European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

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-2020-16/789 Updated – measures in Austria

Entrepreneur's wage (part of the company subsidy for fixed costs)

Fixkostenzuschuss

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 April 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Case created 25 April 2020 (updated 08 January 2021)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

For companies affected by business closures, a €15 billion COVID-19 crisis fund ("Nothilfefonds") is available, which consists of several measures (see the cases bank guarantees, state support for tourism), among them the subsidy for fixed costs. To cover fixed costs, non-repayable subsidies are granted to companies that suffer substantial sales losses of at least 40% due to the consequences of the corona crisis (see case AT-2020-16/474 ). As part of this package, also an entrepreneurs' salary can be claimed.

Content of measure

Eligible for the subsidy of fixed costs are those companies that fully meet the following conditions:

  • Companies that have their management or a permanent establishment in Austria
  • Companies that have to bear fixed costs from their operating activities in Austria
  • Companies that were healthy before the Corona crisis
  • Companies which, in the course of the Corona crisis, have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 40%
  • Enterprises which take all reasonable measures to achieve sales which help to reduce fixed costs and maintain jobs in Austria.

Among the different components of fixed costs which can be subsidised, an entrepreneur's salary is included. This is calculated on the basis of the last assessed previous year and amounts to a minimum of €666.67 and a maximum of €2,666.67 per month.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

18 December 2020

On 23 November 2020, the European Commission approved the extension of the fixed costs subsidy (phase II) after weeks of uncertainty. Companies may now receive a subsidy of up to €3 million to cover their fixed costs. For the time being, applications for up to €800,000 can be made. Similar to phase I, the entrepreneur's wage falls under the costs covered in the same amount as in phase I.

16 June 2020

On their 2-day working meeting on 15 and 16 June 2020, after which further COVID-19 support measures worth €19 billion were announced, the extension of the company subsidy for fixed costs by six months was decided. Thus, the qualifying time for the measure (phase 2) is expected to be extended to March 2021 and the threshold for loss of sales is expected to be lowered from 40% to 30%. At the time of writing (9 July), no legal regulation has been published, thus, further specifications are yet unknown.

Use of measure

At the beginning of December, over 45,000 applications for phase one were submitted for the total amount of €625 million. Thus far, over 39,000 have been approved and €380 million have thus far been paid (with an average of €9,742).

In the first week of applications for the second phase of the fixed costs subsidy, 812 applications were submitted with a volume of €9.8 million. Almost €10,000 paid on average per application.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Self-employed
SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Consulted
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

The Federal Economic Chamber was consulted in the design of the measure.

Views and reactions

Both sides of the social partners are supportive, as the subsidy also supports workers as employment may be retained.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Entrepreneur's wage (part of the company subsidy for fixed costs), case AT-2020-16/789 (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.