New legislation on working from home in Austria: The most important news for employers and employees (2023)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the terms “homeworking” and “working from home” (or as it is called in German: “home office”) have been on everyone's lips for more than a year now. Since working from home has gained significant importance, the Austrian Parliament has passed a long-expected “home office legislative package” which entered into force on 1 April 2021. The new regulations bring greater flexibility and reliability in planning as well as tax benefits.

1. Voluntary nature of home office

The possibility of working from home continues to be of voluntary nature. Therefore, the employer neither has a right to unilaterally instruct the employee to perform his work from a home office, nor does the employee have a right to work from a home office. Working from home requires a written agreement between the employer and the employee. By law, the agreement may be terminated by either party with one month’s notice for good cause on significant grounds (e.g. a significant change in the employee’s living situation or operational requirements).

2. Working in a café does not constitute homeworking

Under the new Austrian legislation, “home office” is defined as work performed by an employee in his or her home. The term “home” also includes a home at a secondary registered address or the home of a close relative or life partner. Working days on which the employee is (partly) on a business trip or travels to the employer's office do not count as home office days. In contrast, work performed in cafés, libraries, hotel rooms or in public spaces cannot substantiate a home office day for tax purposes which is relevant for the flat rate expenses (see next section).

3. Non-taxable flat rate expenses for working from home up to
EUR 3 per home office day

Employers can grant a non-taxable flat rate allowance for home office, which is also exempt from social security and non-wage labour costs, in the amount of EUR 3 per home office day, for a maximum of 100 home office days in a calendar year (i.e. max. EUR 300 per calendar year).

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If less than the maximum amount of flat rate expenses is claimed, employees will be able to claim the difference as income-related expenses in their annual income tax return (maximum amount minus the flat rate granted by the employer).

This provision applies from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023.

4. Income-related expenses for ergonomic office furniture

Previously, it was only possible to deduct expenses for office furniture if a separate home office space was recognised for tax purposes. Under the new rules, it is possible to deduct expenses for ergonomic furniture for an office space in a private home (in particular, tables, swivel chairs, and desk lamps) as income-related expenses up to a maximum amount of EUR 300 per year if at least 26 days are spent working from home (for the definition of home office days see section 2) in the calendar year.

Special retroactive effects may occur so that in total for the year 2020 and 2021 the maximum deductible amount is EUR 300.

The respective maximum amount constitute a total amount to cover the acquisition or production costs of ergonomic furniture. The rules on depreciation do not apply. Excess amounts in the tax years 2020-2022 can be recognised within the maximum amounts until the annual income tax filing 2023 if the minimum number of home office days in these years is fulfilled. At present, the tax year 2023 is the last year in which the tax deductibility of ergonomic furniture will apply.

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5. Employer must provide digital work equipment

If employees work in their home office on a regular basis, the employer has to provide them with the necessary digital work equipment. This includes both hardware (e.g. laptop, mobile phone etc.) and the required data connection.

Besides, employer and employee may also agree that the employee has to use her/his own digital work equipment when performing her/his services from a home office. However, if such an agreement is made, the employer has to provide the employee with appropriate compensation.

In addition, some collective bargaining agreements (e.g. for the IT industry etc.) contain more detailed provisions on homeworking which should be checked in detail.

If a works council (with relevant competencies) has been established, the employer and the works council may also conclude a works council agreement on the conditions of working from home.

6. Maximum working hours and minimum rest periods must be respected

When working from home, any generally applicable working time provisions (including maximum working hours and minimum rest periods) as well as individual working time arrangements continue to apply.

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Furthermore, it is necessary to keep working time records.In this regard, the Austrian Working Time Act (AZG) provides for some flexibility. If employees perform their work from their home office on a prevailing basis, it is permissible to simply record the net working hours (instead of detailed records on the start and end of working hours and breaks). It must be assessed on a case-to-case basis whether the requirements for such “simplified” working time records are met.

7. Employee protection

The current regulations of the Austrian Employee Protection Act (ASchG) as well as the Austrian Labour Inspection Act (ArbIG), which are relevant for homeworking, remain applicable. Workplace-related occupational health and safety regulations, however, do not apply to homeworking.

Employers are required to inform their employees about the requirements for workplace design and employee protection before the start of homeworking.The employer is only responsible for complying with employee protection provisions concerning the home office if they have provided office furniture or work equipment.

