Article by Arabel Senger


The tradition of 13th and 14th month salaries: A look at Austria's labor force

The 13th and 14th month salary, also known as "Christmas bonus" and "vacation bonus," are terms that represent much more than just additional financial benefits in Austria. These annual bonuses are an integral part of Austrian work culture and play a crucial role in the lives of employees. In this article, we will explain in detail what 13th and 14th month salaries are all about, when they are paid out and what benefits they offer to employees in Austria.


What is meant by the 13th and 14th monthly salary?

The 13th and 14th monthly salary are additional payments that employees in Austria receive twice a year. These extra payments are an established practice in Austria and aim to help employees cope with the additional expenses during the Christmas period and summer vacation. However, they not only serve to ease the financial burden during the holidays and vacation period, but also symbolize the appreciation and care of employers towards their employees.


Who is entitled to a 13th and 14th month's salary?

The tradition of the 13th and 14th monthly salary in Austria has historical roots and is now anchored in many collective and employment agreements. If you are new to Austria and want to know if your job includes the 13th and 14th month salary, then orient yourself on the following contracts: 

  1. Collective agreements: Collective agreements are industry-specific agreements between employers and employees that regulate working conditions and remuneration in a specific industry. They are widespread in Austria and can also cover the 13th and 14th monthly salary. Attention: The collective agreement - in contrast to the service contract - is not signed by employer and employee. However, you will usually find a reference in your employment contract to which collective agreement applies to your profession. By the way, you can find the collective agreements for all industries here: Find the collective agreement for each industry. 
  2. Employment contracts: In some cases, the 13th and 14th month's salary can be stipulated directly in the employment contracts between employees and employer. However, this is less common than collective agreements. 
  3. Company agreements: Some companies have their own company agreements, which are concluded between the employer and the works council (representing the workforce). These agreements can vary from company to company, and some specify 13th and 14th month salaries. However, these company agreements only exist in those companies that also have a works council, which is usually not the case until the company reaches a certain size. Further information on the subject of works agreements can be found at the Chamber of Labor.

Side Fact: In Austria, it is mandatory to state the minimum annual gross salary for the advertised position in every job advertisement. For this reason, the 13th and 14th monthly salaries are rarely mentioned explicitly in job ads - the two payments are already included in the stated annual gross salary. 

When are Christmas and vacation bonuses paid?

The 13th month's salary (Christmas bonus) is paid before Christmas, usually in November or December. It corresponds to the gross monthly salary of an employee. This means that employees receive two months' salary in December, which allows them to go Christmas shopping, buy gifts and enjoy the festive season. For many, the 13th month's salary is a welcome financial boost to help them manage expenses during the expensive holiday season.

The 14th month salary (vacation bonus) is usually paid in June or July, in time for summer vacation. It is also equal to an employee's gross monthly salary. This additional payment is intended to cover vacation expenses, including lodging, travel expenses, and recreational activities. The 14th month's salary gives employees the financial freedom to enjoy their summer vacation to the full.

Beware of exceptions: Some companies split the two special payments during the year, every three months, i.e. four times a year. In other companies, vacation pay must be paid when employees have used up half of their vacation time. Whether these exceptions apply to you or when you can expect to receive your special payments is specified in the collective agreement for your industry.

How much money do you get with the 13th and 14th month salaries?

As already mentioned, the special payments generally correspond to one gross monthly salary of the employee. However, the rule applies here as well: The collective agreement determines. So be sure to take a look at it to find out what salary you can expect and whether overtime and bonuses are also included in the special payments in your case.

Attention: If you were not employed by the company for the entire calendar year, you are only entitled to an aliquot part of your special payments. More detailed legal information is available from the Chamber of Labor.

The advantages of the 13th and 14th monthly salary

The tradition of 13th and 14th month salaries offers numerous advantages for employees in Austria: 

  1. Financial stability: These additional payments provide welcome financial support at times of the year when expenses tend to be higher, such as Christmas and summer vacation. They help ensure financial stability. 
  2. Motivation and satisfaction: Knowing that you will receive additional salary payments each year can increase employee motivation and satisfaction. 
  3. Planning certainty: The mostly fixed dates for payment of the 13th and 14th month's salary enable employees to plan their spending and savings targets more effectively. 
  4. Support for consumption: The additional salary payments help to boost consumption and spur the economy, especially during the Christmas season.


Schulmeister Recruiting Personalvermittlung Personalberater in Anzug Haende vor der Brust verschraenkt

The 13th and 14th month salaries are a popular tradition in Austria that has a significant impact on the working lives and financial stability of employees. If you're considering moving to Austria for work, you should check out the common practices in your specific field of work to see if you can benefit from this advantageous tradition.  

Are you looking for information about the job market in AUT or are you currently looking for a job? We can help you. Send us your CV or have a look at our current job advertisements. Maybe your dream job is already waiting for you in Austria.



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