A marginal job is a great way to supplement your budget and gain work experience while you’re still in training. Marginal employment is a form of part-time work, but it also comes with some legal regulations and obligations. Since the 1990s, the number of marginally employed people has grown enormously and primarily affects people in the hospitality and retail industries, with the majority being female. Although marginal jobs are a great way to earn extra money while going to school or college, there are a few things you should keep in mind when doing so to avoid back payments or other problems. We have summarized everything you need to know about social security, the marginal earnings threshold and termination of employment.
When you are marginally employed?
You are in marginal employment if your monthly income exceeds the marginal earnings limit of €475.86 gross not EXCEED. Important: For the low-income limit, special payments such as vacation allowance or Christmas bonus are not taken into account, it is only the gross earnings per calendar month that matter. the marginal employment limit is adjusted annually to the economic situation. Here you can see how the marginal earnings limit has changed in recent years:
Earnings per working day
Earnings per month
no longer relevant
no longer relevant
no longer relevant
no longer relevant
no longer relevant
No longer relevant
#hokifyexpert tip: As of 2017, the daily marginal earnings limit has been abolished and only the monthly limit is relevant for the classification of employment. Therefore, it does not matter how many days you work to earn a certain income. As long as the monthly gross earnings are below the annual limit, you are classified as marginal.
Social insurance for marginal employment
If you work in a full-time or part-time job and earn more than the marginal earnings threshold, you are fully insured.
#hokifyexplainsFull insurance means that you are fully covered by social security. Your employer deducts social security contributions for you, which means you are covered by health, accident and pension insurance. This is required by law in Austria and is done automatically by your employer if you work full or part time.
In a marginal employment, you are not automatically fully insured, but only partially insured. This means that you are not covered by pension, health and accident insurance as explained above:
Accident insurance for low-income:
Marginal employees are covered by accident insurance and must be registered by the employer with the relevant health insurance provider.
Health insurance and pension insurance for marginal employees:
In a marginal employment you have no health and pension insurance. However, the Chamber of Labor recommends a voluntary pension and health insurance of 67.80 Euro per month (as of 2021) in order to be entitled to sickness benefits and to pay into the pension fund (only possible if you are domiciled in Austria). This self-insurance must be applied for at the competent health insurance institution and paid in by the marginal employee independently on a monthly basis.
#hokifyexpert tip: In order not to forget to pay your social security contributions, you should set up a standing order with your account – this way you will automatically transfer the money at the same time every month.
Unemployment insurance for low-paid workers:
There is no unemployment insurance for marginal employment. It is also not possible to take out self-insurance against unemployment.
For a better overview we have compiled a summary of all insurances that you have to consider as a marginally employed person:
#hokifyeypertip: Some people are exempt from voluntary self-insurance. The following individuals are not eligible for voluntary self-insurance:
Recipient of old-age pension
Compulsory insured due to other employment (farmers, civil servants, etc.).)
Legal professional representatives of liberal professions (doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, notaries, etc.).)
People who receive unemployment benefits or unemployment assistance
People who receive childcare allowance
Persons who are cross-border commuters.
Attention trap: Multiple insurance due to marginal employment – additional payment of the social insurance
For many part-time employees there is a big surprise at the end of the year: The social insurance has to be paid in arrears, so that in the end there is not much more net salary left due to the part-time employment. If you have several marginal jobs at the same time or if you have a marginal job in combination with a fully insured job, there are special rules and consequences to be considered – or you run the risk of having to pay a large part of your earnings to the insurance company at the end of the year.
If you have several marginal jobs at the same time and the total monthly salary exceeds the marginal earnings limit of 485.85 euros (as of 2022), you are automatically covered by health and accident insurance and must pay an insurance contribution for the entire salary. The same applies if you work part-time in addition to a fully insured job – you are automatically covered by health and accident insurance and must pay contributions. In short, if your total monthly gross income (sum of all jobs) exceeds the low-income limit, you are obliged to pay health and pension insurance contributions.
Why am I not informed in advance about the additional payment?? How can I prevent the back payment?
Simply put: Because the employer does not have to know about all your employments. Let’s assume that you work 20 hours per week as an office clerk for employer A and are therefore fully insured (social security contributions are automatically deducted). In addition, you work 5 hours per week as a waiter for employer B in Vienna. Employer B does not have to know about your employment with employer A and therefore only pays the contributions for your marginal employment (contribution to accident insurance). Only at the end of the year does the regional health insurance fund check your employment, and only then are you informed about the necessary additional payment for health and pension insurance for your marginal income. Therefore, we recommend that you inform your employer in advance if you have several marginal jobs and, if necessary, set aside the required monthly contributions or pay them in directly. .
