For members


EXPLAINED: How to get your €500 Kurzarbeit bonus in Austria

People who have been in short-term work for an extended period over the pandemic are entitled to a one-off bonus in Austria. Here's how you can get it.

EXPLAINED: How to get your €500 Kurzarbeit bonus in Austria

During most of the coronavirus pandemic, many people went on Kurzarbeit, a short-term work scheme aimed at saving jobs in Austria – similar models were adopted in other countries, including Germany.

While it did help keep unemployment at bay, with companies getting financial assistance from the government in exchange for keeping their workforce, the employees had to cut back on their hours and receive lower pay for, sometimes, months on end.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to claim your €150 energy discount in Austria

Until the end of the year, the federal government is issuing a one-off €500 bonus payment for certain professions and those who have stayed in Kurzarbeit for a long time.

The bonus is personal and individual, so people need to apply for it themselves, and the money is sent directly to their bank account.

Who is entitled to the €500 bonus?

In order to be entitled to receive the payment, the person must have been in Kurzarbeit during December 2021 and additionally for at least ten months during the period between March 1st 2020 and November 30th 2021.

The social security contribution base in December 2021 should not be higher than €2,775.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to claim your 100 euro vaccination bonus in Austria

The workers (or apprentices) need to be in sectors that were particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis. This includes gastronomy, hotel industry, aviation, sports and leisure, cultural institutions, etc.

People who work in Austria but have a residence abroad are also entitled. However, at least until June 2022, the applications need to be made using the online government tools of HandySignatur, ID Austria or Bürgerkarte.

kurzarbeit bonus

A screenshot of the online form to apply for the bonus 

How do I apply for it?

The application is made online through the Federal Accounting Agency (Buchhaltungsagentur des Bundes).

The website is, and you need to be logged in with your HandySignatur, ID Austria or Bürgerkarte.

It will tell you immediately if you are not entitled to the bonus, so you can just log in and check. The information to be filled in includes contact data and the bank account for payment.

Applications for the bonus can be made until December 31st.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to claim your €200 voucher for electronics repair in Austria

Why do I only get the bonus if I was in short-time work in December 2021?

According to the official website, the government assumes that employees who did not have to go on Kurzarbeit during the lockdown in November and December 2021 “will also be less often in short-time work in the coming months”.

“When determining the provisions on the long-term short-time work bonus, the social partners, including the legal representation of the interests of employees, were significantly involved”.

Where can I get further information?

Besides the online resources, the government has published a hotline available on weekdays from 8am to 4pm: +43 1 71123 884468.

Useful vocabulary

Short-time work – Kurzarbeit
Long-term – Langzeit
Loss of income – Einkommensverlust
To apply – beantragen

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Bread, butter and veggies: The items getting more expensive in Austria

The purchase price of flour has risen by around 70 percent, which means the cost of bread, cakes and pastries in Austria are set to rise, alongside steep increases for fresh and canned vegetables. Here's what you need to know.

Bread, butter and veggies: The items getting more expensive in Austria

The war in Ukraine and a ban on the export of wheat in India is driving up the cost of wheat flour around the world, with bakers in Austria warning they have no choice but to raise prices.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, there is also a paper shortage for packaging that is used for most baked goods, adding to further pressure on bakers.

Reinhard Honeder, Chairman of Bakers for the Chamber of Commerce, told ORF: “I believe that every colleague must raise their prices if they have not already done so.”

READ ALSO: The essential products that are getting more expensive in Austria

However, the rising cost of wheat flour is not expected to hit Austria as hard as other countries because Austria is “self-sufficient” when it comes to wheat, due to domestic agriculture capabilities.

Honeder says Austria has enough wheat to feed the population and believes this should stop baked goods from becoming unaffordable. 

In Upper Austria, there are around 288,000 hectares of arable land and wheat is currently grown on almost 46,000 hectares, according to Agrarmarkt Austria.

However, global wheat production is forecast to be 774.8 million tonnes for 2022/2023, which is 4.5 million tonnes less than in 2021/2022.

Farmers are also being hit with rising costs for fertiliser and machinery, leading to ongoing increases in the global price of grain.

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The cost of groceries (Lebensmittel) also on the rise in Austria

Bread isn’t the only staple food product that is becoming more expensive in Austria.

Der Standard reports that the cost of a bell pepper (Paprika), butter and tinned tomatoes are also rising sharply. 

When comparing prices from April 2021 and May 2022, one red pepper (from Austria) is up by 67 percent to €1.49, a 250g pack of Clever butter is 79 percent more at €2.49, and a can of Clever chopped tomatoes costs 20 percent more at €0.47. 

Inflation has been rising in Austria for the past year and hit 7.2 percent in April – the highest rate in Austria since October 1981 when the Gulf War led to an increase in oil prices.

The cost of food is a big driver in the rise in inflation with the average weekly shopping basket costing 14 percent more than last year, according to Statistics Austria.