Note: Please note that despite careful research and continuous updating, all content on this website is for informational and non-binding purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or legal services. This cannot replace legal advice in individual cases! For the above reasons, no liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.
In Austria, 24-hour care can be provided through self-employed or dependent employment. The scope of duties is the same for both.
Personal care as self-employment (Gewerbe)
The most common form is self-employment as personal carer.
ATTENTION: A business licence is required to work as a personal carer in Austria.
In principle, as a business owner you are not subject to instructions and are solely responsible for your professional activity. You are entitled to look for your clients yourself and to negotiate your working conditions with them.
Your working conditions are regulated in the work contract that you conclude with your client or their family.
You decide the amount of your fee or the means of transport you want to use to travel to the family you are caring for.
Important prerequisites for this are that you can communicate in German and know the laws relevant to your industry.
Laws that regulate your professional activity:
- Home Care Act (HBeG)
- Sections 159, 160 of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (GewO)
- § 3b, 15 Health Care and Nursing Act (GuKG)
- 50b of the Medical Practitioners Act
- Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Personal Care Services
- Measures for professionals in personal care to avoid endangering life or health
As a business owner, you are obliged to pay for social insurance (health, accident and pension insurance and provident fund) yourself. In this case, you only receive benefits from health, accident and pension insurance.
Carers with children are entitled to family benefits such as maternity allowance, family allowance and childcare allowance.
If your income exceeds the annual income tax threshold of 11,000 euros, you also have to pay taxes.
You also have the option of commissioning an agency to find you a job. Note, however, that you have to sign a contract with the agency, which is binding for you. You pay fees for the placement and the agency service. The amount of the fees and the quality of individual agencies varies greatly. Therefore, carefully enquire about the conditions of the agencies (see also: "What do I need to know before I hire an agency").
ATTENTION! You are not employed by the agency, i.e. the agency is not your employer and neither pays your wages nor deducts your social security contributions!
As a business owner, you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce (WKO) and pay a chamber fee once a year, which varies depending on the province.
Independent employment - employment of the carers by the clients (Anstellung)
The Home Care Act (Hausbetreuungsgesetz) provides that home carers can be employed by the person to be cared for. The person to be cared for or the respective relative is then the employer of the dependent carer.
The working conditions are regulated in an employment contract. The employer must register the carer with the social insurance, keep a separate payroll account for the carer and pay social insurance contributions and ancillary wage costs in addition to the gross wage.
In addition to the payment of salary, employers are obliged to make special payments, continued payment of wages in case of sickness, granting of paid leave, etc.
The professional activity of employed carers is regulated by the following laws:
- Home Care Act (HbeG)
- Domestic Workers and Maids Act (HgHaG)
- Sections 3b, 15 of the Health Care and Nursing Act (GuKG)
- 50b of the Medical Practitioners Act
Employed carers are members of the Chamber of Labour( Arbeiterkammer).
Table 1: Differences between self-employment and employment
● Entrepreneurial risk
● Economically independent
● Personally independent
● Own resources
● No entrepreneurial risk
● Economically dependent
● Personally dependent
Contract for provision of services
Employment contract / collective agreement
No protection (no working time law and protective regulations)
Full protection (regulated working hours and protective provisions)
Self-employed persons pay social security themselves
Full non-wage labour costs are borne by the employer
● Accident, health and pension insurance benefits
● Family allowance
● Accident, health and pension insurance benefits
● Holiday pay
● Continued payment of wages in the event of illness
● Unemployment benefits
● 13th and 14th month salary
● Family allowance
You pay taxes yourself
Wage tax must be paid by the employer
Source: Information on dependent employment of carers: https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/themen/soziales/pflege/1/2/Seite.360733.html (retrieved 11.11.2020)
Differences between self-employment and employment can also be found here: https://www.wko.at/branchen/vbg/tourismus-freizeitwirtschaft/ArbeitsvertragfreierDienstvertragWerkvertrag-DieWahlderricht.pdf (retrieved 13.11.2020)
In principle, no professional training or certificate of specialisation is required to provide 24-hour care.
