The Republic of Austria, more commonly known as Austria, is a land-locked country in the southern part of central Europe. The country is comprised of nine federated states. The official language is Standard Austrian German. Austria has a highly industrialized economy. While tourism, especially winter sports, is a staple of the country’s economy, Austria is working to diversify its economy, which helps make it an ideal location for expanding into Europe.
Employment contracts in Austria are generally in writing but may be verbal or implied. Apprenticeship agreements must be made in writing. Contracts may specify a fixed term or be open-ended. Employment contracts must meet the minimum requirements of any applicable law, collective and work agreements. If there is not a written contract of employment, a statement of terms and conditions is provided on the first day of employment.
The standard work period is eight hours a day and 40 hours per week, but collective bargaining agreements can shorten the regular workday and week. The maximum amount employees can work is 12 hours a day and 60 hours per week, with an average of 48 hours per week over a 17-week period. Employees returning from long-term sick leave or nearing retirement may be entitled to work fewer hours. Employees are entitled to overtime pay or 1.5 hours of time credit for working overtime. Overtime should not overlap with an employee’s childcare, doctor appointments or other personal matters.
Employees are entitled to between six and 12 weeks of fully paid sick leave during an illness or following an accident, depending on the employee’s length of service. An additional four weeks of sick leave at reduced pay is provided after that. When paid sick leave from the employer is exhausted, the social security system provides for partial pay for up to 52 weeks. This can be extended to as much as 78 weeks depending on the local insurance fund. Employees are required to notify employers if they cannot work and may be required to provide a medical certificate or sick note from a doctor.
Female employees receive 16 weeks fully paid maternity leave, which usually begins eight weeks before the due date or scheduled caesarean and ends eight weeks after delivery. Male employees may take up to one month of unpaid leave after the birth of a child. This is commonly called “Daddy Month.” Employers are not required to pay a salary during this time, but the employee can claim a family time bonus paid from the social security fund. The employee is required to provide notice three months before the due date. Employees also receive two months of unpaid parental leave for a child up to two years if the parents live with the child.
There is no statutory minimum wage in Austria. Salaries are governed by laws, collective bargaining agreements and work agreements, which are agreements between employers and the works council. The actual salary paid will also depend on the role, responsibilities, education, qualifications, work hours, age of employee, length of service and other related factors. The average salary increase in Austria is 5% every 2.5 years. Both the amount and timing of increase varies depending on industry. Bonuses are common, with employees frequently receiving a 13th and 14th payment each equal to one-month salary. The bonuses, paid in the summer and at the end of the year, are generally referred to as holiday and Christmas bonuses.
For members of the Evangelical Church, the Old Catholic Church and the Methodist Church, Good Friday is also a holiday. In addition to public holidays, employees receive 25 days of paid annual leave after six months of continuous service. This increases to 30 days of annual paid leave after 25 years.
Austria provides public health care that is financed through taxes and mandatory social health insurance contributions.
Termination of employment can occur during the probation period, at the end of the contract term, by mutual consent, by the employer (with or without cause) or by the employee. Employment may be terminated without a reason during the probation period, which is determined by the employment contract but cannot exceed one month. After the probation period, an employer must either have valid reason to terminate an employee or provide notice and pay severance. The notice period, which depends on the type of worker and years of service. Employers must pay a portion of the employees’ monthly salary towards a fund for severance pay. The employee can choose to either have the amount paid out as severance pay or left in the fund for a subsequent employer to contribute to if they leave their current employer. Employees qualify for this after three years of service.
We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.
Our team of regional experts are here to support you with your global expansion plans. If you have any questions, just get in touch and we will be delighted to help.