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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 www.meinesv.at/kua500, 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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WORKING IN AUSTRIA

EU takes action against Austria on working rights

Austria comes up short in areas such as 'transparent and predictable working conditions' and 'promotion of equality in the labour market', the EU Commission has said.

EU takes action against Austria on working rights

The EU Commission has reprimanded Austria on several labour market issues, according to a press statement by the Brussels-based authority.

Austria is lagging in properly implementing EU regulations in “transparent and predictable working conditions” and “promotion of equality in the labour market”.

After the European Union sends out directives to member states, it also sets a deadline for the countries to bring the EU-agreed rules to the national level.

READ ALSO: 10 ways EU countries aim to cut energy bills and avoid blackouts this winter

The first directive for “transparent and predictable working conditions” provides more extensive and updated labour rights and protection to the 182 million workers in the European Union.

The EU Commission stated: “With the new rules, workers have, for instance, the right to more predictability regarding assignments and working time. They will also have the right to receive timely and more complete information about the essential aspects of their job, such as place of work and remuneration”.

Austria and 18 other member states have failed to communicate the complete transposition of the directive into national law by the deadline of August 1st.

READ ALSO: 10 ways EU countries aim to cut energy bills and avoid blackouts this winter

Promotion of equality in the labour market

Additionally, Austria has failed to notify national measures transposing the “Work-Life Balance Directive” by the EU and has been notified along with 18 other countries.

The directive “aims to ensure equality in labour market participation by encouraging equal sharing of care responsibilities between parents”.

“It introduced paternity leave, ensuring that fathers/second parents have the right to take at least ten working days of paternity leave around the time of birth of the child. The Directive also establishes a minimum of four months of parental leave, with at least two of the four months non-transferable from one parent to another.

READ ALSO: Non-EU family members of EU citizens can obtain long-term residence, court rules

“It establishes five working days per year of carers’ leave for each worker providing personal care or support to a relative or person living in the same household and gives all working parents of children up to at least eight years old and all carers a right to request flexible working arrangements.”

The Austrian federal government now has two months to respond to the EU Commission’s letter of formal notice, otherwise, it faces another warning – and could eventually see its case going to the European Court of Justice.

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