EXCEPTION: In case the family wants to apply for the care allowance(Pflegezuschuss), carers have to prove the following professional skills and experience:
- a training certificate (training similar to home aid), OR
- proof of six months of professional experience with patients in need of care, OR
- a proof of the performance of certain nursing and/or medical activities according to the order, instruction and under the control of a qualified nurse or a doctor.
For funding of 24-hour care / care allowance see: https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/themen/soziales/pflege/1/Seite.360534.html (retrieved 26.11.2020)
As the carers work with elderly and, in most cases, with seriously ill people, home care training is highly recommended. Please bear in mind that if you work as an independent carer, you take full legal responsibility for the state of health of your client! If you perform the nursing/medical activities incorrectly and endanger the life of the person being cared for, you can be sanctioned!
Note that a training similar to that of a home aid is not sufficient for nursing and medical activities. If a client with a high need for care is placed with you, you have several options on how to proceed in such a case (see point: What activities do carers perform?).
24-hour care is a job in which you cannot get by without daily communication - be it communication with clients and their relatives, with care professionals and doctors and/or with Austrian placement agencies. Therefore, do not underestimate the importance of mastering the German language! Carers with a big language barrier are more easily lied to and exploited!
In 24-hour care, simple care activities as well as individual nursing and medical activities may be performed - the last ones only under certain conditions.
As the carers are not trained and authorised to carry out nursing and medical activities, guidance by a qualified nurse and "delegation" (a written medical confirmation of the transfer of these competences to carers) are required.
In order to know what your activities with the client involve, you should pay special attention to being as well informed as possible about the client's state of health. This will determine the scope of your activities.
If you perform medical or nursing activities without a written delegation, you may be subject to an administrative fine of up to Euro 3,600.
1.) Simple care activities
24-hour carers are authorised to carry out the following activities:
- Household-related services in particular:
- Meal preparation
- Running errands
- Cleaning activities
- Carrying out household chores
- Ensuring a healthy indoor climate
- Care for plants and animals
- Laundry care (washing, ironing, mending)
- Lifestyle support in particular:
- Design of the daily routine
- Assistance with everyday tasks
- Companionship in particular:
- Keep company
- Make conversation
- Maintain social contacts
- Accompaniment during various activities
- Keeping the household book(Haushaltsbuch) with records of expenses incurred on behalf of the person cared for (keep a collection of receipts for a period of two years).
- Practical preparation of the person in need of care for a change of location
- Organisation of a substitute in case of incapacity.
2.) Nursing activities (Pflegerische Tätigkeiten)
As long as there are no medical reasons not to do so (only if the client is in good health) OR
If you have been instructed or trained by a nursing professional, you are allowed to provide these services:
- Support with eating and drinking
- Assistance with personal hygiene and defecation
- Assistance with dressing and undressing
- Support in getting up, walking, sitting down, lying down
3.) Medical activities
You may only perform the activities listed below if they have been delegated to you by a doctor or a qualified nurse:
- Administration of medication (taking tablets, etc.)
- Applying and changing bandages and dressings
- Administration of subcutaneous insulin injections and subcutaneous injections of anticoagulant drugs
- Blood sampling for measurement of blood glucose level
- Simple light and heat applications
The nursing or medical activities(stated at points 2 and 3) are limited to the private household of the person to be cared for and may only be carried out for a limited period of time (at most for the duration of the care relationship) and with the consent of the person cared for (or his/her legal representative). The transfer of the activities must be recorded in writing, and a record must also be kept of the performance of the activities ordered. Changes in the condition of the person being cared for and the interruption of care activities must be reported to the health professionals.
You have the option of refusing to take over the nursing and medical activities!