As concerns inspections of the private home, neither the employer nor the Austrian labour inspectorate may enter the employee’s private home without the employee’s consent.

8. No direct liability of household members

Damage to the employer's work equipment (such as IT hardware) which is caused by household members in the home office is attributed to the employee as the "person who caused the damage". Thus, the privileges of the Austrian Employee Liability Act (DHG) – such as a mitigation of liability –apply in such cases too.

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9. COVID-19 related occupational accident insurance continues to apply

As concerns statutory insurance for occupational accidents in the home office, the COVID regulation introduced in 2020 (originally on a temporary basis) has been incorporated into permanent law.

Accidents at home (including secondary registered address, home of a close relative or life partner) in connection with the insured employment will continue to be regarded as occupational accidents. Outside of one's own four walls, occupational accident insurance provisions do not apply, with some exceptions though (e.g. when taking children from a home office to school or kindergarten).

10. Permanent establishment (PE) risk due to homeworking?

When providing for homeworking, the risk of establishing a permanent establishment in Austria for a (foreign) employer or vice versa needs to be carefully assessed in a cross border scenario. All details of fact pattern may be relevant, especially as the Austrian tax authorities' interpretation of the ‘power of disposal’ criterion is broad and far reaching.

In a nutshell

  • A written home office agreement has to be concluded with the employees.
  • The number of days in a calendar year spent in the home office need to be recorded in the wage account and stated on the payslip (L 16) even if no non-taxable allowance is granted.
  • There might be a number of obligations for employers who allow their employees to work from a home office in another country, depending on the extent of home office usage: PE registration, wage tax withholding and social security withholding need to be considered and analysed for the employer in the home country of the employee.

Contact for P&O tax consulting: Evelyn Kappel / Meliha Morankic
Contact for labour law: Ursula Roberts / Lisa-Maria Jobst

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New legislation on working from home in Austria: The most important news for employers and employees? ›

Since working from home has gained significant importance, the Austrian Parliament has passed a long-expected “home office legislative package” which entered into force on 1 April 2021. The new regulations bring greater flexibility and reliability in planning as well as tax benefits.

What is the Austrian employment Protection Act? ›

Under Austrian employment law, employees get the benefit of one of the most generous annual leave entitlements in the world. Workers get 25 days' paid holiday per year, which rises to 30 days after 25 years of service. Additionally, there are 13 paid public holidays every year to take advantage of.

What is the home working allowance in Austria? ›

The Austrian legislator recently introduced the following tax benefits for employees working from home: (i) a lump sum of up to EUR 300 per calendar year, depending on the number of days worked from home, is deducted from the employee's taxable income; (ii) certain work-related expenses (including work equipment like ...

How many hours is a full time job in Austria? ›

Working hours

A statutory standard working time of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week applies under Austrian law.

How is work life balance in Austria? ›

Work culture in Austria

As such, at work, Austrians are formal, polite, and punctual. At the office, there is little room for personal discussions – particularly with new employees. Nevertheless, strict government regulations mean that employers have to be flexible and afford their staff a lenient work-life balance.

What benefits do Austrian employees get? ›

Statutory employee benefits in Austria. Statutory benefits, also known as mandatory benefits, are entitlements that employers are obligated to provide to their employees by law. Common examples include benefits like paid annual leave, parental leave, worker's compensation insurance, and paid sick leave.

What is the minimum wage in Austria? ›

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.

Can I work remotely in Austria? ›

EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens can live in Austria and work as digital nomads for up to three months without any restrictions. After three months, all they need to do is register their stay at a local registration hall, and they can keep living there.

What is a typical work from home allowance? ›

Your remote work allowance will vary depending on your budget and the average cost of the expenses you wish to cover. You can offer as much or as little allowance as you like. Although companies offer between $50-$250 per month or $1,000 each year on average2.

Why are there 14 salaries in Austria? ›

A 13th month or 14th-month bonus in Austria, equal to one month's salary, is a market-norm benefit typically paid at Christmas and upon the employee's vacation time (in the summer). Most Collective Bargaining Agreement includes the 13th and 14th bonus.

How many vacation days do Austrians get? ›

Vacation/Annual Paid Leave

The entitlement of 30 to 36 days of paid annual leave applies only to employees who work from Monday to Saturday, which is a typical working week in Austria. Employees who work from Monday to Friday are entitled to up to 25 working days of paid annual leave.

