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The peculiarities of the Austrian labour market

Each labour market has some peculiarities. It may be tricky for foreigners to fully understand the payment methods, the taxes and other benefits related to them. In TalentUp, we are starting a series of different blog articles, one for each country. This article analyses the Austrian labour market.

General data about the Austrian labour market

Austrian minimum wage and maximum working hours disclosure. Data for January 2024. Source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/austria/

Payroll taxes in Austria

Social security contributions are made by the employer and the employee and are used for funding unemployment, pension, maternity/paternity leave, and sickness or injury.

The share of contingencies applied to the gross salary. Data source:

Once contributions are paid, employees need to pay an income tax that varies depending on their earnings.

Contingencies from self-employees

Self-employed workers have a tax-free basic income of €11,000. If you earn between €11,001 and €18,000, you’ll pay 25% tax, and if you earn between €18,001 and €31,000, you’ll pay a hefty 32.5%.

Example of net salary in Austria

As a reference, we use the average salary of a software engineer. In Austria, on average, software engineers earn 65,800 € annually.

From gross to net salary of a software engineer in Austria.

The employer contributes from 19,575.5 to 19,628.14€ to social security, and the employee 11,264.96€.

After paying the income tax, the employee has a net salary of 40,189.92€ from a gross salary of 65,800€. 

Austrian unemployment regulations

The notice period varies based on the length of employment:

Notice periods in Austrian contracts. Data source:

The notice period can be increased by up to six months, subject to a contractual agreement or collective bargaining agreement.

The probationary period must not exceed one month, but for apprenticeships, it lasts three months.

Different kinds of leaves in Austria

In Austria, employees have 25 working days of holidays every year. Once they have worked 25 or more years for the same employer, it increases to 30 working days of holidays. There are 11 public holidays.

Sick leave entitlement depends on employment duration:

  • 1 year: 6 weeks full pay + 4 weeks half pay, from employer
  • 2-15 years: 8 weeks full pay + 4 weeks half pay, from employer
  • 16-25 years: 10 weeks full pay + 4 weeks half pay, from employer
  • 26+ years: 12 weeks full pay + 4 weeks half pay, from employer

Excess covered by social security. A medical certificate is required.

There are various additional leave periods to which employees are entitled:

  • Two weeks of paid leave to care for a sick child under the age of 12
  • An employee can also request up to six months of unpaid leave to care for an immediate family member
  • One to three days paid leave for marriage or bereavement 

Maternity leave in Austria is 16 weeks. Working is restricted to eight weeks before and after childbirth (12 weeks for Caesarean or high-risk delivery). Weekly pay is via Social Security, calculated from the last 3 months of average earnings. After 16 weeks, unpaid leave is possible until the child is 2, with childcare pay as per the Child Care Payment Act.

Fathers get up to 1 month of unpaid paternity leave within 2 years of the child’s birth (often referred to as “Daddy Month”). Notice is required three months prior.

Starts after maternity leave in Austria. Up to the child’s 24 months. Payment via the Child Care Payment Act from social security.

Dads can share leave, switching twice, 2+ months apart. Both can’t take leave together.

Other common benefits in Austria

Top 5 benefits offered in Austrian companies. Datasource: TalentUp’s database.

How to employ an Austrian worker

To employ an Austrian worker, companies in the EEA or in Switzerland should:

  1. Report to the Central Coordinating Agency
  2. Transmit it to the Public Employment Service
  3. Issue an EU posting confirmation

Companies in countries other than these require a posting permit in addition to the previous steps.