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Factsheet for measure AT-2020-38/1642 Updated – measures in Austria

New compensation scheme for losses introduced as alternative to fixed cost subsidy for companies


Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 16 September 2020 – 30 September 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 January 2021 (updated 17 July 2023)

Background information

The measure of loss compensation is an alternative ("second pillar") to phase II of the fixed cost subsidy see case 474 in the COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database , which was implemented around three weeks earlier, with a much higher upper limit of funding.

A company can choose whether it applies for the fixed cost subsidy "800,000" (phase II) for which the maximum amount of subsidy lies at €800,000 or whether it applies for the loss compensation, with a maximum amount of €3 million. A combination of the two variants is not possible, but a singular switch (from fixed cost subsidy II to compensation loss) is allowed.

The background to this two-pillar strategy is that the Austrian government had to wait for the European Commission's approval of the measure (under the State aid Temporary Framework), which was provided on 20 November 2020.

Content of measure

The loss compensation is a subsidy which replaces up to 70% of losses for large and medium-sized companies and up to 90% of the losses for small and micro companies (with up to 49 employees) for losses that occur between 16 September 2020 and 30 June 2021. The prerequisite for application is a loss of sales of at least 30%, caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The losses for future periods can either be forecast in advance, or replaced afterwards.

The compensation is granted in two tranches for up to ten observation periods (the first observation period being 16 to 30 September 2020, and the other observation periods correspond to the following calendar months). Generally, the observation periods must be consecutive; a time gap is only permitted if no application is made for the observation periods November and/or December 2020 because a lockdown revenue replacement has been claimed for that time period (lockdown).

The first tranche (comprising 70% of the total subsidy) can be applied for from 16 December 2020 until 30 June 2020, the second tranche (comprising the rest, i.e. 30%) is to be applied for between 1 July and 31 December 2021.

The application must be submitted by a tax advisor, auditor or accountant; if the applying company expects a compensation of up to €36,000, the expenses for such a professional up to €1,000 can be offset in order to increase the loss (compensation).

The basis for the assessment of the loss compensation is the difference between the income and the (directly or indirectly) related expenses in the respective time period(s) under review.


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

11 May 2023

In May 2023, payments were stopped by the Austrian government due to further negotiations with the European Commission, which has criticised that Austria has exceeded the deadline which has been set for applications by the European Commission (30 June 2022) to 30 September 2022. This concerns hundreds, if not thousands of companies which have applied for the payments possibly too late.

08 March 2023

The European Commission has started talks with the Austrian government due to the suspicion that in connection with the granting of subsidies such as the lockdown turnover subsidy, the "fixed costs subsidy 800,000", the cancellation bonus and the loss compensation, the Republic of Austria did not check whether the beneficiary companies formed an economic unit (group of companies) with subsidiaries or sister companies and thus exceeded the maximum aid amount of €2.3 million (or €12 million in the case of the lost compensation).

19 November 2021

On 19 November, the finance minister Mr Blümel announced that (upon the implementation of a further lockdown starting on 22 November 2021) the loss bonus was to be re-activated. Depending on the size of the company, between 70 and 90% of the accumulated loss is replaced. The drop in sales must lie at least at 40% for the period January to March 2022 (as compared to January to March 2019) and at least 50% for the months of November and December 2021 (compared to November/December 2019). The loss compensation is being extended until March 2022 (observation period).

15 June 2021

The compensation scheme for losses has been extended from 30 June to 31 December 2021. A loss in turnover of 50% minimum (up from 30% minimum) is now necessary for the funding.

28 January 2021

The upper limit for the compensation has been increased from €3 million to €10 million per company.

Use of measure

By 16 December 2021, €2.935 billion in fixed cost subsidies and loss compensation have been paid to 140,152 companies.

At the end of 2021, €650 million alone for the loss compensation was paid by the state.

According to information from February 2023, in total €1.451 billion have been paid to companies.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses 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 as case not in social partner domain Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) negotiated with the federal government on this measure.

Views and reactions

The WKO showed strong contentment with the measure, especially those sectoral groups which have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 crisis.



Eurofound (2021), New compensation scheme for losses introduced as alternative to fixed cost subsidy for companies, measure AT-2020-38/1642 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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