Legislation in Austria
National Legal Framework
In Austria it is the residence title that establishes whether a third country national has access to the labour market and if so, defines under which conditions and limitations access is possible. In some cases additional work permits need to be issued. This is the case for the special protection permit.
The Special Protection Permit para. 57 (1) 2 of the Asylum Act
The special protection title was created specifically for victims and witnesses of crime, in particular witnesses or victims of trafficking in human beings, cross-border prostitution or family violence. The holder is entitled to full access to the labour market under the condition that employment for a particular job and position can only start once the Public Employment Service approves an additional work permit for that specific job. The work permit must be renewed each year and a new work permit is required for every new job. Even for contractual changes within the same company, may it be a change of positions or a change in the amount of weekly working hours, a new work permit must be issued.
Normally, work permits are tied to a labour market screening (Arbeitsmarktprüfung) checking whether any Austrian or EU/EEA citizens are waiting to take up the job. This is not the case for holders of the special protection title and presents one hindrance less. If after a year, the legal proceeding is still active and the woman is able to establish a secure livelihood (for a single person an income of € 933.06 per month is required — existing social benefits taken into account) and can proof that their German language skills are at least at the level of A2, they have the option to switch to a Red-White-Red Card plus (para 41a NAG) which is not laid down in the asylum law but in the Settlement and Residence Act. It is valid for either one or three years and provides the holder with free access to the labour market.
LEFÖ – Intervention Center for Trafficked Women
Telephone: +43.1.796 92 98
Fax: +43.1.796 92 98-21