Avoidance of danger to the health and life of the person to be cared for
As a tradesperson(selbstständige 24h-BetreuerInnen), you are responsible for ensuring that the health and life of the person being cared for is not endangered when you provide your services.
You are obliged:
- to set measures for accident prevention in the provision of household-related services,
- to take into account the rules imposed on the person to be cared for when preparing meals,
- take into account the physical mobility of the person being cared for
Action guidelines for everyday life and emergencies
Carers conclude an written agreement with the person in need of care or their legal representative regarding guidelines for everyday life and emergencies, in particular regarding the notification or involvement of relatives, doctors or facilities offering mobile services in the event of a recognisable deterioration of the condition.
Duty of confidentiality (§160 Gewo)
In their relationship with the person in need of care, carers are obliged to maintain confidentiality about all matters entrusted to them or becoming known to them in the exercise of their profession. This duty of confidentiality does not apply if and insofar as the person in need of care or their legal representative expressly releases them from this duty.
The provisions shall apply mutatis mutandis to any employees of the business owner.
1.) Application - Curriculum Vitae (CV) template
2.) Checklist: necessary documents for the application
- Curriculum vitae
- Training certificates (technical training, German)
- Recommendation letters
- Personal documents (ID, birth certificate, copies of criminal records) - only after the initial interview with the agency and after the decision to enter into cooperation with them!
If you have contacted a placement agency and are ready to work with them, first request the following information via e-mail:
- SAMPLE - ORGANISATION CONTRACT with the placement agency (this is the standard contract used by the agency in its cooperation with the carers).
- SAMPLE - WORK CONTRACT (this is the contract you enter into with the person cared for/family).
Ask for the two contracts in bilingual version (mother tongue + German), read them carefully and remove the clauses you do not agree with.
You have the right to have the contracts checked by lawyers! Therefore, be careful and do not sign the contracts in a hurry!
You have the right to be informed about the two contracts before leaving your home country!
Once you arrive in Austria, it becomes much more difficult for you to make informed decisions or to negotiate your working conditions further.
Always ask for the full contact details of the agency!
Check all details with the agency before you leave the country!
We recommend that you always negotiate these things in writing (by e-mail, messenger or WhatsApp) so that you have clear evidence in case problems arise in the future.
The following points need to be clarified:
- Full name of the agency, address of the agency's head office, company telephone number, e-mail address
- Full name of the person referring you (first and last name, phone number or e-mail address)
- How much is the salary? Clarify whether the amount is gross or net! How are holidays handled - are they paid extra?
- Who pays the social security contributions (SVS)?
- In what form will you receive your fees (cash / bank transfer)? Who pays them and when?
- What powers of attorney are in place and how are they regulated? Have you received a copy of the signed power of attorney?
- Who pays for the transport? Is the transport contractually imposed?
- Are there commissions? How much? When do they have to be paid?
- Are you allowed at least the two hours break per day? You should be allowed to decide on your own working hours. This depends on the health situation of your client. In principle, more than two hours break per day are possible!
- How is the substitution organised in the event of an absence (illness, accident, private matters)?
Ask for the contact details of the patient or the contact person in the patient's family for whom you will be working. Ask for the following information in writing:
- First and last name, telephone number, e-mail
- The place and country where you will work
- Information on the patient's health situation (usually included in the contract with the family)
- What duties will you have?
- In cases where extensive care is needed: Is there a medical delegation? Are you supervised by a qualified nurse?
You must receive invoices for the money you pay to the agency!
- It is illegal to collect commissions without issuing invoices for them.
We urge you to notify us immediately if you come across this situation.
If you can't handle it, drop us a line and we'll help you out!
- It is illegal to pay for transport and not receive a ticket/invoice as proof.
If you decide to work with a Romanian company, it must be registered with ITM with the CAEN code 7810 - only in this case does the agency work legally.
You can check this here: https://www.listafirme.ro
Romanian placement agencies are prohibited by law from collecting a commission from the carer!
