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Hiring Austria, explained





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Hire Employees in Austria — Overview

  • Austria — home of Red Bull energy drinks and Swarovski crystals — is a prosperous central European country, famed for its mountainous landscape and the elegance of historic cities like Vienna and Salzburg.
  • Its economy is centered on the electronics industry, mechanical and steel engineering, the auto industry and food and drink manufacturing. Consequently, Austria has a highly-educated, tech-literate workforce, making it an ideal talent pool for technical professionals.
  • As with its biggest trading partner, Germany, however, Austria has significant worker protections built into its labor laws. Any company hiring employees in Austria needs to ensure it is fully compliant with local tax and labor laws.

Facts & Stats

Population 8.9M (3.7M labor force) Capital City Vienna Languages Spoken German (18th worldwide)
Currency Euro (€) GDP per capita $52,267 Ease of Doing Business 27th in the world
Minimum Wage None Average Wage 2521 EUR/ Month Paid Leave 25-30 days

Austria: Business Environment

Business outlook in Austria

  • In 2021, Austria bounced back from the Pandemic with a GDP increase of 4.5%. It is projected that in 2022 GDP will increase by 3.6% and in 2023 the economy will slowly grow by 1.4%. in short despite global events, the business outlook in Austria is bright.
  • Austria is ranked 27th in the world for ease of doing business. Moreover, Austria is the 33rd largest economy in the world and it is 17th in GDP per capita.
  • Overall, Austria’s outlook is looking positive for any business interested in expanding within German-speaking Europe.

Business regulation in Austria

  • There are a number of labor laws regarding employment, annual leave, taxes, and insurance in Austria. For example, in Austria you cannot discriminate based on age, gender, or ethnicity; you must allow for up to 25 days of paid annual leave a year; and a prescribed notice period for termination must be followed.
  • To avoid legal action from employees or regulators, it is crucial that you have an excellent understanding of Austrian labor law before you hire employees there.

Business culture in Austria

  • Austria is a popular destination for businesses looking to expand into the EU: The Central European country has a diverse history and culture, a strong economy, and strong ties to neighboring countries such as Germany and Italy.
  • Austria, similar to its neighbor Germany, takes a formal and conservative approach to doing business. Coming to meetings on time and being well prepared is a must-do in Austria. Also, most Austrian employees wear reasonably formal attire, such as dark suits, to work.
  • It is important to understand that Austrians are not Germans: Although they share a language, their distinct history and culture is important to Austrians.
  • While German is the first language, English is widely well-spoken throughout the country.

Recruiting employees in Austria – Overview

Competition in Austria can be high for the best talent: Austria is a relatively prosperous country with well-educated candidates that expect attractive employment offers. Nearly half of Austrians have university-level degrees. While compensation will need to be competitive, Austrians are renowned for their work ethic so usually recruiting Austrian employees is an excellent investment for global businesses.

Most important recruitment tools in Austria

  • Indeed

    Indeed is a widely-used job website in Austria. Since it is a global job website, this is a good site to recruit global talent along with Austrian talent. Austria is in the EU, so all EU citizens have a right to work in Austria, making Indeed a great place to recruit.

  • Karriere

    Karriere is the leading job website in Austrian for recruiting. This is a site where you can rely on targeting mostly Austrian citizens.

Interviewing employees in Austria – Overview

Interviews in Austria follow the procedures similar to the US and most other European countries. Because of business culture, there is a higher level of formality in Austria than in other European countries. For interviews in Austria is it best to:

  • Wear formal attire like dark suits (both men and women)
  • Be punctual. Show up on time for the interview, and if you can at least 5 minutes early.
  • Greet the candidate with a handshake and ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ salutations (the equivalent of Herr and Frau in German).

Interviews are expected to last between 30 and 45 minutes in Austria. They are typically one on one, however, having a panel of two or three interviewers talk with one candidate is not unusual.

It is important to note that in Austria it is disallowed to ask questions about family and family planning, health status, religious orientation, and sexual orientation. Questions about these topics is best avoided in order to avoid being accused of employment discrimination.

Can I ask the candidate’s previous salary in Austria?

