Indicator history

Close Window

Does legislation provide for the possibility of adopting special/positive measures prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to racial or ethnic origin in order to ensure full equality in practice?

Key Area:
Anti-discrimination Legislation & Implementation
Discrimination, Equality
22/12/2011 - 12:56
Short Answer

The possibility of adopting special/positive measures to prevent or compensate for disadvantages is explicitly foreseen by Austrian Equal Treatment Legislation.

Qualitative Info

Austrian Equal Treatment legislation includes an exception of discrimination for specific measures adopted by ways of legislation, regulations, via instruments of collective agreements or in general provisions implemented by the employer for more employees for the promotion of equality (in employment) to prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to any of the grounds referred to in the respective act. This exception is taken nearly word-by word from the positive action provisions of the EU Directives and included in all legal acts. It does not entail any limitation in terms of proportionality or adequacy. The exception is limited to the labour market for the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religion and belief and age.

There is a wide range of positive action measures in place for people with disabilities. The core legal source is the Act on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Behinderteneinstellungsgesetz). The Act imposes a duty upon all employers, who employ 25 or more employees within the (Austrian) federal territory to employ the minimum of 1 disabled person each 25 employees. This provision is implementing a quota regulation of 1:25, the so-called ‘obligatory number’ (Pflichtzahl) and goes even further than a mere quota system by including an active employment obligation for people with disabilities. Access to this employment possibility, however, is restricted to disabled people who fulfil certain qualifications. They have to be Austrian nationals or nationals of one of the Member States of the European Union; third country nationals only qualify if they were granted asylum. Furthermore, the degree of disability must reach at least 50 per cent.

The National Minorities Act (Volksgruppengesetz) in its Art. 8f provides for specific measures for recognized national minorities (Volksgruppen: Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks and Roma) to ensure the continuing existence of the ethnic minority group, their characteristics and rights by means of financial contribution, education and assistance.


  • e.g. Article 22 Equal Treatment Act (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz): Positive Maßnahmen
  • Act on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Behinderteneinstellungsgesetz) BGBl. Nr. 22/1970, last amended by Federal Law Gazette I Nr. 82/2005
  • Bundesgesetz über die Rechtsstellung von Volksgruppen in Österreich. BGBl. 396/1976, last amended by BGBl. I Nr. 35/2002.


Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Asylum seekers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Persons with disability
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Employment - labour market, Housing, Health and social protection, Education, Anti-discrimination
External Url
Positive Action Measures in the European Union, Canada, the United States & South Africa