Everything about working in Austria

Last update: 19th Dec 2023
Published: 29th Jan 2023

Have you found a job in Austria or are you still thinking about it? What should you know before travelling to Austria for work?

Employment contract (Arbeitsvertrag)

An Austrian employment contract can be concluded either in writing or verbally. If it has not been concluded in writing, the employer is obliged to issue the employee with an employment card or "Dienstzettel". The job card serves as proof of employment and contains data:

  • the name of the employer,
  • the start of the employment relationship,
  • termination terms and periods of notice,
  • scope of the holiday,
  • working hours,
  • the starting salary, or the collective agreement or enterprise agreement.

Salary (Gehalt)

In Austria, there is no minimum wage or it is not set by law. The determination of the wage is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee, and the wage conditions are enshrined and regulated from time to time in the collective agreement. The 13th and 14th wages, i.e. holiday and Christmas bonuses, are also enshrined in the collective agreement.

Working time (Arbeitszeit)

The standard working time is 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day. However, working hours may be reduced or increased by collective agreement. In many collective agreements, the working time is reduced to 38 hours per week. After working six hours, the employee is entitled to a 30-minute break. The right to a 45-minute break is triggered after eight hours of work.

Probationary period (Probezeit)

The probationary period in Austria lasts a maximum of 1 month. This period may be further reduced by collective agreement. During the probationary period, the employment relationship can be terminated immediately, without giving any reason, either by the employee or by the employer.

Leave (Ferien)

The annual holiday entitlement is 25 days if you work 5 days a week. If you work 6 days a week, the annual holiday entitlement is 30 days. During the first six months of employment, there is a partial holiday entitlement, or 2 working days per month. After six months of work you are fully entitled to annual leave. Should you fall ill for more than 3 days during your leave, the period of sick leave will not be counted towards your holiday entitlement once these conditions have been met:

  • you inform your employer of the illness,
  • you prove the illness to your employer with a medical certificate.

Income tax (Einkommensteuer)

Your employer pays income tax for you in monthly installments, which are decisive for the annual tax settlement or tax return.

The Austrian tax rates for 2022, 2023 and  2024 are as follows:

Annual income
Income tax rate 2022Annual income
Income tax rate 2023Annual income
Income tax rate 2024
up to €11,0000 %up to €11,6930 %up to €12 8160 %
from €11,000 to €18,00020 %from €11,693 to €19,13420 %from €12,816 to 20,81820 %
from €18,000 to €31,00032,5 %from €19,134 to €32,07530 %from €20,818 to €34,51330 %
from €31,000 to €60,00042 %from €32,075 to €62,08041 %from €34,513 to €66,61240 %
from €60,000 to €90,00048 %from €62,080 to €93,12048 %from €66,612 to €99,26648 %
Source: www.finanz.at

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Recognition of diplomas

Depending on your profession, you may need to apply for recognition of your qualifications. First of all, you need to arrange for the translation of documents/certificates and their official verification. You can then apply for recognition of the qualification at the "Austrian National Office for Qualifications". You will receive recognition of your qualification within three months of submitting your application. For special professions, the employer is obliged to verify your qualifications. This includes professions such as teacher, dentist, painter, gardener, social worker, etc.

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Termination of employment

Termination of employment by notice - employment can be terminated by notice, which does not have to be in writing (unless a collective agreement states so) and can even be given without giving a reason. However, the notice periods must be complied with.

Termination of employment by agreement - in this case there are no notice periods.

Immediate termination of employment - can be used if there are justified reasons. These grounds are determined by law and include, for example, serious breaches of work discipline. The reason for immediate termination does not have to be communicated to the employee. Should the employment relationship be unjustifiably terminated, trade unions should be contacted.

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