Slovak placement agencies
You can check the registration and business licence of Slovak placement agencies in the Business and Trade Register:
Website of the Slovak Business Register: www.orsr.sk
Website of the Slovak Trade Register: www.zrsr.sk
Identity documents (CI or passport) should NOT be given to anyone except at check points (police).
Make copies and give them to agency staff as needed.
It is ILLEGAL for your identity documents to be withheld against your will!
Such measures must be reported to the police immediately! If you need any help, contact us!
When you have arrived at the family you will care for, the first step is to register your place of residence (main or secondary residence) at the competent municipal office or magistrate (depending on the family's place of residence). The document certifying your residence in Austria it is called Meldezettel.
For this you need:
- Registration form, which must be signed by the accommodation provider (i.e. the flat owner or main tenant).
- Valid passport or identity card
You can find the registration form at: http://help.gv.at/Content.Node/documents/meldez.pdf
Source: Residence registration information: https://www.gruenderservice.at/site/gruenderservice/publikationen/Personenbetreuung-deutsch_2020_mit-Anhang.pdf (retrieved 11.11.2020)
When you arrive at your new client's home, check the accuracy of the information you have received beforehand:
- The general framework: condition of the patient, daily tasks, existence of a medical delegation
- The working conditions: work schedule, break, daily routine of the clients etc.
- Accommodation and meals: the host family is obliged to provide you with your own room and board
- Your private space and the available infrastructure: your room, Internet access etc.
- Contact details of the important contact persons: relatives of the client, adult representatives, possibly neighbours
1.) Registration of the business (first registration!)
If you are working in Austria for the first time, you have to register your business as a 24-hour personal carer with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) or with the district administration(Bezirkshauptmannschaft). The registration can be done in person, by mail or electronically (not possible everywhere).
Documents required for the initial registration of the business:
- Valid passport or identity card
- Birth certificate
- Only for third countries nationals: proof of citizenship or residence title required to perform the activity(Aufenthaltstitel). For persons with Romanian citizenship, these documents are not required.
- A current criminal record certificate from the country of origin or previous residence (must not be older than 3 months); applies to persons who have not resided in Austria or have resided in Austria for less than five years.
- Marriage certificate, divorce certificate (only in the case of a name change)
- Confirmation of residence in Austria (the residence must be registered within 3 days at the competent municipal office or magistrate. For this you need a registration form (download here), which must be signed by the accommodation provider (flat owner or main tenant), as well as a passport or identity card)
Information on the registration confirmation can be found here: https://www.wien.gv.at/verwaltung/meldeservice/stellen.html
- Confirmation from the competent chamber of commerce in accordance with the New Business Start-up Promotion Act (NeuFöG) in the case of a new business start-up.
All documents must be submitted in the original or as a certified copy. Foreign language documents must be submitted in the original together with a translation by a court-certified expert (exception: Vorarlberg).
IMPORTANT: The initial registration of the business is free of charge in Austria!
If you are registering your business for the first time, you can be exempted from the fee. A confirmation from the competent chamber of commerce on the form "Declaration of new establishment"(Erklärung der Neugründung) is required. This must be submitted at the same time as the application.
2.) Registration with social security (SVS)
You will be registered with the Social Insurance for the Self-Employed (SVS), where you will pay your social insurance contributions. Although the trade authority notifies the Social Insurance Institution for Trade and Industry of the business registration, the business owner is also obliged to register with the SVA within one month.
!! ATTENTION !!!
Regardless of the contract or agreements you have with the placement agency or with the client's family, you are responsible for the activities of your company.
Always check whether all payments have been made (social contributions, WKO basic contribution, etc.) - even if you have signed a power of attorney!
3.) Registration with the tax office (Finanzamt)
Your commercial activity must also be reported to the tax office(Finanzamt). The notification can also be made within the scope of the business registration at the district administrative authority(Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde). The district administrative authority forwards the notification to the tax office. When registering your business, ask for the form for reporting to the tax office ("Verf 24") and send the completed form to your competent tax office.
