Starting a new job

Tip

You can find information about financial support you may be entitled to on oesterreich.gv.at under "Financial support for employees".

Contracts of employment

In a contract of employment (known in German as an Arbeitsvertrag or Dienstvertrag) the employee undertakes to perform specific work on behalf of their employer, under stipulated conditions.

Before you enter into an employment relationship as an employee, you should ask your future employer about your rights and responsibilities within the company. 

An employment contract can be concluded in writing, orally or by acting in such a way as to demonstrate that a contract has been agreed (e.g., by performing the work requested by the employer).

A written contract of employment is not valid unless it has been signed by both the employee and the employer.

Make sure you read the whole contract carefully before signing it, including stipulations regarding the rights and responsibilities associated with it. If you are in any doubt about any aspect of an employment contract, you can ask for it to be reviewed by the Austrian Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer). Their experts will provide advice free of charge and will check the contract for any defects or potentially illegal clauses.

If the employer does not provide the employee with a written employment contract, they must provide a written summary of the key rights and responsibilities associated with the contract of employment immediately after the employee starts work. This document is known as a notice of employment (Dienstzettel).

Young people who have completed their compulsory school education may sign a training contract (e.g., for an apprenticeship (→ USP)) or start formal work experience with the permission of their legal representative –even if they have not yet reached the age of 15. You cannot enter into other types of employment (e.g., summer jobs (→ USP)) until your 15th birthday.

You can find more information on "contracts and notices of employment" on the Business Service Portal at USP.gv.at.

Probationary periods

A probationary period may be agreed at the beginning of an employment relationship (→ USP). During the probationary period, the employment relationship can be terminated without citing any specific grounds, and there is no requirement to observe notice periods. In most cases, the probationary period is limited by law to one month. However, for apprenticeships (→ USP), the probationary period is considered to cover the first three months.

For more information on terminating contracts during probationary periods, go to USP.gv.at.

Working hours

A statutory standard working time of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week applies under Austrian law. However, many sectors/industries are subject to collective agreements (Kollektivverträge) that stipulate a shorter working week (e.g. 38.5 hours). All working hours beyond these limits are counted either as additional hours (Mehrstunden) (for hours in excess of the limits set under a collective agreement) or statutory overtime (Überstunden) (for hours in excess of the statutory limits).

For more information on working hours go to USP.gv.at. The site also provides detailed information for workers in specific circumstances; for example, the section on working hours for young people provides full details of the rules pertaining to employees under 18.

Leave entitlements

Generally speaking, all employees in Austria are entitled to either 25 or 30 days leave a year, depending on whether their contract stipulates a five or six-day working week.

Young people under the age of 18 have a legal entitlement to at least two weeks' leave in the summer (defined as between 15 June and 15 September).

Tip

You should inform your employer of your holiday plans in good time, because leave has to be agreed in advance with the employer.

For detailed information about leave, go to USP.gv.at.

Further links

Legal basis 

Certified Translation
Last update: 6 April 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour