In what situation can I claim?
Maternity leave (Mutterschaftsurlaub) is the statutory time off work for maternity reasons. No woman is allowed to work eight weeks (or 12 weeks in case of high-risk births) before and after her expected due date. This is intended to prevent any stress on, or risk for, the (expectant) mother and the (unborn) child. Maternity benefit (Wochengeld) is provided as financial compensation during the maternity break.
You will receive maternity benefit (Wochengeld) if you have to take a break from employment because of pregnancy.
What is covered?Maternity benefit (Wochengeld)
If you become pregnant, you should immediately make an appointment with your doctor and obtain a maternity card (Mutter-Kind-Pass), which contains information on examinations that need to be performed before and after the birth. This card confirms the examinations performed by the doctor concerning the pregnancy and the well-being of the child. In order to be entitled to child-raising allowance at its full rate, the examinations specified in the maternity card must be carried out.
In principle, you are entitled to maternity benefit for the duration of your maternity leave.
If you receive child-raising allowance, you will receive maternity benefit for the next child you are expecting if you were entitled to maternity benefit for your previous child and if you received a childcare allowance at the beginning of the maternity protection period. The amount of the maternity benefit corresponds to the amount of the previously received income-related child-raising allowance.
You should claim maternity benefit through your sickness insurance fund.
Your entitlement to maternity benefit will be suspended if your employer continues to pay your wages (continued payment).
In addition to the cash benefit, you may be entitled to benefits in kind from your sickness insurance fund. They include birth-related care in a hospital . Entitlement to these maternity and childbirth benefits is not subject to prior health insurance because they are also granted to female family members of insured persons.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?Maternity benefit (Wochengeld)
The amount of your maternity benefit is calculated individually on the basis of your net earnings in the previous three full calendar months before the beginning of maternity leave. You will receive it for eight weeks before your due date, or before the scheduled date of your Caesarean section, and for eight weeks after delivery. The payment period is prolonged to 12 weeks in case of premature and multiple births and in case of Caesarean sections. If a medical officer or specialist has imposed a ban on your employment before or after your maternity protection period, you will continue to receive maternity benefit for the duration of the employment ban.
Self-employed women are entitled to a flat-rate benefit of EUR 53.96 per day. Support for people who are in marginal employment and who have voluntary insurance is EUR 9.12 per day. (Expectant) mothers who claim benefits under the Austrian Unemployment Insurance Act are, in principle, entitled to a maternity benefit equal to 180% of the most recent benefit they have received.
Maternity benefit is paid monthly in arrears and is not taxable.Benefits in kind
In addition to maternity benefit, all women with a health insurance plan are entitled to benefits in kind during both pregnancy and at and around the time of childbirth. These maternity benefits in kind cover:
- consultations with a physician and assistance by a midwife during pregnancy and after delivery;
- consultation by a midwife during pregnancy;
- provision of medicines and medical devices;
- care in a hospital or maternity clinic for a maximum of ten days (or longer if complications arise during pregnancy or childbirth), including care by certified children’s nurses and baby nurses.
Austria also offers a reimbursement of 70% of the costs of in vitro fertilisation. Separate legislation lays down the conditions of entitlement.Maternity leave
Employed women, women receiving unemployment benefit and women participating in vocational rehabilitation are subject to a maternity protection scheme at and around the time of childbirth, during which time they are not allowed to work. As a rule this statutory protection period starts eight weeks before a woman’s expected due date and ends eight weeks after delivery.
Whenever you have to fulfil certain conditions before being able to claim an Austrian social security benefit, the authorities will also take into account any insurance periods you have completed in other countries. This applies to EU Member States and to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. No insurance period you have completed in Austria will be affected if you work or are insured in one of these countries.
- Habitual residence - The terms ‘permanent residence’ and ‘habitual residence’ are defined under EU law. Please see the EU Regulation on the coordination of social security systems. In practice, it means the place where you have your centre of interests.
Forms you may need to fill in
- Maternity benefit application form - Certificate of employment and earnings (you have to enter your postal code before you can download the appropriate form)
Know your rights
The links below set out your rights in law. However, they are not official European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:
Whom do you need to contact?
Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection
T: +43 1/71100-0
Main Association of Austrian Security Institutions
T: +43 711322400