You are allowed to ask, however the candidate does not need to disclose this information to you. As in many countries, it may be considered rude to ask this question, and put off potential employees. 

What is the typical salary increase at a new job in Austria?

Generally speaking, a good salary increase at a new job in Austria is between 10-20%. Employees will expect this salary increase when changing from their old position.

Onboarding employees in Austria – Overview

  • Onboarding employees in Austria includes performing necessary background checks, ensuring payroll and insurance is set up, and ensuring the draft of the employment contract includes everything it needs to, like information about paid time off, severance and termination procedures. Onboarding employees can get a little tricky in Austria due to a large number of labor laws that must be followed.
  • For example, probationary periods in Austria usually last around 1 month. During this time either party can terminate the employment contract without explanation.
  • Under normal circumstances, depending on the duration of employment, the termination period can change. For an employee for around two years’ experience, the termination notice must be 6 weeks, and this goes up to 5 months’ notice for employees who have given more than 25 years of service.
  • Also, in Austria, employees are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday leave a year, in addition to the 13 paid public holidays a year. There are other leave rights like maternity leave and paternal leave that Austrian employees are entitled to.

Best remote working tools to use in Austria

Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Dropbox are all popular remote working tools to use in Austria. The working population in Austria is technologically advanced and will be able to learn your remote working system with relative ease.

Holiday season in Austria – 2023

Austria has up to 14 national public holidays that are celebrated annually, with time off work. Below are all holidays in Austria for 2023:

DateHoliday name
1 Jan, 2023New Year’s Day
6 Jan, 2023Epiphany
10 Apr, 2023Easter Monday
1 May, 2023Labor Day / May Day
18 May, 2023Ascension Day
29 May, 2023Whit Monday
8 Jun, 2023Corpus Christi
15 Aug, 2023Assumption of Mary
25 Sep, 2023Yom Kippur
26 Oct, 2023National Day
1 Nov, 2023All Saints’ Day
8 Dec, 2023Immaculate Conception
25 Dec, 2023Christmas Day
26 Dec, 2023St. Stephen’s Day

What is the typical salary increase employees in Austria expect?

On average, the typical salary increase employees in Austria will expect is around 3% to 4% annually. The increase amount depends on employee performance, the economic market, and the industry the employer is in. Therefore, each year and each employee across different industries will have different expectations. Note that in some industries there are collective bargaining agreements in place that have their annual salary increase already agreed upon.


Hiring freelancers or employees may both be suitable, depending on the nature of the job. However, if you are hiring someone to work for you on a fulltime, indefinite basis, they usually need to be hired as an employee. Otherwise, you risk penalties and backtaxes from the Austrian Government for ‘disguised employment‘ (Scheinselbstständigkeit).

Yes, you are allowed to hire foreigners to work for you in Austria. However, in Austria, employment of foreign nationals is only lawful when an appropriate permit has been obtained from the labor market authorities. Also, the foreign candidate must have the proper permit to work.

The first time hiring of a foreign worker in Austria requires a restricted employment permit (Beschäftigungsbewilligung). This is valid for a maximum period of a year, must be applied for by the employer, and relates to a specific job.

Remember that citizens of the EU are exempt from this requirement in Austria, and therefore, are not legally considered foreign workers.

Setting up a subsidiary in Austria as a limited liability company (known as a GesellschaftmitbeschränkterHaftung or ‘GmbH’) will include:

  1. Obtaining confirmation that your company is really a new enterprise.
  2. Notarizing your statues and articles of association.
  3. Depositing your minimum capital requirement at a bank.
  4. Registering your company at the local court.
  5. Obtaining a VAT number.
  6. Registering trade with the Austrian trade authority.
  7. Registering your employees
  8. Registering with the municipality you are working in.

This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type of entity you choose. You will also need to hire people who know the ins and outs of setting up a subsidiary in Austria.

The practical process to hire employees in Austria takes the form of most other European formalities. You must advertise the opening on popular job websites, conduct interviews, and hire and onboard your employees. The process can get tricky, there are numerous laws regarding the recruitment process and the payroll/onboarding process in Austria that must be adhered to. Labor laws like paid leave, severance, social security, and taxation all need to be sorted out before you can hire employees in Austria.

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