How many sick days does Austria have a year? ›

Sick leave and sickness benefits (Krankengeld)
Duration of employmentDuration of payment of 100 % of salaryDuration of payment of 50 % of salary
1 year6 weeks4 weeks
2 to 15 years8 weeks4 weeks
16 to 25 years10 weeks4 weeks
26 years and more12 weeks4 weeks
Jan 26, 2023

What is the average hourly wage in Austria? ›

New Austrian minimum wages rates starting 1st of January 2023
Normal hourly wage 2023 €
With seniority of up to 5 yearsIf you have been with the company for more than 5 years, up to 10 yearsIf you have been with the company for more than 10 years, up to 15 years
8 more rows
Jan 1, 2023

Is Austria good for retirement? ›

With its high quality of life, low crime rate, and excellent social security system, it's hardly surprising that nearly a third of expats living in Austria consider staying there for life and spending their retirement there. All in all, for those retiring in Austria, life is pretty sweet.

Are salaries in Austria high? ›

The average median salary in Austria, according to Statistik Austria, is €31,407. This is an estimated net income of 23 617 (after taxes) which works out to around €1,968 per month. Separating the genders, we find that men earn an average of €37,707 while women earn slightly less at €24,309.

Is it expensive to retire in Austria? ›

The cost of retiring in Austria will be similar to the cost of retiring in the U.S. So whether you choose to waltz through Vienna or ski in Innsbruck, this land-locked country, which shares borders with Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Hungary, has a retirement lifestyle for almost everyone.

How long do you have to work in Austria to get pension? ›

In order to receive an Austrian state pension, you need at least 180 covered months. The retirement age for men is 65, for women it is 60 Jahren. You must apply for your pension.

What is family bonus in Austria? ›

The Family Bonus Plus is a tax deduction amounting to € 1,500 (2019-2021), € 2,000 (beginning 2022) per child and year up to the 18th year of the child's life, which means that the tax burden is reduced by up to € 1,500 (2019-2021, beginning 2022: € 2,000) per year.

What are job salaries in Austria? ›

Employees in Austria earned an average gross income of € 32,000 per year in 2018. This corresponds to an average monthly salary of about € 2,400 on the basis of 14 paid salaries before any deductions are made.

How much is an apartment in Austria? ›

The national average rent is 390 EUR a month. The minimum average house rent in Austria can be found in Carinthia, where monthly rent is about 310 EUR (350 USD). The highest average monthly rent is 500 EUR (550 USD) in Vorarlberg.

What is the main industry in Austria? ›

Austria is a highly developed industrialized country with an important service sector. The most important industries are food and luxury commodities, mechanical engineering and steel construction, chemicals, and vehicle manufacturing.

What is the maximum working hours per week in Austria? ›

Long story short: In Austria you are not allowed to work for more than twelve hours per day and 60 hours per week, including overtime. Total working time may not exceed 48 hours per week based on a 17-week average.

Can an American work remotely in Europe? ›

Yes, it's possible to work remotely from another country temporarily. If you have the correct visas and a work permit, you can reside for a pre-set time period within the borders of most foreign countries.

Do Americans need a visa for Austria? ›

Prospective residents or anyone intending to stay longer than 90 days must obtain the appropriate visa. Visit the Embassy of Austria's website for current visa information or the Government of Austria's website on migration. Austria collects the fingerprints of all visa applicants.

Can I work abroad if my job is remote? ›

It is legal to work remotely from a different country from where you are a tax resident in most cases. However, several requirements make remote working legal in the other country, for example, staying only the duration which, your visa affords you and not getting involved with the local workforce.

What expenses should my employer pay if I work-from-home? ›

Employers must reimburse California employees for all necessary expenses, including those incurred at the employer's direction. Necessary expenses include internet access and phone bills for remote workers. According to state law, necessary expenditures include all reasonable costs.

Do you get taxed more for working from home? ›

Remote Work Doesn't Usually Affect Federal Income Taxes

Your employer would withhold taxes from your paychecks just as it did before, no matter where you live and work. “Self-employed people, independent contractors and freelancers can deduct a variety of home office expenses,” Herigstad says.

