Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure AT-2020-16/577 – Updated – measures in Austria
|Country||Austria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 15 April 2020 – 30 June 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
|Author||Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||13 April 2020 (updated 10 November 2021)|
In order to combat child poverty, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Family and Youth has decided to increase the (pre-existing) family hardship fund for families in Corona crisis times: Families in which parents (either one or both) are unemployed or in short-time work, thus encountering a loss in income, should be receiving a one-time non-repayable compensation for income loss. Also self-employed people with income losses will be eligible for this support.
Measures against child poverty are to be strengthened, the Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Mr. Anschober said: There are now payments to families who have been pushed into short-time work or unemployment by the current crisis. The previous family hardship compensation fund has been increased by €30 million which is now available for single payments to those affected. From 15 April 2020, parents who had been employed until 28 February and are now on short-time work or have become unemployed due to the crisis are eligible. Self-employed people with losses could also apply for payment. This applies to families with children who receive family allowance. The payment is valid for three months, but is paid once at the beginning and does not have to be paid back.
The exact amount of support depends on previous income. Federal Minister for Labour, Family and Youth, Ms. Aschbacher cited as an example of a family with two children and €3,000 net family income, which would receive €780 for three months after the father's unemployment. The aim is to compensate for the loss of income due to unemployment or short-time work, the Minister said.
The upper limit of monthly payments lies at €1,200.
By mid-June, only about €6 million out of the €30 million available from the Corona family hardship fund had been paid due to the very high numbers of applications (over 100,000) which initially exceeded the capacities of the ministry. However, resources were increased and administrative improvements were made to avoid delays in payment. By 21 September 2020, 50,000 cases have been processed and approved. The average amount paid out is €1,250 per family, according to the Parliamentary Committee for Family and Youth.
On 30 December 2020, family minister Ms Aschbacher stated that in 2020, 72,500 families received benefits from the fund. In total, €96 million (of the €100 million available) were exhausted. On average, families received €1,300 from the fund.
By mid-February 2021, in total, almost €120 million were paid to approximately 90,000 families. The average payment per family was at €1,300. Especially single parents have benefitted from the fund; around one third of all positively assessed applications are from this group.
As of 30 June 2021 (the latest date of application), a total of 160,873 applications were submitted, 100,444 of which were treated positively (and 40,615 negatively. The processing of the cases was stopped for 18,216 applications because missing documents had not been submitted (despite repeated requests). In total, €131.1 million had been paid. Missing documents for applications still being processed may be submitted until 31 October 2021.
Employees in standard employment
|Does not apply to businesses||
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Involvement is unknown.
Organised labour considers the measure important, but sees improvement in terms of target groups (also formally minimally employed who have lost their jobs) and would favour an increase of unemployment insurance (70% instead of the current 55%). No reaction from the WKO could be identified.
Eurofound (2020), COVID-19 family hardship fund and family crisis fund, measure AT-2020-16/577 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2020-16_577.html
19 May 2022
This publication consists of individual country reports on working life during 2021 for 28 countries (the 27 EU Member States and Norway).Publication
24 June 2020
COVID-19: Policy responses across Europe
This report aims to present an overview of both large-scale government measures and collective agreements that impact on large groups of workers.
16 June 2022
Throughout 2021, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, specific occupational health and safety rules were reintroduced due to increases in infection rates.Article
16 June 2022
Back to work after COVID-19: Testing, vaccines and green certificates
In the second pandemic year 2021, access to one's place of work was increasingly dependent on providing proof of either having been tested, vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in several countries.
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.