Minimum honorarium fees

Deutsche Version

The Austrian Association for independent performing arts (IGFT) recommends calculating project funding for performing arts by the City of Vienna / MA7 using the minimum honorarium fee to avoid social dumping.

The minimum honorarium fee is a non-binding recommendation for the payment of artistic personnel in the field of performing arts funded by public funds from the City of Vienna. This recommendation was developed collaboratively by artists from the Wiener Perspektive and the IGFT in an open, two-year process.

Adjustments to the minimum fee recommendations (“Honoraruntergrenze” (HUG)) from the submission deadline of February 2024

The IG Freie Theaterarbeit proposes an adjustment of the minimum fee recommendations for project and 1–2-year funding („Einzel- und Gesamtförderung“) in Vienna starting with the submission deadline of February 2024. The figures have already been communicated to both the City of Vienna and the BMKÖS and we are expecting an increase in the corresponding budgets. The minimum fee recommendations are to be applied starting with the submission deadlines of the City of Vienna / Department of Culture on 15 February and 15 September 2024 for projects to be realised in the following year 2025.

The differentiated daily rate for new professionals and an increased recommendation from the 5th year of employment will be retained. The HUG refers to an 8-hour working / rehearsal day and describes the employer’s gross salary (in the case of salaried employment) or the employee’s gross salary (in the case of self-employment).

Note: We are aware that self-employed and employed individuals receive different amounts as payouts. For employed individuals, the amount received is already the net salary, while self-employed individuals must still pay taxes and insurance costs. In the case of employed positions, there is also the possibility to apply for subsidies for employer social insurance costs from IG Netz and receive up to 300 euros per employee per month. Additionally, with employed positions, significantly higher pension contributions are made, and entitlements to AMS benefits are triggered.

Minimum honorarium fees (for projects as of 2025) Previous HUG (as of 2022)
Rates (employer’s gross costs) for rehearsals: Rates (employer’s gross costs) for rehearsals:
– for newcomers: € 194 per day/8h – for newcomers: € 174 per day/8h
– for artists with 5 years of professional experience or more: € 227 per day/8h – for artists with 5 years of professional experience or more: € 204 per day/8h
Performance fee per performance: Performance fee per performance:
– 1st and 2nd performance: 390 – 1st and 2nd performance: 350
– as of the 3rd performance: € 223 – as of the 3rd performance: € 200
Fair Pay Level: € 268 per day/8h Fair Pay Level (as of 2021): € 240 per day/8h

Please note: This is still a minimum fee. The newly calculated fair-pay level is currently € 268 per day/8h. The performance fee applies to artistic stage performances (people on stage). Evening services (assistants, technicians, etc.) can be charged at the HUG daily rate.

Basis of calculation:

The calculation is based on the current collective bargaining agreements that are currently in effect in Austria for comparable artistic disciplines. Sunday/holiday/night work bonuses (if applicable) were taken into account. The following figures for starting salaries (gross) were used.

– State Opera Ballet Corps de ballet members
– State Opera Ballet semi-soloists
– Burgtheater (soloists)
– Theatererhalterverband Soloists
– Vereinigte Bühnen Ensemble salaries
– Wiener Bühnenverein Soloists/solo dancers

Calculation method for HUG for rehearsals:

As the recommended minimum fee is a gross amount for employers and a recommended fee for self-employed artists, a rate that includes the employer’s share had to be determined from the gross numbers of the collective agreements. As a rule, wages secured by collective agreements are paid 14 times a year in Austria. As this practice does not occur in the independent scene, the 13th and 14th salaries were converted aliquot into a monthly gross salary paid 12 times a year. The employer’s gross salary costs were calculated using a gross-net calculator.

Federal region-specific rates and BVB were not taken into account. Furthermore, the regional climate bonus was at level 1, no benefits in kind, no income tax allowance, no children and no consumption of natural gas. A daily rate (DGB/20.75) was calculated from the resulting employer’s gross costs. The recommended minimum fee is the average of the daily rates calculated in this way.

Calculation method of the recommendations for experienced professionals and performances:

The calculation described above results in an increase in the minimum fee recommendation for rehearsals compared to the previously recommended value of 11.5%. The new values for artists with 5 years or more professional experience and for performances are thus also increased by 11.5%.

Future increases taking inflation into account:

The future increases in the minimum fee recommendations are planned to no longer consider the collective bargaining agreements, as this would indirectly create a dependency on the union (Younion) that negotiates those collective bargaining agreements. Instead, inflation should be factored directly into the adjustment of the HUG. We propose using the actual inflation rate averaged over the last five years.

