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'Geringfügige': What you need to know about marginal employment in Austria

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
'Geringfügige': What you need to know about marginal employment in Austria
Photo by Kate Townsend on Unsplash

A very common type of job in Austria is the "geringfügige" or 'marginal employment', with a different set of rules and limitations. Here's what you need to know.

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Geringfügige Beschäftigung, commonly referred to as "mini-jobs" in English or translated as "marginal employment", is a specific type of employment in Austria characterised by its relatively low earnings.

A person is marginally employed if they earn no more than € 518.44 (2024 rate) per calendar month in regular employment (employment relationship for one month or an indefinite period).

Special payments (such as vacation allowance and Christmas bonus), to which you are usually entitled, are not considered for these salary limits.

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Do I have insurance as a geringfügige worker?

Marginally employed people must be registered with the ÖGK public insurer and receive accident insurance. However, they are not covered by health or pension insurance.

These workers can, instead, take self-insurance for €73.20 a month (2024 value), which gives them sickness and maternity benefits. There is no possibility of taking out (public) self-insurance for unemployment, so people in marginal employment are never insured against unemployment. 

As soon as you earn more than the threshold, you are subject to compulsory health and pension insurance, which applies if you get a pay raise or if you have several employment relationships. However, if the higher earnings are due to many geringfügige contracts, you are still not entitled to unemployment benefits. 

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How can I take out insurance?

You are entitled to be self-insured with the public insurer ÖGK if you are marginally employed and a resident of Austria. You cannot take it if you are already insured with another institution or in another EU/EEA country. You also cannot take it if you belong to a legal professional representation (such as doctors, for example) receive unemployment benefits or childcare allowance. 

You can submit an application online HERE.

As a self-insured person, you receive all benefits such as medical assistance, hospitalisation or medication (benefits in kind) and, if applicable, sickness and maternity benefits (cash benefits). Your co-insured dependents are entitled to medical assistance, hospitalisation, or medication but not cash benefits. 

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What rights do I have?

Even if you are not fully insured, you still have certain rights: The right to vacation, the right to continued payment of remuneration in the event of illness, the right to care leave, the right to severance pay, the entitlements to special payments such as vacation pay and Christmas bonus (according to the relevant collective agreement), the right to the minimum wage as per collective agreement, and compliance with the notice periods. 

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How many hours can I work?

The employee and the employer must agree on the extent and location of working hours. Working hours cannot be changed unilaterally, and the agreements regarding changes to working hours must be made in writing.

For a working day on which you do not work because it falls on a public holiday, you are entitled to the pay you would have received if you had worked on that day (public holiday pay).

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An obligation to work overtime can be contractually agreed upon, but if the remuneration for the overtime exceeds the limits for marginal employment, this is no longer considered marginal employment.

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