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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case AT-2020-10/790 – measures in Austria

SME subsidy for teleworking: Region of Styria and Chamber of Labour

Tele!Arbeit Offensive

Country Austria , applies regionally

    • – AT22 Steiermark
Time period Temporary, 01 March 2020 – 23 April 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Case created 25 April 2020 (updated 10 July 2020)

Background information

The public health measures taken as a response to the spread of the corona virus, have forced several thousands of companies in Styria to resort to telework. It is important to take flexible paths - from management to production and working methods to sales and communication internally and externally. The goal of this initivie is to maintain operations, secure jobs - and at the same time protect the health of customers and employees. For this reason, the regional government of Styria (Land Steiermark, with its support service provider SFG) and the Chamber of Labour in the region of Styria (AK Steiermark) started their promotion campaign 'Teleworking! Offensive' retrospectively from 1 March 2020.

Content of measure

The campaign supports the set up of temporary teleworking places financially. These are investments in information and communication technology for workplaces outside the company location. This includes some hardware and software, the initial start-up and licenses.

For the incurred expenses, 50% from the regional state, and another 30% from AK Steiermark can be received as non repayable grants. Alternatively, the rent or lease of equipment is supported by covering down payments or costs for a maximum of five months.

Costs for the ongoing operation of internet access, telephone, electricity etc., but also office and business equipment, such as furniture etc. are not covered.

The maximum eligible costs are €50,000 per company and €5,000 per teleworker (on average). The grant volume must be between €1,000 and €40,000. In total, funds for supporting 2,300 teleworking jobs have been set up.

Eligible are employers in Styria which are classified as SMEs. Excluded are one-person microenterprises, tourism and leisure businesses, nonprofit organisations, healthcare companies and people outside the SFG target group.

Use of measure

Between 1 April 2020 and 15 April 2020, 550 applications were received. On 22 April, over 1,000 applications were registered.

On 23 April, the funds were used and applications for the subsidy no longer possible.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Trade unions
Local / regional government
Public support service providers
Regional funds
Trade union

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative No involvement
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Regional or local level

Involvement

The Styrian Chamber of Labour was involved in the design of the measure and funds 30%.

Views and reactions

Views on the measure are positive.

Sources

  • 15 April 2020: New funding actions to support businesses (Neuer Foerderaktion fuer Unternehmen) - SFG (www.sfg.at)
  • 22 April 2020: Teleworking offensive: over 1,000 applications (Telearbeitsplatz-Offensive: Über 1.000 Anträge) (steiermark.orf.at)
  • 23 April 2020: Styria: Teleworking offensive - budget exhausted! (Steiermark: Telearbeitsplatz-Offensive - Budget ausgeschöpft!) (www.regionews.at)
  • 25 April 2020: Tele!Arbeit (www.sfg.at)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), SME subsidy for teleworking: Region of Styria and Chamber of Labour, case AT-2020-10/790 (measures in Austria), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.