Who pays for travel for remote workers? ›

Statute provides that the Government shall pay actual and necessary travel and mandatory relocation costs (5 U.S.C. §§ 5702, 5724, 5724a). Accordingly, agencies cannot require employees to waive travel and mandatory relocation costs.

How many days off for wedding in Austria? ›

In Austria there is also something called Sonderurlaub, or special leave. This is generally between 1-3 days of paid leave and is granted in the case of very special and specific events, such as a marriage or a death in the immediate family, having a baby, or moving to a new home.

What is the average salary in Austria in dollars? ›

What is average wage in Austria? Average Wages in Austria decreased to 2521 EUR/ Month (2701.486 USD/Month) in 2021. The maximum rate of average wage for employees was 2847 EUR/ Month and minimum was 1866 EUR/ Month. Data published Yearly by Statistics.

Is 80k a good salary in Austria? ›

Absolutely. You'll get around 6.850,– each month and in addition to that roughly 10.000,– extra in July and November (we have 14 salaries in Austria). You can easily afford one of the best apartments in the center and two Mercedes with that kind of money.

What country gives the most PTO? ›

Iran offers the highest number of paid public holidays in the world with a total 27 days per year including the Islamic Republic Day. It is followed by Bangladesh (24), Azerbaijan (21), and Cambodia (21). On the other extreme, Libya has no paid public holidays, while Lebanon has only two paid public holidays per year.

Which country has the most paid time off? ›

Iran has the most statutory annual vacation days in the world (53), with a clear week's worth more than second-placed San Marino (46). As well as a reasonable 26 days of paid leave, Iran has nearly a month of public holidays (27 days), which is more than any other country.

How much is vacation pay in Austria? ›

An employee is not legally entitled to a holiday allowance, but this holiday allowance is customarily paid in Austria as a 14th monthly salary. The special payments are frequently regulated in the collective agreements.

How many sick days allowed in usa? ›

Most commonly, employees earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Paid sick time laws generally allow employers to limit the amount of sick time that employees can earn or use in a year, typically to around 40 hours per year.

Who pays the maternity leave in Austria? ›

You should claim maternity benefit through your sickness insurance fund. Your entitlement to maternity benefit will be suspended if your employer continues to pay your wages (continued payment). In addition to the cash benefit, you may be entitled to benefits in kind from your sickness insurance fund.

How many sick days is normal in the US? ›

The average number of paid sick days is as follows: 8 days per year for full-time workers. 6 days per year for part-time workers. 8 days per year for workers who received a fixed number of paid sick days after 1 year of service.

How much does it cost to live in Austria? ›

Prices vary from one region to another. In Vienna and Salzburg, you should prepare a monthly budget of 900 - 1,300 EUR to cover all your expenses (accommodation, food, social activities and public transportation). In other student cities, like Linz or Graz, living costs range between 900 and 1,000 EUR/month.

How much do Louis Vuitton employees get paid in Austria? ›

How much does Louis Vuitton pay? The average Louis Vuitton salary ranges from approximately $32,290 per year for a Host to $352,300 per year for a Director. The average Louis Vuitton hourly pay ranges from approximately $15 per hour for a Hostess to $87 per hour for a General Manager.

What language is spoken in Austria? ›

German is the official language of Austria and an important prerequisite for participating in the working, economic and social life of the country. Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian are recognised as official languages of autonomous population groups in some regions.

How long can an American live in Austria? ›

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens need a type to get a long-stay visa and a residence permit if they plan to stay for longer than six months in the Austrian territory.

Can an American citizen live in Austria? ›

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit include proof of income and accommodation in Austria, health insurance, and proof that there are no legal impediments for an American citizen to relocate to Austria.

Can Americans live in Austria permanently? ›

If you do not have EU/EEA or Swiss nationality, you are considered a national of a third country. This will necessitate a residence permit to stay in Austria. The best option to obtain permanent residence in Austria is to apply for a Red-White-Red Card.

What jobs are in demand in Austria? ›

* Despite the Covid 19 crisis in 2021, there is a strong demand for unskilled and skilled workers in tourism and hospitality. Relevant work experience and flexibility are required or desirable for all vacancies in this field. * Sales staff in the food industry and other sales staff are also in demand.

What is the most popular job in Austria? ›

Some of the most popular freelancer jobs in Austria are:
  • marketing assistant.
  • business project manager.
  • web developer.
  • writer.
  • accountant.
  • insurance inspector.
  • teacher/tutor.
  • social media assistant.

