Austria has very strict laws for the protection of employees, some dating back to the 1950s. Although changes are being made in order to adapt to the more competitive environment, general working conditions are very favourable.
The standard working hours are 8 hours per day, five days per week. Extra hours have to be paid. Austrians tend to go to work early, you can expect workers to be at work at 7am and white collars not later than 8am.
Every year you are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday. You can get more paid days off in certain cases (e.g. your child is sick at home, you move into a new apartment and so on).
Sick leave and insurance
If you get sick, the company continues to pay you. Normally you can stay home for the first day without any obligations. From the second day you have to get and provide a doctor’s certificate. In the case of a long illness, you will receive money from your social security insurance. Insurance is obligatory in Austria and normally gets deducted from your salary automatically. Also, as a freelancer you are obliged to pay insurance.
Due to increased competition in the employment market, many companies prefer to employ people on a contract basis. In this case, you have to account for several ‘privileges’ you loose – and therefore get a higher salary.