Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Database of labour market practices

This database gathers practices in the field of employment submitted by European countries for the purposes of mutual learning. These practices have proven to be successful in the country concerned, according to its national administration. The European Commission does not have a position on the policies or measures mentioned in the database.

Austria Integration Subsidy
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Original Title: Eingliederungsbeihilfe
Country: Austria
Responsible body: Arbeitsmarktservice AMS (Public Employment Service PES)
Start Year of implementation: 1997
End Year of implementation: Ongoing
EU policy relevance:

The purpose is to increase the employability of unemployed persons who are disadvantaged in the labour market (e. g. older workers, long-term unemployed etc.), as well as to prevent their social exclusion.

This goal matches the policy priorities set by the Europe 2020 strategy, particularly the EU’s aim to foster inclusive growth.

National labour market context: Unemployment in Austria is relatively low. However, some groups are at higher risk of becoming unemployed and have a lower likeliness of finding a job. The integration subsidy is one active labour market measure that targets in particular long-term unemployed to reintegrate them into regular employment.
Policy area: Active labour market policies
Specific policy or labour market problem being addressed: Some groups have higher difficulties and obstacles to find a job and be hired by an employer compared to other groups of unemployed, as e.g. long-term unemployed, returners or persons after rehabilitation measures, although they would be capable and have suitable qualifications.
Aims and objectives of the policy or measure:

The wage subsidy “integration subsidy” aims at the integration of specific target groups, e.g. long-term unemployed or persons at risk of becoming unemployed into the labour market and shall give employers an incentive to hire persons of these specific target group and thereby help to integrate those persons into the labour market. It is a wage subsidy paid to employers and thus also aims at creating additional jobs and thereby reducing the employment deficit.

It targets specifically long-term unemployed, chronically long-term unemployed, groups which are further from the labour market, older workers, older unemployed (women aged 45 plus and men aged 50plus) with health issues (refers to the implementation of ‘come back plus’), young adults, people with psychological, physical or mental disabilities, returners, socially maladjusted individuals (alcohol, drugs, imprisonment, etc.), as well as job-seekers with poor or outdated labour market skills who have been registered with the PES for a longer period of time.

Main activities / actions underpinning the policy or measure:

Integration subsidies are used by the public employment service to support placement activities and the (re)integration of disadvantaged groups. The support takes the form of wage subsidies to their employers (periodic payments).

Up to 66.7% of the assessment basis (monthly gross pay excluding special bonus payments, plus a lump sum of 50% for non-wage labour costs) is subsidised. During a probationary period of no more than three months (six months for people with disabilities) these subsidies may cover 100%.

An integration subsidy may be granted for the duration of the employment relationship, but for no more than two years.  A year extension can be granted for those who are registered as disabled.

The subsidy is conditional on the establishment of a fully insurance-covered employment relationship which comprises at least 50% of the statutory or collectively agreed weekly hours, is adequately paid (minimum: standard pay under collective agreement; where no collective agreement can be applied, the pay level is determined – in case of doubt – on the basis of comparable collective agreements or pay schemes), and complies with the stipulations of labour and social law.

As of 2013 the integration subsidy is used by the PES to implement the ‘come back plus’ programme which is targeted at older job-seeker with health issues. In this case the subsidy can be granted for a year. It amounts to 50% of the assessment basis (current gross pay plus 50% for non-wage labour costs) for-profit employers and up to 66.7% for not-for-profit employers.

Geographical scope of policy or measure: National
Target groups: Disabled people, Long-term unemployed (more than 12 months), Older workers and unemployed (aged 50 to 64 years)
Outputs and outcomes of the policy or measure:

The evaluation identifies positive effects on the employment of recipients, and in particular for those from older age categories (45-54), in terms of funding period, unemployment time and income. However, deadweight loss is also significant.

Monitoring 2013:

  • In 2013, the stock of registered unemployed in Austria was 287,207 persons and the inflow into unemployment of 1,179,231 persons, the number of active employed about 3.4m
  • In 2013 the average stock of recipients was 9.842 persons with an average duration of 90 days. There were 43.724 entrants in employment subsidies: 50.5% were female; 42% were older than 45 years, 40% 25-45-year-olds and 18% below the age of 25.
  • 57% had ISCED 0-2 as highest qualification, around 33% ISCED 3B (apprenticeship, medium vocational education), 7% ISCED 3A or 4B (general or vocational education with university entrance exam), and 3% a tertiary education.
  • € 92m were spent on the integration subsidy, which corresponds to 4% of spending on active and activating labour market policy or 0.03% of GDP. Average spending per person amounted to € 2,113.
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