Calculation examples:

Salaried artists are employed for an average of 7 months per year. They usually rehearse about 6 hours per day during a 5-day week. The calculation example is based on 28 performances per year.

– With the previous minimum fee recommendation, this results in an average monthly gross salary of € 1,763 (spread over 12 months on a pro rata basis).

– With the new proposed increase to a daily rate of € 194, this results in an average monthly gross of € 1,916.

For self-employed artists, 7 productions were assumed, which is an above-average figure. In reality, half is probably the rule. This value was assumed in order to be able to establish comparability with salaried artists.

– With the current minimum fee recommendations, this results in an annual turnover of € 26,883, which corresponds to a monthly turnover of € 2,240.

– The new proposed increase results in an annual turnover of €29,970, which corresponds to a monthly turnover of € 2,497. Operating expenses, social security contributions and taxes will still have to be paid from this turnover.


According to Statistics Austria, the at-risk-of-poverty threshold in 2022 was € 1,392 net for a single-person household per month.

The median gross monthly income in Austria (women and men) was € 3,050 in 2021.


With the current minimum recommendations, the realistic income of professional artists in the independent scene is still far below the median gross income of all salaried employees in Austria. If the at-risk-of-poverty threshold of 2022 is taken into account with the development of inflation and, above all, inflation in the housing and energy sectors, this means that even if the recommended minimum fees are adhered to, artists are still at risk of poverty in an uncertain job market. An increase of the recommended minimum fee to € 194, on the other hand, will not bring artists in the independent scene into the realm of higher earners; on the contrary, they are still far below the median income. However, this measure would massively reduce the risk of poverty.

(Status: 11/2023)

Explanation of the minimum honorarium fees (dt. „Honoraruntergrenzen – HUG)


In practice, terms like „fee,“ „total cost,“ „net,“ etc., are used with different meanings. Additionally, depending on legal requirements, contractors and clients can collaborate on an invoice basis (i.e., independently, under a contract for work) or as part of an employment (i.e., not independently, as an employee).

Therefore, it is necessary to define the concept of the „minimum honorarium fee“:

In principle, the consideration is made from the client’s perspective, with the focus on the total costs.

  1. Collaboration on an independent/ self-employed basis (billing on an invoice, contract for work):

    • The HUG is the net fee WITHOUT value-added tax, as value-added tax is generally not a cost factor. Clients who are not entitled to deduct input VAT and for whom value-added tax is therefore a cost factor (e.g., non-profit institutions and associations or small business owners) must, therefore, consider any invoiced value-added tax in their planning. It is recommended to clarify with the contractor in advance at what rate value-added tax will be invoiced.

  2. Collaboration as part of an employment:

    • The HUG is the total employer’s cost, i.e., the costs that the employer has to bear as a whole in the context of employment.

      Example: Fee minimum € 194 per day These are the total costs for the employer.

      Therefore, the gross remuneration (brutto) of the employee must be deducted. Simplified, this will be around 30%, i.e., the gross remuneration (brutto) of the employee amounts to around € 136 per day. In each specific case, the employer must determine the labor costs accordingly for an exact calculation (mandatory pension insurance yes/no; municipal tax yes/no; full insurance vs. minor employment; special payments yes/no). The net remuneration of the employee does not play a role here, as it can depend on numerous factors in each specific case.

The IGFT provides a calculation tool.

We request feedback and comments on the calculation tool as we are constantly developing it and would like to incorporate your practical experiences. Thank you!

Calculation Tool (e.g., for individual funding from the City of Vienna Culture): Download Calculation Tool Version 3.2 HUG 2024

Please note: This calculation model does NOT replace the calculation form of the funding provider (e.g., the City of Vienna – Cultural Department MA 7)! However, we recommend attaching the completed service calculation model to the respective application, as this tool provides important budgetary information for the juries/curators.

For more information from the IGFT

IG Netz

Entitlement to a grant from the IG Netz exists for employment positions.

The IG Netz was established in 1991 by the IGFT to financially assist independent groups in the field of performing arts in paying their social security contributions through subsidies. It is managed by the IGFT and financed by the Arts Section of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Public Service, and Sport (BMKÖS) and the Arts and Culture Departments of the federal states of Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Styria, Burgenland, Carinthia, Upper Austria, and the City of Vienna.

Information on the IG Netz (German)

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