Employees receive remuneration for the services specified in their contract of employment. The legislator classes as remuneration any financial means and benefits provided by the employer which can be understood as being a consideration for the services performed by the employee.
It includes wages (manual workers), salaries (white-collar workers) and apprenticeship allowances (apprentices).
The amount of remuneration is governed by collective agreements and/or internal works agreements; it also depends on individual factors such as age, qualifications, working hours, assignment to duties (position), etc.
Minimum wages are generally set by collective agreements for the respective sectors, or in rare cases also by works agreements for individual companies.
Collective agreements are written agreements with the force of law governing working hours, working conditions, remuneration, etc. negotiated between workers’ representatives (e.g. trade unions) and employers’ representatives (e.g. Austrian Federal Economic Chamber).
Works agreements are written agreements concluded between employers and the works council in order, for example, to establish legal rules but sometimes also to set remuneration for the company in question.
Payment of the remuneration
In most cases remuneration is transferred to a salary account on the last day of the month or on the first day of the following working month. In some cases workers receive their wages weekly in cash.
In most cases, remuneration is paid 14 times a year: twelve monthly salary payments plus one month’s pay in the form of a Christmas bonus and one month for a holiday bonus (special payments).
Taxes, social insurance contributions and other deductions (e.g. union contributions) are deducted from gross pay and withheld by the employer, who then transfers them to the relevant
institutions (finance office, social insurance institution, etc.).
With their pay each month, employees receive a written statement of remuneration, their payslip, which contains a precise breakdown of deductions (taxes, social insurance, legally required and voluntary contributions, e.g. trade union dues).
If an employee leaves the firm, he/she also receives a final statement, which, for example, also contains severance entitlements.
Freelance contractors are paid for the duration of their work assignment. In the absence of any specific agreement, they are not entitled to pay rates fixed by collective agreement or special payments.
They are, however, entitled to a statement of terms and conditions (Dienstzettel ), in the absence of a written contract. If their contract continues for a longer period, they receive their remuneration monthly. Freelance contractors have to make their own arrangements for payment of taxes. Social insurance contributions are paid by freelance contractors and employers. Social insurance contributions are deducted and paid over by employers. There is no minimum wage.
Contract for works
In contrast to a freelance contract, a contract for works and services arises from the supply of a particular service (the work assignment). Remuneration is normally paid after the contract has been fulfilled.
For this kind of contract there is no entitlement to pay rates fixed by collective agreement or to special payments. Persons covered by a contract for works and services have to make their own arrangements for payment of taxes and social insurance contributions.
You can obtain free legal advice from the Chambers of Labour and the trade unions; as an employer or self-employed worker, from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.