The plan, which is being discussed at today’s minister’s meeting, is designed to tackle unemployment in Austria by making it easier for businesses to hire workers.
Employers who create new jobs will pay only half of the associated wage costs for the next three years - providing that the new employees have graduated from an Austrian school or university, are holders of a Red-White-Red residence and employment permit card, were previously employed in Austria within the last 12 months, or are receiving unemployment benefits. This means the scheme will not apply to migrants who are newly arrived in Austria, or Austrians who have returned from working abroad.
Although the plan will primarily benefit Austrians, Chancellor Christian Kern says the plan is not discriminatory and should conform with EU regulations. He said 180,000 people from other EU countries are already pouring into Austria’s labour market every year.
The scheme is expected to cost the government €2 billion.
Although low compared to other countries in the EU, Austria's unemployment rate has been steadily increasing for several years.