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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-2021-8/2083 Updated – measures in Austria

Company testing

Betriebliche Testungen

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 February 2021 – 31 March 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 26 November 2021 (updated 12 January 2022)

Background information

In order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Austria has relied on intensive testing of the population. Tests are sponsored by the federal government and are free of costs for the population. They are available widely all over the country, e.g. in pharmacies.

In order to control the infections at the workplace, a programme for companies offering COVID-19 tests was initiated in early 2021. With such a test option using rapid antigen tests, the risk of a SARS-CoV-2 transmission is reduced, and thus increased security is provided to employees, employers and clients.

Content of measure

Company testing for the Corona virus is part of the national testing strategy in Austria. Thus, companies can register for testing and participate in the programme. For each test conducted, a cost contribution of €10 is paid by the federal government.

In order to be eligible for the national company testing programme, the company has to provide the following:

  • Medically trained person(s) taking the tests (employed in medical services, e.g. nurses, paramedic)
  • Medical supervision for a weekly confirmation (e.g. doctor, pharmacist, dentist)
  • Additional supporting personnel
  • Appropriate waiting area and testing area
  • Personal protective equipment for the personnel engaged in the tests

In case of a positive test result, the tested person must immediately wear an FFP2 mask and leave the building. The positive test result is to be reported to Austria's health hotline 1450 and consequently, a PCR test is initiated; the health authorities must be informed due to the statutory reporting requirement.

The company's HR department is to determine which of the positive tested person's contacts at the workplace are to be considered close contact persons (who might have to quarantine themselves) and report them to the health authorities.

For the company, costs for the rapid antigen tests occur (between €5 and €12), as well as for medically trained staff and personal protective equipment. A cost contribution of €10 per test can be claimed at the AWS, the promotional bank of the Austrian federal government. The contributions are paid quarterly (starting 1 April 2021). Companies with over 50 employees are connected to the country's digital test platform, those with fewer employees can only provide analogical test certificates.


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

21 December 2021

The programme has been further extended to 31 March 2022, due to the expected upcoming Omicron-wave. Furthermore, from 1 January 2022, changes regarding PCR gargle tests (which are very widespread especially in Vienna, but are continually expanded in the rest of the country) are implemented. They can also be carried out away from the company premises, giving customers and visitors quick and uncomplicated access to PCR tests. The flat rate funding for PCR tests is increased from €10 to €15 per piece. This is intended to take account of higher logistics and processing costs for the gargle tests in particular.

28 October 2021

The programme was initially planned to run until 31 October 2021, but due to high infection rates, it was prolonged until 31 December 2021.

Use of measure

According to the health ministry, company testing is continuously being evaluated, however, no information on the number of participating companies and tests conducted in the framework of the programme could be identified.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
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


The mandatory employer organisation Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and the voluntary Federation of Austrian Industry (IV) initiated the company testing to be included in the national test strategy.

Views and reactions

The social partners welcome this programme.



Eurofound (2021), Company testing, measure AT-2021-8/2083 (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.