximum terms for fixed-term contracts or the renewals thereof. Nevertheless, successive fixed-term contracts automatically transform into indefinite duration contracts unless evidence can be provided to justify the renewal of a fixed-term contract.

Temporary Employment Contratcs

In Austria, temporary work, also known as minimal employment, is defined as any work that provides monthly remuneration that does not exceed EUR 500.91 (euros). The Temporary Employment Act allows hiring temporary workers from third parties (temporary agencies) to perform work. For the duration of employment in the employee's company, the agency is considered an employer within the meaning of the employee protection regulations. The agency must inform the employee of all circumstances relevant to compliance with personal occupational safety, in particular working time protection and special personal protection. Employers are also considered to be the employer of the temporary workers within the meaning of the equal treatment regulations and prohibitions of discrimination that apply to comparable employees of the employer.

Probationary Period

During the probationary period in Austria, an employment contract may be terminated by either party at any time. The probationary period may not exceed 1 month with the exception of apprenticeships, which can have a probationary period that lasts up to 3 months.

Working Hours

In Austria, regular working hours, as stipulated in the Working Time Act, are 8 hours a day and 40 hours per week. There are a few exceptions where the normal working hours are reduced.

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

  • New Year’s Day - January 1
  • Epiphany - January 6
  • Easter Monday - date subject to change every year 
  • Labor Day - May 1
  • Ascension Day - date subject to change every year 
  • Whit Monday - date subject to change every year
  • Corpus Christi - May 31 
  • Maria Ascension/Assumption Day - August 15 
  • National Day - October 26 
  • All Saints’ Day - November 1
  • Immaculate Conception - December 8 
  • Christmas Day - December 25 
  • Boxing Day - December 26

Paid Annual Leave

All employees who have performed at least 6 months of service are entitled to annual paid leave of 5 weeks (25 days for those working 5 days a week and 30 days for those working 6 days a week). Those who have more than 25 years of service with an employer have an entitlement to 6 weeks for annual leave. Employees are entitled to their usual wages during annual leave. The holiday entitlement arises pro rata in the first 6 months of the first year of work. After 6 months of service, the holiday entitlement accrues in full in the first year of work. From the second year of work, the employee is entitled to the entire vacation at the beginning of the working year. Annual leave can be split into 2 parts to allow more flexibility but each part must have a duration of at least 6 working days. Employees cannot take compensation in place of their annual leave except when dealing with employment termination prior to exercising their annual leave. The entitlement to annual leave expires after 2 years of accrual.

Sick Leave

In the event of illness, employees are obliged to inform their employer immediately of their inability to work. If the employee is unable to work after starting work due to illness or accident, without being responsible for this intentionally or through gross negligence, they are entitled to continued payment of wages for 6 weeks. Depending on the length of the employment relationship, the entitlement increases to up to 12 weeks. No sick pay is due for the first 3 days of incapacity to work. During this period, however, employees are generally entitled to continued payment of wages. From the fourth day of incapacity for work, sick pay is granted as a statutory minimum benefit of 50% of the assessment basis for the calendar day. From the 43rd day of an illness associated with incapacity for work, the sickness benefit increases to 60% of the assessment basis for the calendar day.  

Maternity Leave

Generally, maternity leave lasts 16 weeks: 8 weeks can be prior to birth and 8 weeks after. Although the postnatal period is set at 8 weeks, it may be extended to 12 weeks in the case of premature, multiple, or cesarean births. Other than the 8-week prenatal leave, a pregnant emplpyee may receive leave from work if she provides a certificate from a Labor Inspectorate doctor or another medical officer that her (or her child’s) life and health are endangered if she continues to work. As soon as they become aware of their pregnancy, expectant mothers must notify the employer of this, stating the expected date of birth. In addition, they are obliged to draw the employer's attention to the beginning of the 8-week period within the fourth week before the beginning of the period. 

Paternity Leave

Since March 2017, paternity leave and benefits for new fathers are applied to natural and adoptive fathers. Paternity leave is one month (28-31 days) and must be taken within 91 days of the birth of the child. To be eligible, fathers must be employed, have valid health and pension insurance for at least 182 days prior to applying for the bonus. The benefit is paid at EUR 47.82 per day, for a total of around EUR 1,450 from August 1, 2023.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

The length of termination notice periods that an employer must abide by prior to terminating an employee is generally proportionate to the length of employment and can range from 1 day (casual workers) to 5 months. The notice period also takes into account the status of the worker (blue-collar worker or white-collar employee). Employees can terminate their contracts by giving a month's notice. Employees with lifetime contracts or contracts with a fixed period greater than 5 years may terminate their contract by giving 6 months' notice after more than 5 years of service. 

Severance Benefits

New severance pay was introduced for employees whose employment began after January 1, 2003. Employers must pay a severance allowance to workers when an employment contract is terminated. During the employment contract, the employer must pay 1.53% of each employee’s gross salary to a severance payment fund called BV-Kasse. Upon termination, the worker is able to decide to have these funds paid out as a severance (the employee must have worked for three years with this employer to have this option) or leave the pay in the fund. If the worker decides to leave it in the fund, then the employer will continue to contribute to the fund on a monthly basis and, at termination, the employer will have no liability for a severance payment. The employee has six months from the end of the employment relationship to notify the BV-Kasse as to how the severance will be disbursed.  For employees whose employment began before January 1, 2003, the amount of the severance pay depends on the length of the employment relationship and the remuneration due for the last month of employment. Employees are entitled to two monthly wages after three years of service, three monthly wages after five years of service, four monthly wages after ten years of service, six monthly wages after 15 years of service, nine monthly wages after 20 years of service and one annual salary after 25 years of service.  If the worker chooses to terminate the contract, is dismissed for reasonable cause, or resigns without just cause, then the capital remains in the fund and continues to be invested. The amount can then be drawn upon once the employee reaches the age of retirement. 

