Hiring workers in Austria: what to consider
Considered one of the best, Austria is renowned for its standard of living and benefits. In 2019 alone, it ranked as one of the top 5 countries in terms of quality of life, with Vienna as the most livable city in the world.
With its spectacular level of social security and low crime rate, Austria boasts a tremendous amount of benefits and insurance for its citizens. As an employer in Austria, there are some benefits employees are entitled to with their corresponding definition.
Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit
Employees are entitled to these benefits if you are:
- A permanent or habitual residence in Austria
- Have a child/children not older than 18 years old
However, according to the European Commission (EC), the 18-year-old rule can be up to 24 years if the children are “in training for an occupation or receiving further college training in an occupation they have learnt.”
There is also no age limit for children under 21 years old or during their vocational training (commonly about 25 years old below) who are assumed to be incapable of working due to disabilities.
- A set amount of financial assistance to the parents for child benefit.
- An additional monthly child tax credit of EUR 58.40
The amount given for child benefit is dependent on the child’s age and how many children the parents have.
Furthermore, children with severe disabilities have an additional compensation of a flat rate of EUR 155.90.
- Fulfilled general eligibility (Receipt of child benefit, legal residency in Austria, etc.)
- A flat-rate amount between 365 to 851 days after the child’s birth.
Parents can opt to receive the amount in a shorter or longer time. Choosing the smaller amount of days yields a daily-flat rate of EUR 33.88 while the longer is EUR 14.53.
- Insured women before, during, and after birth
- Consultation with a physician and midwife assistance during pregnancy
- Medicines and equipment
- 10-day maximum hospital care (extended for complications during pregnancy and delivery)
- Financial compensation of their average net wages calculated from the past three months
- Eight weeks of maternity leave before and after birth
- Dismissal and termination protection period (only possible with exceptional cases)
- Notice to employers three months in advance with the date of leave
- Four weeks off from work for fathers (only within the period of the child’s birth and before the mother resumes her job)
- One-off “grant” of EUR 700
Austria does not have a national minimum wage system; what they do have is an agreement of the minimum salary as per industry. The industry agreement blossomed a somewhat unofficial minimum wage of about EUR 1500 per month, which is higher than other European countries.
Sickness Cash Benefits
- If you are ill and unable to work
- Incapable of work for more than three days
- A doctor’s sick note on the entitlement of the benefit
The sickness cash benefit is secondary. There will be no compensation if you are still earning your entire salary.
- Financial assistance starting on the fourth day of sickness
The calculated amount is from your last wage. The maximum is EUR 5,550 per month.
The compensation is 50% of your salary if you are sick for 42 days below. For a more extended period, it will increase up to 60%.
- Disabled or unable to work for more than six months
- The expected improvement of health to work again
If your sickness insurance fund checks and you are incapable of improving even with continued rehabilitation allowance, you are entitled to an invalidity pension.
- An amount equivalent to your sickness cash benefit with a minimum compensation of EUR 1000.48 a month
- Permanent or habitual residence in Austria
- Dependent of care on another person for an average of 65 hours above a month
- Need of care for more than six months
- According to Regulation 883/2004
You can avail of this benefit even if you are not a resident of Austria if no other state is responsible for care benefits.
- Have your e-card
Alongside maternity and sickness assistance, citizens also have services such as:
- Not having to pay their doctor upfront using their e-card
- Patients choosing their preferred doctor (paid upfront)
- Free medical check-up once a year
- Prescription medicines (A charge of EUR 5.30 for each medication prescribed)
- Covered dental treatment
E-cards are given to insured individuals, alongside co-insured family members, to confirm their insurance coverage.
Accident at Work & Occupational Disease
- Accident from the workplace
- Listed disease on the Austrian Occupational Diseases List
- Financial assistance alongside sickness cash benefit
- Daily allowance if you are in a hospital or a special clinic
According to the European Commission, “insurance institutions may provide medical, occupational or social rehabilitation measures.”
- Permanent invalidity with rehabilitation measures
- Minimum insurance period based on age
If you are 26 years old below, you are entitled to the invalidity pension if you have covered insurance for a minimum of six months.
Invalidity will occur if working capability has decreased to half compared to a healthy person with a similar skill level.
Self-employed individuals and unskilled workers have invalidity if they cannot obtain half of their revenue contrasted to a healthy person with the same activity.
- Financial assistance calculated on a case-by-case basis
- Able to work
- Achieved the minimum period of insurance
The European Commission stated that the minimum is when you are covered “at least 52 weeks during the last 24 months, or 26 weeks within the last 12 months if you are below the age of 25 years.”
- 55% of daily net income for primary unemployment benefits,
This percentage may rise to 80% with the help of family supplements.
Standard old-age pension
- Completed the required amount of insurance periods
- Attained retirement year (60 for women and 65 for men)
Early Retirement Pension
- Completed the required amount of insurance periods (40 years of contributions)
- Before retirement age
For individuals who work with heavy work, they can claim their early retirement if they have:
- Contributed ten years of active operation within 20 years
- Have 45 years of contributions
- Completed your 60th year
- Continuous cash payment
Strategic benefits and extra services demonstrate the company’s appreciation for its workforce. Such incentives not only improve the work atmosphere but ideally also the climate between colleagues.With so many aspects to consider, we need to ensure that we comply with Austria’s labour laws and have added benefits so that employees feel appreciated and would likely be more productive and loyal to their employers.