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Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Austria

Holiday leave

In Austria, the law stipulates that employees should receive a minimum of 5 weeks (30 working days, including Saturdays) of paid vacation leave each working year. If an employee has been with the same employer for 25 years or more, they are entitled to 6 weeks (36 working days) of paid vacation annually.

Calculating Vacation Entitlement

The working year, which is used to calculate vacation, typically begins on the first day of an employee's employment. For part-time employees, their vacation entitlements are proportionally reduced based on their working hours. During the first six months of employment, vacation entitlement is accrued on a pro-rata basis. For each completed month of service, employees earn two working days of vacation. After six months of employment, the full annual vacation entitlement is granted.

Other Important Considerations

During their vacation leave, employees are entitled to receive their regular salary. As a rule, the entire vacation entitlement must be taken within the current working year. However, in certain circumstances, unused vacation may be carried over to the next year. If employment is terminated, employers are required to pay out any unused vacation.

Public holidays

Austria observes thirteen official public holidays each year. These holidays are divided into national holidays.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (Neujahrstag): Celebrated on January 1st.
  • Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige): Celebrated on January 6th.
  • Easter Monday (Ostermontag): The date varies based on the date of Easter Sunday.
  • Labor Day (Staatsfeiertag): Celebrated on May 1st.
  • Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt): The date varies, it's 39 days after Easter Sunday.
  • Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag): The date varies, it's 50 days after Easter Sunday.
  • Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam): The date varies, it's 60 days after Easter Sunday.
  • Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt): Celebrated on August 15th.
  • National Day (Nationalfeiertag): Celebrated on October 26th.
  • All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen): Celebrated on November 1st.
  • Immaculate Conception (Mariä Empfängnis): Celebrated on December 8th.
  • Christmas Day (Christtag): Celebrated on December 25th.
  • St. Stephen's Day (Stefanitag): Celebrated on December 26th.

It's important to note that regional or religious holidays may be observed in some areas of Austria, but these are not considered national public holidays.

Types of leave

In Austria, employees are entitled to various types of leave, protected by multiple labor laws.

Annual Vacation Leave (Urlaub)

Under the Urlaubsgesetz (Vacation Law), employees are entitled to a minimum of 5 weeks (30 working days, including Saturdays) of paid vacation per working year. After 25 years with the same employer, this entitlement increases to 6 weeks (36 working days). Vacation entitlement is calculated based on the employee's working year and pro-rated for partial years of employment.

Sick Leave (Krankenstand)

The Angestelltengesetz (Salaried Employees Act), Arbeiter-Urlaubsgesetz (Workers Vacation Act), and Arbeitsvertragsrechts-Anpassungsgesetz (Contract Law Amendment Act) provide for sick leave. Employees are entitled to full pay continuation during illness for a limited period, depending on their length of service. A doctor's note is generally required after the third day of absence.

Maternity Leave (Mutterschutz)

The Mutterschutzgesetz (Maternity Protection Act) provides for maternity leave. Female employees are entitled to a period of protected leave, generally 8 weeks before the expected due date and 8 weeks after childbirth. In the case of multiple births or Caesarean section, this period extends to 12 weeks after childbirth. During maternity leave, employees are entitled to maternity benefits from their health insurance.

Parental Leave (Karenz)

Under the Väter-Karenzgesetz (Paternity Leave Act) and Mutterschutzgesetz (Maternity Protection Act), both parents have the right to take parental leave until the child's second birthday. The legal duration of parental leave is flexible, with various models available. During parental leave, eligible parents may receive childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld).

Care Leave (Pflegekarenz)

The Pflegekarenzgesetz (Care Leave Act) allows employees to take care leave to care for close relatives in need of care. The duration varies depending on the level of care needed.

Educational and Study Leave (Bildungskarenz)

Under the Arbeitsvertragsrechts-Anpassungsgesetz (Contract Law Amendment Act), employees may take educational or study leave for a period of 2 months to one year after six months of uninterrupted employment with their current employer. Employees may receive a further training allowance from the Employment Service (AMS).

Other Types of Leave

Other types of leave include sabbatical leave (which may be agreed on with the employer), special leave for family events or emergencies, military leave, and leave for elected officials.

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