Social Security

Pension

In Austria, there is compulsory social insurance coverage for persons who participate in paid employment or are self-employed. Minimally employed workers are entitled to a limited number of protections under the social insurance system, including old-age pension. The age for retirement is 65 for men and 60 for women, as long as they have paid insurance contribution for 180 months (15 years), with a minimum of 84 monthly contributions made in one gainful employment.  There are two types of pension calculations based the year of birth: Persons born before January 1, 1955 – the amount of pension is calculated as a percentage of "assessment basis," which is the average of 384 best monthly remunerations. The percentage is determined as 1.78 increase points per year of insurance. Persons born after January 1, 1955 – under the new system, in place since 2004, a pension account is created for each individual and is used for paying different mandatory pensions. The amount of retirement pension is calculated as 1.78% of the annual salary each year. A bonus of 5.1% per year is added for retirement after the standard retirement age, limited to a maximum of 15.3%. A maximum of 91% of the assessment basis can be granted as a monthly pension.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Survivors of a deceased worker eligible for pension benefits include spouses and children. They are eligible for benefits if the deceased insured employee completed the following period of insurance: If they died before the age of 50 years, a minimum insurance period of 60 months is required. If they died after the age of 50 years, an insurance period of 180 months is required. Surviving spouse is eligible for a life-long pension if the following conditions are met: The widow(er) is at least 35 years old or at the time of the spouse's death. There is a child from the marriage. The widow(er) is disabled at the time of the spouse's death. They had been married for at least 3 to 10 years (the number of years will depend on the age difference between the surviving spouse and the deceased insured person) In the case when none of the conditions are met, a temporary widow(er)'s pension is paid for 30 months. The amount of widow(er)'s pension is calculated as a percentage of the pension that the deceased would have been eligible to, ranging from 0 to 60%.  Children of the deceased insured persons are eligible for pension up to the age of 18 years or 27 years if they are students. The application for the pension must be made within 6 months of the death of an insured parent. The amount is 40% of the deceased parent's pension for each child. For children who have lost both parents, the pension is 60%.

Invalidity Benefit

Disability benefit is paid based on the degree of disability as a percentage of the assessment base. The assessment base is calculated as the average monthly salary of the insured person over the last year before disability set in. In the case of permanent disability (where a worker has lost 100% of working capacity), 66.6% of the assessment base is paid. A proportionately reduced permanent disability benefit is paid with at least 20% reduction in earning capacity. The permanent partial disability benefit (referred to as supplementary benefit) is 20% of permanent disability benefit for loss of working capacity of 50-70%, and 50% of the permanent disability benefit when the loss in working capacity is greater than 70%. If the insured worker has at least 50% of the loss of working capacity, 10% of the total disability pension is paid for each child under 18 (age 27 for students or no age limit for disabled children). The total disability pension, supplementary pension including family supplements cannot exceed 100% of the assessment base. For workers who sustain injuries from occupational accidents or diseases, there are disability benefits to assist the employee. When a worker has lost partial working capacity, he or she may receive a temporary disability benefit, which is the same as cash sickness benefit. The temporary disability benefit is paid until the insured worker is assessed with a permanent disability. The permanent or partial disability pension depends on the assessment base, which is an insured worker's average covered earnings in the last year before the disability began. Employers are also required to provide re-training allowance to employees for rehabilitation. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

In Austria, the Income Tax Act prescribes a progressive income tax rate that ranges from 0 to 55%. All domestic and foreign income is subject to tax. 

Immigration

Types of Visas

Austria is a party to the Schengen Implementation Agreement, which grants uniform entry to the Schengen countries. The following types of visas are available to persons who enter Austria: Visa A (Transit visa) – valid for airport transit Visa C (Tourist visa) – valid for 90 days stay in a 180 day period. Visa D (Residence visa) – valid for up to six to 12 months of stay

Work Permit

Foreign nationals from countries outside the EU who wish to live and work within Austria must apply for a Red-White-Red Card. Workers from EU countries are able to apply for a similar card, the EU Blue Card. Both cards grant temporary residence and the right to work for a single employer over a 2-year period but are governed by a different set of rules. Third country citizens can be granted an EU Blue Card, if they:  Have completed a course of study at a university or other tertiary educational institution with a minimum duration of 3 years Have received a binding job offer for at least 1 year in Austria and the employment corresponds to your education Will earn a gross annual income of at least the average gross annual income of full-time employees (in 2023: at least EUR 45,595 annual salary plus special payments) The labor market test (Arbeitsmarktprüfung) shows that there is no equally qualified worker registered as a jobseeker with the Public Employment Service (AMS) available for the job Employees with EU Blue Card or  Red-White-Red Card who have worked for at least 21 months  during the preceding 24 months are eligible for Red-White-Red Card Plus. This card allows them fixed-term settlement and unlimited labor market access (as a self-employed or an employed person, not limited to a specific employer).  

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