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Study visit to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection 23 April 2014 

Within the project „Latvia: Developing a Comprehensive Active Ageing Strategy for Longer and Better Working Lives" on April 23rd, 2014 a study visit on active ageing issues to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection was organised. Representatives from the following organisations participated in the study visit: from the Ministry of Welfare, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Education and Science and State Employment Agency. Representatives from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and Centre for Social innovations introduced seminar participants with the situation in Austria and experience in employment and care of elderly people.

Labour Market Situation and Measures in Latvia, Ilze Zvīdriņa, Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia

Deputy Director of the Labour Market Policy Department of the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia Ilze Zvīdriņa introduced with a labour market situation and measures in Latvia, focusing on the overall labour market situation and challenges in the context of aging population, main active labour market policy measures for the age group 50 years and older implemented by the State Employment Agency, as well as the most important results of recent studies on elderly people's employment.

Senior Citizens and Active Ageing Policies in Austria, Elisa Zechner, Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection

  • Traditionally in Austria active ageing policies and policy planning documents are developed involving stakeholders of different levels and sectors ensuring comprehensive approach.
  • Main long-term active ageing purposes are the following:
    • Fostering social integration through improving living conditions for those who, on average, tend to be less well off;
    • Supporting people in leading self-determined lives and  feeling self competent;
    • Strengthening the concept of solidarity.
  • Promotion of paradigm shift from perceiving ageing as a deficit, non-productive and as a financial burden to perceiving longevity as a chance.

Active Ageing Strategies: Establishment and Recommendations - based upon the Green Paper of the Central European Ageing Platform and the Austrian Territorial Employment Pacts, Anette Scoppetta, Centre for Social Innovation

  • Central Europe Ageing Strategy was developed as joint strategic guidelines for the Central Europe countries and regions with the aim to minimise negative effects of demographic change.
  • During the development of the ageing strategy, ideas from all involved stakeholders were collected and a joint vision for 2050 was developed. With assistance of experts, trends and scenarios were developed and recommendations were drawn taking into account different policy areas.
  • Initially, the strategy was published as green paper providing links between most central policies relevant for active ageing. After broad consultation with stakeholders of different levels, it was planned to publish the strategy as white paper, however, it was not possible due to no consensus between social partners.
  • As a result, a set of up to 200 activities was developed out of which regions can choose the ones fitting to their situation.
  • The core aspects of the strategy concern are counterbalancing inequalities between groups of the society and also between territories, the need for the adaptation of Central Europe governance systems to demographic change, the need for investments in human capital as well as making work-life-balance happen.

Caring Relatives and Federal Support Measures, Alexander Miklautz, Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection


  • The core aspects of the Austrian Care System are cash benefit, social services and informal care.
  • Cash benefit is allocated for persons who can not fully take care of themselves in order to cover expenses of formal paid services or informal care provided by family members. The amount of cash benefit is determined by the doctor according to the developed criteria in accordance with the necessary support. There is no age restriction, however, the average age of recipients is 75 years.
  • In order to ensure quality of care services about 20000 home visits are organised every year, during which professional carers assess the situation, provide information, as well as practical advice.
  • Additional support is provided for caring family members, ensuring social insurance (pension and health insurance), paid care leave for up to 3 months, as well as financial support for care in absentia of caring family member.


Measure fit2work, Sigrid Rohrich, Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection

  • The objectives of the measure fit2work are to preserve or enhance working capacity of persons with health impairments, reduce sickness absence, promote sustainable integration of clients into health-adequate jobs, prevent pre-mature exits from the labour force as well as promote re-integration of clients in the workplace after long periods of sick leaves.
  • Target groups of the measure are employed and self-employed persons with long sick leaves or health problems, unemployed persons with health impairments and companies especially with an above average number of days of sick leave.
  • Initially informative consultations are provided, case management plans are developed, if needed by the individual.
  • Attention is paid to the fact that the aid should be timely, sustainable, tailored to the individual, as well as supporting responsibility of the individual. Even though invitation letters are sent to target groups, the measure is voluntary, free of charge and confidential.
  • At the same time, a pilot project for the support for persons with mental health problems has begun. The objective of the pilot project is to ensure psychological and psycho-therapeutic treatment of persons with mental health problems, so as to enhance their working capacity, avoid job losses due to mental health problems as well as reintegrate individuals after long sick leaves. This support is being implemented in close cooperation with fit2work counselling for individuals.

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