Registration procedures and residence permits

Kinds of employment

Employment conditions
In Austria, anyone can take a job from the age of 15. Until then, all young people are required to attend school. Young people up to age 18 are covered by child and youth protection legislation.

Minimally employed workers (geringfügig Beschäftigte) (monthly income not exceeding EUR 395.31 in 2014) are covered by accident insurance. The employer must register this part-time employment with the health insurance provider. Voluntary health and pension insurance is available, to be paid for by the minimally employed worker. Under labour legislation (protection against dismissal, severance pay, etc.) minimally employed workers are treated in the same way as employees in permanent employment, except if the working hours amount to less than one fifth of a normal working week (e.g. eight hours in a 40-hour week), in which case the notice period is only 14 days unless otherwise agreed. Such contracts are on the increase in some sectors, such as wholesale and retail trade. The category of ‘new self-employed workers’ covers all commercial activities for which a trade licence (Gewerbeschein) is not required and through which business income is obtained on a contract basis. New self-employed workers therefore mainly use their own equipment (computer, tools, etc.) and are not covered by social security insurance elsewhere as a result of this activity (e.g. through employment). This group includes e.g. writers, consultants, translators, lecturers and psychotherapists. The new self-employed have to report their activity to the Social Insurance Institute for Trade and Industry. They are covered by health, pension and accident insurance. Since 1 January 2009, self-employed persons have been able to insure themselves against the risk of unemployment under an ‘opt-in’ model.

Apprentices (trainees) in all sectors must conclude their contracts of employment in writing; they enjoy full insurance protection (health, accident, unemployment and pension insurance) and have special protection against dismissal.

Agency workers enjoy full insurance protection, but are subject in some circumstances to statutory provisions specific to them (e.g. shorter periods of protection against dismissal.

Voluntary workers have trainee status. They are under no obligation to perform work and have no claim to remuneration. EU/EEA and Swiss citizens enjoy the same rights as Austrians, except where legislation governing the employment of foreign nationals provides otherwise.