What is the best paid job in Austria? ›

What is the best-paid profession in Austria? The best-paid job in Austria is not a complete surprise: “medical doctor” tops the list of Austrian occupations with good salaries, with an average wage of €72,000 annually.

What are the disadvantages of living in Austria? ›

Con: Taxes

Austria uses a progressive tax rate system like in the U.S., but the tax percentages are greater. You can expect to pay more than double the taxes in Austria. For example, if you have an average salary of €60,000 in 2022, you will pay 48% of that income in taxes in Austria.

What is the cheapest area to live in Austria? ›

In general, Vienna and Innsbruck are consistently ranked the most expensive cities in Austria, while the cheapest, or most affordable, cities include Graz and Klagenfurt.

What is the cheapest city to live in Austria? ›

Graz -- The second-largest city in Austria is known as a university town and rent, food, and utility costs are some of the lowest in the country.

What was the purpose of the employment act? ›

Employment laws were put into place to protect employees from unsafe or unhealthy work environments, discrimination from employers and unlawful compensation.

What did the employment act do? ›

"The Senate bill declared that it is the responsibility of the Federal Gov- ernment to maintain full employ- ment and to assure at all times suf- ficient opportunities for employment to enable all Americans able and will- ing to work to exercise their right to continued full employment.

Is Austria in the ESA? ›

After having been an Associated Member to the European Space Agency, ESA, Austria joined ESA as a full member in 1987.

How does unemployment work in Austria? ›

In Austria, as a first-time claimant of unemployment benefits, you need to have worked and paid compulsory insurance contributions for 52 weeks during the two years preceding the claim. If you have already received unemployment benefits, it is sufficient to have worked for 28 weeks during the year preceding the claim.

Which of the following are laws which protect workers? ›

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or otherwise harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers.

What are some disadvantages of employment law? ›

Court deadlines can often be demanding, and trials can be exhausting. Many litigators in this field complain that it's a very adversarial practice area. Opposing counsel is often difficult to work with and confrontational.

Why you should always stand up for yourself at work? ›

Standing up for yourself in the workplace, no matter how hard it is to do, can create an environment where you can better tolerate your workplace and may even enjoy your work more. Not only that but in some cases, it can mean greater self-confidence and peace overall.

What were the three main things that the Fair Labor Standards Act did? ›

Generally, the bill provided for a 40-cent-an-hour minimum wage, a 40-hour maximum workweek, and a minimum working age of 16 except in certain industries outside of mining and manufacturing.

What is meant by full employment? ›

What Is Full Employment? Full employment is an economic situation in which all available labor resources are being used in the most efficient way possible. Full employment embodies the highest amount of skilled and unskilled labor that can be employed within an economy at any given time.

What happens when unemployment falls to very low levels? ›

A very low a rate of unemployment, however, can have negative consequences, such as inflation and reduced productivity. When the labor market reaches a point where each additional job added does not create enough productivity to cover its cost, then an output gap, or slack, happens.

Is there unemployment in Austria? ›

The average unemployment rate for 2022 is 7.1% (-1.7% compared to the previous year) and is therefore above the Austrian average (6.3%).

What country is right under Austria? ›

Austria is bordered to the north by the Czech Republic, to the northeast by Slovakia, to the east by Hungary, to the south by Slovenia, to the southwest by Italy, to the west by Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and to the northwest by Germany.

Why is Austria not in EU? ›

Membership of Austria in the European Union (or its predecessor organizations) was controversial due to the Austrian commitment to neutrality. Austria only joined in 1995, together with two Nordic countries that had also declared their neutrality in the Cold War (Sweden and Finland).

How much is unemployment salary in Austria? ›

The basic amount is 55% of daily net income (up to 80% in case of entitlement to family supplements). Minimum and maximum values of the daily rates result de facto from the marginal earnings threshold and the maximum assessment base. The duration of unemployment benefit depends on the period of insurance and your age.

What country pays the most unemployment? ›

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland provide the most generous unemployment protection systems of all ILO member countries, the report says.

What is the monthly unemployment rate in Austria? ›

Unemployment refers to the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment. Austria unemployment rate for 2021 was 6.30%, a 0.94% increase from 2020.


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