Alongside the areas of responsibility and the distribution of tasks in the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, information on gender mainstreaming and the Code of Conduct of the Federal Ministry are provided here.
Welcome to the Ministry
The Austrian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection is responsible for the following fields:
- Labour market policy
- Labour law
- The protection of employees (occupational health and safety)
- The health care system
- Initiatives for people with disabilities
- Consumer protection
- Public health and medical issues
- Care and support
- The rights of consumers and the protection of their health
- Senior citizens’ policy
- Social policy
- Social insurance
Distribution of tasks
Listing the names of the employees of the Federal Ministry in the distribution of tasks has the sole purpose of helping the public find what they are looking for in the Ministry’s offices. Using their names for advertising purposes is not permitted.
The subordinate agencies of the Ministry of Social Affairs include:
- the Sozialministeriumservice with its nine provincial offices, and
- the Labour Inspectorate.
The Federal Ministry is responsible for the supervision of the social insurance institutions.
The Federal Ministry is additionally responsible for the monitoring of the Public Employment Service, the Insolvency Compensation Fund, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH and Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (Healthy Austria Fund).
The lives of women and men differ in many ways. Gender mainstreaming is a political strategy with the objective of recognising these differences, ensuring real equality between women and men in political decisions, and breaking down discrimination.
The legislative basis for gender mainstreaming
In addition to the Austrian Federal Constitutional Law and the Equal Treatment Act, Austria has committed itself – based on international provisions and the action plans of the United Nations and the EU – to implement the gender mainstreaming strategy at political and legal levels.
Gender mainstreaming working groups
The Federal Government, the provinces and local authorities have become active, and have planned and realised a large number of measures. At a federal level, all of the ministries and the most important organs of the state have joined forces to form the Interministerial Working Group on Gender Mainstreaming/Budgeting (IMAG GMB). Gender budgeting has the objective of extending budgetary policy to include the gender perspective, and to deploy this extended view of budgets as an instrument for social change.
At the Ministry of Social Affairs, an internal Working Group on Gender Mainstreaming (AG GM) has already been in existence since 1999. It supports senior managers and staff of the ministry in the implementation of the strategy.
At the meetings of the AG GM, which take place on a regular basis, developments in the field of equal treatment in the ministry and challenges such as the gender pay gap are discussed. In addition, initiatives and projects are presented and further developed. In this process, expertise from the public sector is utilised as well as that of academia and research.
The Working Group on Gender Mainstreaming also acts as an interface to the High-Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming of the European Commission (HLG GM), and provides information in its meetings on forward-looking European and international examples, reports and studies as well as the results of international conferences.
An important step towards the further development of the actual equality of women and men is taken in the form of the national coordination of equal treatment goals by the Impact Assessment Office of the Federal Government.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct of the Federal Ministry was drawn up as part of a broadly-based process which included the involvement of all divisions, agencies and offices of the ministry together with staff representatives.
The code is intended to raise the awareness of staff of the importance of acting with integrity, and sharpens their perception of behaviour, which is ethical and conforms to administrative rules and standards. The Code of Conduct also supports staff in dealing with the legal and ethical challenges that arise in their everyday work and provides them with orientation, thus strengthening their trust in the integrity of the Federal Ministry and the quality of the work it carries out.