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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes about life in Austria in January 2022

These are the tax, law and other changes to be aware of in Austria in the first month of 2022.

Working with coffee
Have an organised start to 2022 by keeping on top of these changes. Photo: Green Chameleon/Unsplash

Single Johnson & Johnson vaccine no longer valid as proof of full vaccination

From January 3rd, a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will no longer be considered as full vaccination for the purposes of entry into Austria or the domestic 2G and 3G rules. 

This means anyone who has only received one dose of the J&J vaccine should get a booster as soon as possible.

Tax changes

On January 1st, the second level of wage and income tax (payable on income between €18,000 to €31,000) will decrease from 35 to 32.5 percent. In 2023 it will decrease further to 30 percent. 

This is a change from earlier plans for the law, which would have seen this level of tax reduced to 30 percent in July, but this is more complicated for payroll and accounting, so instead the smaller reduction is taking place earlier and affected earners will see the extra money in their paycheck from this month.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about paying tax in Austria

Austria’s climate citizens assembly gets started

Austria’s new citizens assembly for the climate will begin work in January, with two meetings scheduled for the 15th and 16th of the month. Statistics Austria selected 100 people to represent the nation, who will be assisted in their work by 15 scientists.

The assembly should have started in November but was postponed due to the pandemic. Further meetings are planned for February, March, April, May and June, taking place in Vienna and Salzburg, and the idea is that the assembly helps develop climate proposals. Other people in Austria will get the chance to have their say through online participation.

Public holiday on January 6th

The first public holiday of the year — and the first chance of a long weekend by taking one day of annual leave as a ‘bridge day’ — comes on Thursday, January 6th. In case you missed it, The Local has a guide to maximising your annual leave in Austria.

Back to school

Schools reopen in Austria on January 10th, after some regions decided to stay closed on January 7th last autumn and the decision was made nationwide later in the winter.

To begin with, all students including those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will need to take Covid tests three times per week, at least one of them (two in some regions) being a PCR test.

READ ALSO: 11 Austrian life hacks that will make you feel like a local

Salary increases

Workers in several industries will see their wages increase thanks to changes to collective agreements often effective from January 1st. For retail workers for example, an average 2.8 wage increase was agreed (which rises to 3.51 percent for those in the lowest wage bracket) so that a minimum monthly salary of €1,700 gross now applies. Those working as civil servants will see an average 3 percent increase, with 3.22 percent rises for the lowest earners.

Water, sewage and waste disposal costs rise in Vienna

Fees for water, garbage and sewage costs are set to increase in Vienna. Owners or landlords of buildings are liable for these costs, rather than renters in Austria. The average increase is estimated by the council at €2.45 for an average household of three people and €1.07 for an average single person household.

Assisted dying becomes legal

This change comes into effect from January 1st. Adults who are terminally ill or suffer from a permanent, debilitating condition will be able to access help ending their own lives.

Two doctors will have to assess each case, one of whom must be qualified in palliative medicine. Among their duties will be to determine whether the patient is capable of coming to the decision independently.

In addition, at least 12 weeks will have to pass before access is granted to make sure euthanasia is not being sought due to a temporary crisis. This period will be shortened to two weeks for patients in the terminal phase of an illness.

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

REVEALED: Austria’s most popular baby names in 2022

Austria's most popular baby names in 2022 might surprise readers.

REVEALED: Austria's most popular baby names in 2022

It’s that time of the year again when Statistics Austria releases the country’s most popular names for newborn babies, with Marie (for girls) and Paul (for boys) revealed as the winners.

Marie has taken the top spot for the second year in a row, while Paul has snatched the top spot for the first time since 2018, according to the latest figures.

Emilia and Jakob followed in second place for girls and boys respectively.

READ ALSO: Could Austria change the rules around citizenship?

Tobias Thomas, Director General of Statistics Austria, said: “He [Paul] was the top climber, moving up four places from last year. Lea and David on the other hand, each slipped three places compared to the previous year.”

The name Marie was chosen 975 times in Austria in 2021, and Paul was chosen 810 times.

Marie first entered the top ten list of most popular girl’s names in Austria in 2009 and has been climbing steadily ever since. Whereas Paul has been in the top ten since 2012, claimed the top spot in 2018 and appeared in second place in 2017 and 2019.

READ MORE: IN NUMBERS: One in four Austrian residents now of foreign origin

Statistics Austria compiles the results by analysing registered baby names in their original form, without special characters.

Here’s the full top 10 list of the most popular baby names for girls and boys in Austria in 2021.

Girls

  1. Marie
  2. Emilia
  3. Anna
  4. Emma
  5. Lena
  6. Mia
  7. Laura
  8. Valentina
  9. Hannah
  10. Lea

Boys

  1. Paul
  2. Jakob
  3. Maximilian
  4. Elias
  5. David
  6. Felix
  7. Leon
  8. Tobias
  9. Jonas
  10. Noah
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