How can I earn additional income without having to pay social security contributions??
Quite simple – as long as your monthly gross salary does not exceed the marginal earnings threshold, you can earn additional income without having to pay social insurance contributions. However, if your employment or the sum of your employment exceeds the marginal earnings limit, you cannot earn additional income without paying contributions – social insurance contributions must be paid for each additional income. For explanation we have given 2 different examples below.
Franz works part-time as waiter in Vienna (gross earnings per month 1.200 Euro, full insurance). He wants to improve his monthly budget and takes a marginal job as a promoter for 3 months (earnings: 400 Euro gross per month). At the end of the year, the big surprise comes and Franz has to pay an additional social security contribution for his marginal salary → Additional payment due to exceeding the marginal earnings threshold by combining the two employment relationships (1.200 Euro + 400 Euro = 1.600 Euro) and the full insurance at his Employment as a waiter.
Martina works part-time as a call center agent alongside her studies and earns 300 euros gross per month. A fellow student friend is looking for marginal employees for the summer months with a monthly salary of 300 euros gross per month for a small promotion tour. Despite two separate marginal jobs, Martina exceeds the marginal income limit for the summer months (300 Euro + 300 Euro = 600 Euro gross per month) and therefore has to pay the social security contributions for the entire income in these summer months at the end of the year.
What to consider when changing from marginal employment (partial insurance) to full insurance and vice versa?
If the number of working hours is increased during a marginal employment relationship and thus the marginal employment limit is exceeded, full insurance coverage applies from the beginning of the respective calendar month and the employer must provide the necessary notification to the insurance carrier and pay the necessary insurance contributions. If a full insurance is changed to a partial insurance (e.g. earnings before 1.200 Euro per month, earnings after adjustment 400 Euro per month) then the full insurance ends with the end of the contribution period and from the following month the new employment group (and the adjusted insurance contributions) apply.
Salary entitlement and vacation entitlement for marginal employment
Except for the exceptions mentioned so far, the same regulations apply to marginally employed persons as to fully insured employees. Therefore, you have the following entitlements:
Vacation and severance pay (5 resp. 6 weeks of leave per year)
Depending on the collective agreement, special payments (vacation bonus and Christmas bonus – are not taken into account when calculating the low-income limit)
Entitlement to minimum wage according to collective agreement
Termination for marginal employment
Until 2017, termination was treated separately for marginal employment (below a certain number of hours per week, e.g., 8 hours of employment with a normal working time of 38.5 hours). With 1. However, as of January 1, 2018, this regulation was abolished, and from now on, a 6-week notice period applies to permanent marginal employees (compared to 2 weeks before). However, this longer period does not only apply to employers, but also to you as an employee. If you quit as a marginal employee, you are subject to a notice period of at least one month.
Part-time employment in Vienna – Who works part-time??
Since 2008, the number of low-income employment relationships in Vienna has increased from 72 to 30.077 by almost 30 percent to 92.570 (2019) increased. There are more women than men in marginal employment in Vienna: 51.130 (55%) women and 41.440 (45%) Men.
Summary – The checklist for marginal employment:
You are marginally employed if your total monthly earnings do not exceed the marginal earnings limit of 485.85 euros gross per month (as of 2022).
Note: In the case of multiple employment, the sum of all earnings per month (without special payments) is used as the basis for calculating the type of employment.
If you work part-time, you are automatically insured against accidents – However, you do not have automatic health and pension insurance. However, this can be taken out voluntarily as self-insurance.
In marginal employment, you are NOT insured against unemployment and you cannot take out voluntary insurance either.
Note: If you exceed the marginal earnings limit, you are fully insured and may have to pay part of the social security for the entire earnings at the end of the year.
In the case of marginal employment, you are entitled to care leave, vacation and severance pay, special payments (depending on the collective) and an entitlement to minimum wage according to the collective agreement, just as you would be if you were fully insured.
The dismissal of marginal workers is governed by the provisions of the collective agreement, while the dismissal of salaried employees has been subject to the provisions of the collective agreement since 01.01.2018 of the normal 6-week notice period for employer dismissals.
For better readability, the simultaneous use of masculine and feminine forms of language is omitted. All personal designations apply to both genders.