Information on business registration: https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/themen/soziales/pflege/1/1/1/Seite.360638.html
Information on registration with social security SVS:
Information on registration with the tax office:
https://www.usp.gv.at/gruendung/gruendungsfahrplan-einzelunternehmen/anzeige-finanzamt.html (retrieved 10.11.2020)
Information on compulsory training when applying for care allowance:
https://www.sozialministerium.at/Themen/Pflege/24-Stunden-Betreuung.html (retrieved 10.11.2020)
24-hour carers are NOT permitted by law to carry out nursing activities on patients!
You have the right to refuse to carry out nursing activities. Don't take these risks!
Personal carers may also carry out the following medical activities only on the basis of a written medical order and with the guidance and instruction (delegation) of a qualified health care worker:
- administration of medicines
- application of bandages and dressings
- administering subcutaneous insulin injections or subcutaneous injections of anticoagulant drugs
- blood sampling from the capillary to determine the blood glucose level using test strips
- simple heat and light applications
If you perform medical or nursing activities without a written delegation, you may be subject to an administrative fine of up to Euro 3.600,00.
Here you can find a template for a medical delegation: https://ig24.at/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Muster-fuer-Delegation.doc
Fire brigade: 122
Emergency medical service: 141
Corona Hotline: 1450
Women's emergency hotline: +43 800 222 555 or +43 1 71 719
Men's emergency hotline: +43 800 246 247
If you are not working in Austria for the first time and already have a business, you only need to check that your business is registered at the current location and that the address is correct.
Every time you change your province, you have to inform the relevant chamber of commerce (WKO), otherwise you could face an administrative fine of up to € 2,180.
ATTENTION! The registration form of the municipality(Meldezettel) is NOT yet a confirmation of relocation! You must also notify the change of address of the registered office at the Chamber of Commerce of the Land where you work.
If you intend not to exercise your trade for a longer period of time, you must notify the competent professional group of commercial service providers(Fachgruppe für Personenberatung und Personenbetreuung) of the suspension of your trade. You must report this within 3 weeks.
You also pay the WKÖ basic contribution for the suspended trade. The compulsory insurance with the SVA ends with the last day of the month in which the business is registered as dormant. There is no compulsory insurance for the period of suspension.
If you do not notify the suspension, you will face an administrative fine of up to € 1,090.
If you wish to reactivate your business, you must notify the competent trade association of commercial service providers(Fachgruppe für Personenberatung und Personenbetreuung) within 3 weeks.
Again, there is a penalty of up to € 1,090 if the reactivation is not reported.
If 24-hour carers wish to give up their work in Austria or if there is no longer a business location in Austria, they must have their business deleted immediately at the trade authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft or Magistrat - see provinces below). Thus, the deletion from the trade register takes place.
The tax office (Finanzamt) must also be informed of the deletion.
The SVS social insurance will be notified automatically. Compulsory insurance ends on the last day of the calendar month in which the business licence was cancelled.
ATTENTION! If the activity is terminated without having the business deleted, 24-hour carers must expect follow-up costs (social security contributions, basic tax, etc.), which will also be collected in your home country.
Attention! Retroactive deletion of the business is not possible!
The withdrawal of the business licence is irrevocable!
Contact List and Business Deletion Template
Professional group for counselling and personal care by federal state
T: +43 1 514 50 2302
Robert Graf Square 1
T: +43 5 90 907 3131
3.) Upper Austria
Notification of business suspension & reactivation:
T +43 5 90 909 4171
T +43 5522 305 279
T +43 5 90 905 1284
Julius Raab Square 1
T +43 662 88 88 278
7.) Lower Austria
3100 St. Pölten
T +43 2742 851 19190
9021 Klagenfurt on Lake Wörthersee
T +43 5 90 904 160
T +43 316 601 530