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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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-2022-11/2440 – measures in Austria

Access to the labour market for refugees from Ukraine

Arbeitsmarktzugang für Geflüchtete aus der Ukraine

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 11 March 2022 – 03 March 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Mobilisation of a larger workforce
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 June 2022 (updated 20 September 2022)

Background information

Over 64,000 Ukrainians fleeing from the Russian invasion in their country have been registered in Austria by early May. With the activation of Council Directive 2001/55/EC, Ukrainian refugees are granted immediate and collective protection, thus alleviating pressure on national asylum systems. The displaced persons are to enjoy harmonised rights across the EU, including residence, access to the labour market and housing, medical assistance, and access to education for children. The national legislation on the temporary right of residence came into force on 14 March 2022. On 11 March, criteria for access to the national labour market were defined by a decree of the Federal Ministry of Labour.

Content of measure

For the case of refugees from the Ukraine, all those having obtained a right of residence for displaced persons (displaced person's ID or "blue card") can be granted a work permit without any further labour market tests or substitute worker procedures (as is the case for other third country nationals). This work permit can be issued either when the application is submitted by the potential employer or in the case of active placement by the Public Employment Service (AMS).

In the tourism, agriculture and forestry sectors, employment permits for displaced persons can also be issued outside of the seasonal quotas. Due to the regulations in the Foreign Nationals Employment Act, issuing a work permit to temporary agency workers is not permitted. In principle, it lies within the AMS' responsibility to support all displaced persons with a valid identity card with their integration into the labour market with needs-based support offers, such as German language courses, competence assessments and qualification measures. Furthermore, the AMS is to actively support the placement to vacant jobs.

The AMS has set up a website with information on the Austrian labour market for refugees from the Ukraine, in German, English, Russian and Ukrainian.

In addition, private initiatives have been launched, regarding jobsearch platforms, e.g. Jobs For Ukraine by an interest group representing the interests of ICT stakeholders.

Use of measure

As of early May, over 1,700 refugees from Ukraine have found a job in Austria.

By mid-June, around 6,700 work permits had been issued to refugees from Ukraine. A large share of them would do unskilled work and work below their actual level of training, according to the head of the Public Employment Service. In addition to a lack of German language skills, the recognition of previous education and a lack of childcare would be the biggest obstacles to integrating Ukrainians into the labour market.

At the same time, around 6,850 Ukrainian nationals were registered as unemployed with the Public Employment Service as of the end of June. Around a third (34%), have completed compulsory schooling, followed by a high proportion of academic degrees (31%); 12% have higher education, 6% have completed an apprenticeship and 3% have finished an intermediate education. The remaining 15% could not be assigned to any level of education due to a lack of sufficient information.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Migrants or refugees in employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Public employment service
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Via their representation in the Public Employment Service's administrative board, representatives of the social partners are involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of the provision of labour market access and all measures following this for Ukrainian refugees.

Views and reactions

Supportive.

Sources

  • 16 March 2022: Right of residence and access to the labor market for people displaced from Ukraine (news.wko.at)
  • 28 June 2022: Many Ukrainians work below educational level (orf.at)

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Access to the labour market for refugees from Ukraine, measure AT-2022-11/2440 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2022-11_2440.html

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