The Austrian welfare state system

With special reference to the long-term care system

Authored by: Kai Leichsenring

The Routledge International Handbook to Welfare State Systems

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472449306
eBook ISBN: 9781315613758
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041085


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The roots of the Austrian system of social security reach back to the second half of the 19th century, when first steps towards poor relief, worker protection and eventually rudimentary social insurance were introduced by the Habsburg monarchy. It matched the pattern of Bismarck’s response of the German Empire to the ever more pressing workers’ movement. With the introduction of an old-age insurance for white-collar employees, but in particular after the fall of the Habsburg monarchy, important social policy decisions were taken during the 1920s with the introduction of an unemployment insurance, the 8-hour working day and the extension of the pension insurance to other categories of workers (Tálos, 1982).

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