Upper Austria wants to draw people’s attention to the so-called duty of care that applies to them in the federal state – to language acquisition and work – to those displaced from the Ukraine who receive basic services. In concrete terms, everyone should be officially written to and made aware that, if there are no exceptional reasons, they can be registered with the AMS, visit their job exchanges and have to prove this to the Caritas and Volkshilfe offices that pay for basic services.
Social Provincial Councilor Wolfgang Hattmannsdorfer (VP) emphasized at a press conference with the deputy AMS state manager Iris Schmidt today, Monday, that one wanted to bring people “quickly into self-preservation”. There are currently 7,260 displaced persons from the Ukraine in Austria, 5,205 of whom are still receiving basic services. Of the 4,643 expellees of working age, 61 percent are currently employed – some only marginally so – and only eight percent are neither employed nor registered with the AMS.
Iris Schmidt explained that the Ukrainians – mostly women – are also rethinking their professional orientation. At the beginning, many assumed that they would only be in Austria for a short time. It is now becoming apparent that they could stay longer after all, which means that interest in qualification and nostrification has also increased in order to have a permanent perspective. The AMS will therefore hold decentralized job exchanges in the coming months.
Upper Austria has not only made the so-called obligation to make an effort as a prerequisite for receiving social assistance, but – according to Hattmannsdorfer as the only federal state – also explicitly stipulated for Ukrainians in basic care. However, it is not fundamentally intended for asylum seekers receiving basic care, who do not have access to the labor market. However, it can certainly have financial consequences for the latter if they refuse a language course offered to them without reason.
SP country director Florian Koppler identified “law-and-order pathos with little substance” in relation to this and criticized that Hattmannsdorfer attacked “innocent Ukrainian refugees” on the anniversary of the Russian attack.