Working Mothers in Austria

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 16.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 100  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? -
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Paid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 730 days
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? Flat rate
Who pays for parental leave? Government
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? Yes

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.

More about maternity leave:

Maternity leave is regulated under the Maternity Protection Act. The general total duration of maternity leave is 16 weeks (eight-week prenatal and eight week postnatal leave). The eight-week prenatal leave is obligatory. Pregnant workers are not allowed to work during the eight weeks immediately prior to the presumed date of confinement. This period is determined on the basis of a medical certificate. If the confinement date occurs earlier or later, this period is shortened or extended accordingly. If the pre-natal leave is availed for shorter than eight weeks, the missing time may be added to the post-natal period however the post-natal leave in no case should exceed 16 weeks.

The usual post-natal leave period is 8 weeks however it can be extended to 12 weeks in the case of premature births, multiple births or caesarian births. Other than the eight-week prenatal leave, a pregnant woman worker may be given leave from work if she provides a certificate from a Labour Inspectorate doctor or a medical officer that her or her child's life and health are endangered if she continues to work. After the eight-week post natal leave, a female worker may be given leave if she provides a certificate from a doctor certifying that she is unfit for work and then prescribing the duration of rest.

Sources: §3 & 5 of Maternity Protection Act 1979 (Official Gazette No. 221/1979, last amended by 138/2013)

Persons insured under the General Social Insurance Act qualify for daily maternity benefits. The daily maternity benefit is paid during maternity leave and any period when a pregnant worker is prohibited from work on the ground of her health protection. Workers are entitled to 100% of their average wages earned over the last 13 weeks before the start of maternity leave. Female workers remain entitled to other payment, especially the one-off payments.

Sources: §14 of Maternity Protection Act 1979 (Official Gazette No. 221/1979, last amended by 138/2013); §162 of General Social Insurance Act (Official Gazette No. 189/1955, last amended by 68/2014)

More about parental leave:

Workers are entitled to parental leave until a child reaches the age of two years. The parental leave is not individual entitlement rather it is for the family. Leave may be taken by one parent only (mother or father) or by both parents on an alternating basis. The whole period can be divided into a maximum of three parts alternating between the parents, with each part at least two months in duration. Both parents cannot take leave at the same time except for one month after the first time they alternate leave however parental leave ends one month earlier in that case.

Each parent also has the possibility to postpone three months of parental leave (thus 6 months in total) to avail it by child's seventh birthday (or school entry at a later date).

A childcare benefit is provided to all families who meet the eligibility requirements, as provided under the Child Care Benefit Act, whether or not the parents take parental leave. The benefit is paid for the maximum period of 36 months. However parents can choose between five options of which four are flat rate and one is income related. The benefit is funded by the Family Burdens Equalization Fund (Familienlastenausgleichsfond-FLAF).

Sources: §15(a-g) of Maternity Protection Act 1979 (Official Gazette No. 221/1979, last amended by 138/2013); §1-4 of Parental Leave for Fathers Act (Official Gazette No. 651/1989, last amended by 138/2013); §5 of Child Care Benefit Act (Official Gazette No. 103/2001, last amended by 35/2014)