Info for independent caregivers
Register commercially - the conditions
Independent caregivers must register their business. If the relevant conditions are met, most placement companies support independent caregivers as necessary and upon request in registering their business.
The requirements for business registration of independent caregivers are:
Legal capacity. This means people who are over 18 as long as they are fully independent.
Have Austrian nationality or the nationality of an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland or - for nationals of third countries - have an official residence permit with the right to work in this profession. Nationals of an EU or EEA Member State and Switzerland enjoy freedom of establishment and freedom from visa requirements and may register and perform the business in the same way as Austrians. However, they must register with the district administrative authority at the latest four months after entering Austria if they want to stay in Austria for more than three months continuously.
Lack of grounds for exclusion. . Exclusion grounds include criminal records due to certain offences and with a certain sentence as well as lack of assets for legally not opened or repealed insolvency proceedings, provided they appear in the bankruptcy file. Grounds for exclusion that exist beyond the Austrian borders will also be considered.
Registering the business - where and how?
The competent commercial authority for registration of the trade of independent caregiving is the regional administrative authority of the commercial location.
Registration can be done in person, by mail, fax, or automation-based data transmission via the business service website www.usp.gv.at.
The district office or the start-up service of the respective district office of the Austria Chamber of Commerce advises on the legality of trade, labour, social security, and tax issues and provides the relevant NeuFöG confirmation for any funding for new businesses. The business registration can also be applied for online.
Many placement companies support independent caregivers with registering their business and the formalities.
Business registration - documentation
The following documents must be submitted to register the business:
A valid passport or birth certificate and proof of citizenship. For non-EU nationals (who are neither Austrian citizens nor citizens of EU or EEA countries or Switzerland), a residence permit that includes the right to work in this profession.
A marriage or divorce certificate if your name has changed.
Registration confirmation (not for Austrian citizens).
Criminal record certificate from the original or previous country of residence (only for people who have lived in Austria for under 5 years). If this is a new business, the competent confirmation issued by the Chamber of Commerce according to the New Companies Promotion Act (NeuFöG).
Business registration - the location
A business location is considered the office, the home of the caregiver, or also the site of the placement agency that placed the caregiver.
If a person requires round-the-clock care and the independent caregiver lives in their apartment, this apartment can also be classified as a business location. However, this option is usually discouraged. In any case the authorisation that allows the apartment of the person requiring care to be a business location should be regulated by contract.
The business registration must include the exact business name (free trade "caregiving") as well as the prospective business location.
Business - beginning work
Once all conditions are met, you can begin work immediately after the full receipt of the documents by the competent authority of commerce. If all statutory requirements are met, the competent commercial authority shall enter the independent person within three months in the central register of business and inform them of this by sending an original of the extract of the registration.
It is best for independent caregivers to contact an Austrian placement agency. In addition to the regular placement service, they also often offer a number of additional services and support.
Social security - the application
People who pursue commercial activity in Austria on the basis of an Austrian business licence are subject to compulsory health, pension, accident, and unemployment insurance.
Registration with the Social Security Authority for Business must be made within one month and may be carried out within the framework of business registration.
Independent caregivers agree on payment for work carried out with the person requiring care or their family members. They are responsible themselves for paying social security contributions and taxes. The assessment of social security contributions depends on various factors and is based on the income tax assessment.
Under certain conditions, an exception to the health and pension insurance requirement can be obtained. However, this eliminates the right to funding.
If independent caregivers work under the freedom to provide services from their country of residence to Austria, if they can show their tax and social security contributions there, they are under the jurisdiction of the country in which they provide their services, even if they also maintain residency in Austria. However, if they are mainly resident in Austria and have their home there, their insurance obligation is to Austria.
Children under the age of 18 are included in your health insurance. Entitlement to benefits however only applies if your usual residence is in Austria and there is no independent insurance.
Many placement companies are also happy to provide independent caregivers with advice on and assistance with insurance matters.
The organisation contract
What is called an organisation contract is concluded between the independent caregiver and the placement company.
Before concluding the contract, the placement company should inform the independent caregiver of the need for a valid business licence no later than the date of the caregiving contract, of the activities permitted, the measures to be complied with for quality assurance, and the requirements for personal caregiving arising from the regulations governing professional ethics and the exercise of the profession, in particular the need to sign a caregiving contract, and the minimum content of a placement contract such as this.
Independent caregivers should also be informed that certain activities may only be performed if there are no circumstances against it from a medical perspective, and that nursing and medical activities may be provided only under the preconditions defined by law.
The organisation contract must be in writing; a copy is issued to the caregiver. In addition to both parties’ information and the contract period, the organisation contract includes a transparent presentation of the content agreed by both sides, broken down by individual services, a list of the agreed prices, and agreements on when these are due and payment arrangements.
An integral part of the contract is also provisions for the termination of the contract.
The services actually provided by the placement company should be recorded regularly; this documentation is accessible on request to the independent caregiver.
The organisation contract should also record whether the placement agency has the authority to collect for the caregiver.
Before the placement company places an independent caregiver with a person requiring care, they must undertake a needs assessment. The support services required for the person requiring care must be ascertained, and they should ensure that the placed independent caregiver can also actually provide these services.
When choosing the person requiring care for the independent caregiver with whom they have concluded an organisation contract, placement companies check that the qualifications and service catalogue of the independent caregiver match with the person requiring care. The data for this is usually collected in an extensive questionnaire.
The placement company will select an appropriate person requiring care and arrange a joint meeting. The cost of placement is already made transparent in the organisation contract.
Aside from assistance in obtaining the business licence, placement companies generally offer their independent contractors a number of other benefits, including support with establishing the caregiving contract, on site introductions, advice and support in matters of documentation, quality assurance and training, assistance in resolving any challenges in everyday care, supervision, and also support in finding temporary substitute care providers in the case of illness, impairment, or holiday.
Neither the placement company nor independent caregiver is permitted to solicit individuals to offer them their services. This makes placement companies that make their services and offers transparent in publications, brochures, and websites the actual interfaces for high-quality care, because it is on these that demand is focused if suddenly - often surprisingly - the need arises.
A written caregiving contract is concluded between the independent caregiver and the person requiring care or a family member or authorised representative. Both parties are entitled to a written copy of the contract.
A caregiving contract absolutely must include information on the parties, the contract start and duration, an exact description of the agreed services, the establishment of guidelines for emergencies or for a deteriorating condition, arrangements for a replacement in the case of absence, the amount and due dates of payment for work carried out, and finally provisions on the termination of the contract.
Independent caregivers directly bill their customers for their services. They are also responsible for paying taxes and social contributions themselves
Placement companies also assist the independent caregivers working with them with establishing a proper caregiving contract. Model contracts in various languages can be downloaded from the website of the Austria Chamber of Commerce for caregivers. In the specialised groups of the states ‘ Chambers of Commerce, there are also often multilingual staff available to provide any information.