Changes in the Hungarian Labour Code

In December 2018 the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new legislation that significantly changes the Hungarian Labour Code. The proposer stated that the goal of this new legislation is ‘to remove administrative burdens from the employees, so if they want to earn more – with their consent – they can work more’.

According to the currently applicable laws, 250 hours of overtime work can be ordered for employees in a calendar year. The new proposal changes the possible overtime for 400 hours if the employer and employee agree on it in writing. The works councils and trade unions, as well as the employers’ interest groups have expressed their disagreement with the changes. They argue that it might result in a limited negotiation power of the employees, it also imposes an unwanted burden on them, and that this change is not the way to solve the problem of the shortage of labour.

The amendment also changes the working time cycle rules by shifting the maximum duration of working cycling from 12 months to 36 months and it also changes the rules of weekly rest day and rest period. These will also mean even more paperwork for the employers, since they will have to keep the data concerning the work undertaken for a longer period.

The new legislation enters into force on 1 January 2019.

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