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Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Austria

Mandatory benefits

In Austria, employees are entitled to a comprehensive package of mandatory benefits as per the law. These benefits provide financial security and support throughout employment.

Social Security

Austria has a robust social security system that serves as the foundation for most mandatory employee benefits. All employees are enrolled in this system, contributing a portion of their income alongside their employer. The social security system covers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Healthcare: Austrian social security grants access to a public healthcare system, ensuring employees receive necessary medical treatment.
  • Accident Insurance: In case of a work-related accident, employees are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation.
  • Unemployment Benefits: Should an employee lose their job, they are eligible for unemployment benefits for a specific period, determined by their employment history.
  • Pension: Upon retirement, employees receive a pension based on their contributions throughout their working life.

Austrian labor law mandates employees receive paid time off in various forms:

  • Annual Leave: Employees are entitled to a minimum of five weeks (25 working days) of paid annual leave per year, increasing to six weeks for employees over 45 years old.
  • Sick Leave: Employees are entitled to paid sick leave for a specific duration depending on their employment tenure.
  • Public Holidays: Austria has a generous number of paid public holidays throughout the year.

Parental Leave and Benefits

Austria offers comprehensive support for working parents:

  • Maternity Leave: Mothers are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave after childbirth.
  • Paternity Leave: Fathers are entitled to one month of unpaid paternity leave.
  • Parental Leave: Following maternity leave, parents can share an extended period of parental leave, with partial pay, until the child reaches three years old.

Optional benefits

In Austria, beyond the mandatory benefits, employers often offer a range of attractive perks to attract and retain top talent.

Work-Life Balance and Well-being

  • Flexible Working Hours: Many companies in Austria embrace flexible work arrangements, allowing employees to tailor their work schedules to better suit their needs.
  • Home Office: The increasing popularity of remote work allows employees to work from home, promoting a healthy work-life balance. Companies may even offer a stipend to offset additional home office expenses like electricity and internet.
  • Fitness and Wellness Programs: Employers recognize the importance of employee well-being and may provide benefits like subsidized gym memberships, on-site fitness classes, or even free massages.

Time Off and Additional Leave

  • Extra Vacation Days: Some employers offer additional paid vacation days beyond the legal minimum, enhancing employee well-being and leisure time.
  • Birthday Leave: As a unique perk, some companies offer employees a paid day off on their birthday or a flexible option to choose another day.
  • Time Credit: This benefit allows employees to accumulate additional paid time off by working overtime hours or exceeding performance targets.

Financial and Professional Development

  • Performance-Related Bonuses: Companies may offer bonuses tied to individual or company performance to incentivize high achievers.
  • Company Car: Certain positions or high performers may be offered a company car for personal and business use.
  • Personal Development Programs: Employers may invest in their employees' growth by offering financial support or time off for educational courses or certifications relevant to their field.

Additional Perks and Benefits

  • Meal Vouchers or Subsidized Meals: Companies may offer meal vouchers or cover a portion of employees' lunch expenses to improve convenience and potentially reduce tax liability.
  • Company Discounts: Employees may receive discounts on various products or services offered by the company or its partners.
  • Gift Certificates or Vouchers: As a token of appreciation or for special occasions, employers may provide employees with gift certificates or vouchers.

The specific benefits offered will vary depending on the company, industry, and employee position. However, this list highlights the range of attractive perks that Austrian employers leverage to create a compelling employment package.

Health insurance requirements

In Austria, a comprehensive social security system safeguards citizens, including mandatory health insurance for all employees. This system ensures access to quality healthcare services.

Universal Health Coverage

Austria boasts a single-payer healthcare system, funded through mandatory social security contributions. This system guarantees all residents, including employees, access to necessary medical treatment.

Employer and Employee Contributions

Health insurance contributions are split between employers and employees. A percentage of both the employee's gross salary and the employer's contribution are forwarded to the social security system. The specific contribution rate may vary slightly depending on the employee's income level and insurance provider.

Choosing a Health Insurance Provider

While health insurance is mandatory, employees have a degree of choice within the public system. Several public health insurance funds operate in Austria, and employees can generally select their preferred provider.

Important Note: While the public system provides a strong foundation for healthcare, some employees may opt for supplemental private health insurance to cover additional services or reduce waiting times for certain treatments.

Retirement plans

Austria's retirement system combines a mandatory public pension with the option for private or company-sponsored plans. This provides employees with a safety net and opportunities to enhance their retirement income.

Public Pension (Statutory Pension)

The cornerstone of Austria's retirement system is the statutory pension, a mandatory pay-as-you-go system. Contributions are made throughout an employee's working life, with a portion deducted from their salary and a matching contribution from their employer. The retirement benefit is calculated based on factors such as earnings history and contribution duration.


To qualify for a full public pension, employees must reach the official retirement age (currently 65 years old for men and 60 years old for women) and contribute for a minimum number of years (typically 40 years).


While the public pension provides a baseline level of income, it may not always be sufficient to maintain the pre-retirement standard of living, particularly for high earners.

Private and Company Pension Plans (Occupational Pensions)

To supplement the public pension, employees can explore voluntary options for a more secure retirement:

Private Pension Plans

Individuals can invest in private pension plans offered by banks or insurance companies. These plans offer flexibility and potential for higher returns but come with associated investment risks.

Company Pension Plans

Many Austrian employers offer company pension plans as an employee benefit. These plans can be defined benefit (employer guarantees a specific retirement income) or defined contribution (employer and/or employee contribute a set amount).

Benefits of Private and Company Plans

These plans allow employees to accumulate additional savings for retirement, potentially leading to a more comfortable post-retirement lifestyle.

Important Note

Regulations and contribution limits for private and company pension plans can vary. It's crucial to consult with a financial advisor or refer to the specific plan details to make informed decisions.

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