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Austria Country
Guide 2024

Find everything you need for confident contracting and working in Austria: labour law, taxation, employment compliance, payroll, benefits, and more.


Austria is located in the southern part of Central Europe, and 62% of its total land area is covered by the Alps. Vienna has always been a creative and cultural hub, and is home to one of the world’s biggest libraries.

Austria is one of the world’s most eco-friendly countries – the majority its electricity comes from renewable energy sources, and it has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Almost a fifth of the Austrian population is foreign born – even though Austrians tend to work longer per week than any other Europeans, the rich culture, biodiversity and welcoming people definitely make up for that.

  • Capital: Vienna
  • Spoken Languages: German (Mostly Bavarian dialect)
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Minimum monthly wage: There is no minimum salary set by law in the Austria.

Entry Visa

Citizens of EU/EFTA Member States and Switzerland can enter Austria with an identity card or a valid passport.

Work Permit / Residence Permit

Citizens of EU/EFTA Member States and Switzerland can live and work without a work or residence permit in Austria.

Other foreign nationals must obtain a work visa if they plan to stay in Austria for more than 180 days. A work visa can be received for a specific job and employer, valid for one year (with the option to re-apply with another job/employer later), and requires the applicant to provide proof of health insurance, adequate personal income and a place of accommodation.

Social Security Registration

Registration for Social Security is compulsory for anyone working in Austria as soon as employment has started, regardless of their nationality, and it is done by the employer. The employee will also receive an E-card, which is used to access the health-care system.

Working Hours

A standard working week in Austria is 8 hours a day/40 hours a week.

In case of an increased workload, an employee can legally work 20 hours a week overtime (12 hours per day). However, the employee can refuse to work any overtime that amounts to over 10 hours per day, without the requirement to provide a reason. Any overtime must be compensated with an additional paid premium of a minimum of 50% or current hourly salary.

Public Holidays

  • New Year’s Day, 01 Jan
  • Epiphany, 06 Jan
  • Easter, (Not a standard date, usually March/April)
  • Easter Monday, (Not a standard date)
  • Labour Day, 01 May
  • Ascension Day, 09 May
  • Whit Monday, (Not a standard date)
  • Corpus Christi, 30 May
  • Assumption of Mary, 15 Aug
  • Austrian National Day, 26 Oct
  • All Saints’ Day, 01 Nov
  • Feast of Immaculate Conception, 08 Dec
  • Christmas Day, 25 Dec
  • St. Stephen’s Day, 26 Dec

Vacation Allowance

The standard amount of vacation days for a 5-day work week is 25 working days. If an employee works less days a week, then that amount is adjusted accordingly – the amount of days worked multiplied by 5. For individuals working for the same employer for over 25 years, and extra week of vacation per year is added.

Vacation time given for a year expires within 2 years, so any vacation time accrued must be taken by the employee within 3 years, otherwise it is lost.

Sick Leave

While there is no official number of ‘Sick Days”, an employee may receive a sickness cash benefit if they are unable to work for longer than 3 days. Sickness cash benefit amounts to 50% of your salary (at a cap of EUR 5,850) if you are sick for 42 days or less (excluding those first 3 days), and rises to 60% from the 43rd day. An employer may choose to pay the full salary from 8 to 12 weeks (and another half  for another 4 weeks), dependent on length of service; in this case, the sickness benefit will not be paid out, and paid out at half the amount for the last 4 weeks.

Maternity / Paternity leave

  • Maternity: 16 weeks; 8 weeks before the birth, and 8 weeks after. This leave is obligatory, and is fully paid.
  • Paternity: None. However, depending on the collective agreement, several days may be provided after the birth.

Termination & Severance

Upon employment termination, the employee is entitled to severance pay, regardless of who initiated the termination. Each employee has their own “severance payment fund”, which is constituted from monthly payments by the employer of 1.53 percent of the gross salary starting from the 2nd month of employment. The employee can draw on the payment within 6 months of the termination, or leave the money in the fund for later use; in this case, contribution payments from different employers will be aggregated.

Notice Period

Years of ServiceNotice Period
1 – 2 Years6 Weeks
3 – 5 Years2 Months
6 – 15 Years3 Months
16 – 25 Years4 Months
26+ Years5 Months

Social Security

Employee social insurance contributions are deducted automatically from the wage, while employer contributions are paid by the employers themselves.

CategoryEmployer (%)Employee (%)
Total (%)21.0318.12

On a maximum assessment basis (gross salary) of €6,050 per month for current payments and is applied for both employer and employee. Special payments receive a tax favoured treatment (employer at 20.48%, employee at 17.07%, for a total of 37.55%). The maximum assessment basis (gross) amounts to €12,120 per year.

In addition, the employer has to contribute:

• 3.9% to the Family Burdens Equalisation Levy

• 3% of monthly gross salaries and wages to the municipal tax on payroll

• 0.38% (between 0.34% and 0.42%) of monthly gross salaries paid (depending on the province) to the Chamber of Commerce

• 1.53% on monthly gross salaries for employments subject to Austrian employment law as a contribution to the mandatory employee pension fund.

• €2 per week per employee in the city of Vienna for the public transportation.

The 13th- and 14th-month salaries (‘special payments’) are subject to social security. The first €620 is tax exempt; from the remaining amount, tax is withheld at a graduated rate between 6% and 55%.


Pension is Austria is covered by Social Security contributions, and individuals working in the country are eligible to the benefits regardless of their nationality, provided they have reached the required age and have completed a certain minimum pension insurance period in Austria (180 months).

Taxation in Austria

The Austrian fiscal year runs from January 1 to December 31.

Tax Rates

The following progressive rates apply for 2024:

Taxable Income (EUR)Rate (%)
0 – 12,4650%
12,465 – 20,39720%
20,397 – 34,19230%
34,192 – 66,17840%
66,178 – 99,26648%
99,266 – 1,000,00050%
1,000,001 +55%

Tax Returns

The annual income tax return must be filed by April 30 of the following year in paper form, or June 30 of the following year electronically.

However, if you employ a tax adviser the deadline for tax returns can be extended to February.

Double Taxation

Austria has tax treaties with multiple other countries, that regulate which country will be responsible for applying its domestic tax law to the employed individual.

Health Insurance

When starting employment in Austria, an individual is automatically covered by the state’s heath insurance system, which is paid for by Social Security contributions. However, it is also possible to obtain private health insurance if desired.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Austria is in the average range for Europe. The estimated monthly cost for a single person is around 1,500 – 2,000 euros, with 800 – 1,000 going to rent, depending on the location.

How We Can Help

We provide a full set of services in Austria allowing corporate clients, recruitment agencies and professional contractors to operate in an optimal manner while ensuring that all local employment obligations are taken care of.

Access Financial offers the following solution in Austria:

  • Self-employed Solution

If you would like to discuss how Access Financial can help in Austria, please contact us.


We have prepared this as a guide only; it does not form part of an offer. Please request illustrations based on your specific case from one of our solution managers.