The main source of employment law in Hungary is the Labor Code, which came into force in 1992 and was significantly revised in 2012. Another important source of law is the Constitution of Hungary, which protects the basic rights of employers and employees.
Eight hours a day is considered fulltime employment. The weekly working time generally should not exceed forty-eight hours. The employer and the employee can agree to increase fulltime employment to as many as 12 hours daily for employees working on call or who are close relatives of the employer or the owner.
On-Call and Standby Time
An employee may be required to standby and remain available beyond the regular daily working hours scheduled. The duration of standby may not exceed 168 hours per month, which shall be taken as the average if an alternative working system applies. The employee may be ordered to work standby time for not more than four times a month if it overlaps with the employee’s designated weekly rest day.
For on-call and standby duty, a wage corresponding to 20 percent and 40 percent, respectively, of the basic wage must be paid. If the duration of actual work performed cannot be measured, the rate is 50 percent for standby duty. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 92, 103, 139-142.
Employees are entitled to a 50 percent wage allowance for overtime work (if no compensatory paid time off is provided), 100 percent for overtime work on a rest day (or 50 percent if another rest day is provided) in addition to normal salary.
For overtime work on national holidays, employees are entitled to a 100 percent allowance in addition to the payment due for normal work. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 107109, 143.
If scheduled work time frequently changes, the employee is entitled to a shift allowance of 30 percent for work performed between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Employees not receiving shift allowance must be paid a 15 percent allowance for working at night if the work exceeds one hour and is performed between 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 139-142.
If the scheduled daily working time or overtime exceeds six hours, the employee is entitled to a minimum 20-minute uninterrupted break from work. If the duration of work exceeds nine hours, an additional 25-minute break must be given the employee.
Employees must be allowed at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest after the conclusion of daily work and before the beginning of the next day’s work. If the employee works split shifts, continuous shifts, multiple shifts or in seasonal or on-call duty positions, the daily rest period must be at least eight hours.
Employees must be paid a 50percent allowance in addition to regular wages for working on Sundays in certain circumstances. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 139142.
Holidays are observed on their calendar date. They are not moved if they fall on a weekend or a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Work performed on a holiday must be remunerated at 200 percent of normal pay. Under the Labor Code, the following 10 national holidays are observed:
Employees may be required to work on national holidays only if they are employed seasonally, the employer operates on a continuous basis or the nature of the business makes it necessary for the employer to be open on national holidays (if the service provided is required on that particular day by local tradition or commonly accepted social custom or is necessary to protect human life, health or property). In addition, employees providing services abroad (for example, shared service centers) or posted abroad on days not qualifying as public holidays in the recipient country may be instructed to work on Hungarian national holidays.
Employees can only be instructed to work overtime on national holidays if they can otherwise be required to work on that day or to prevent or mitigate the imminent danger of accident, natural disaster or danger to life or health. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 101102, 140.
Employees receive basic and additional annual leave for each calendar year of employment. The basic annual leave entitlement is 20 working days. The annual leave entitlement of employees is increased with additional days depending on the age (not the seniority) of the employee with up to 10 additional working days. Employees in special circumstances receive additional leave as follows:
A collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract may provide additional leave days. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 115120.
An employee is entitled to 15 working days of leave per the calendar year for times when the employee is incapable of working due to illness, not including industrial accidents, illnesses specified by social insurance provisions and the incapability to work due to endangered pregnancy. Incapacity must be certified by a physician. During the sick leave, the employee receives 70 percent of his or her absence fee (total compensation including base salary and other allowances) paid by the employer for the 15day sick leave. If the employee is still incapable of working after 15 days, sick pay is covered partly by social security and partly by the employer, but only for a period of up to one year. After this date, invalidity benefits may be granted. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 118, 146.
A pregnant employee is entitled to 24 weeks of maternity leave, commencing four weeks prior to childbirth. The maternity leave terminates:
In the circumstances stipulated above, the duration of the maternity leave cannot be less than six weeks following the birth. Mothers are entitled to one hour’s leave twice per day (or two hours’ twice per day in the case of twins) during the first six months of breastfeeding and thereafter one hour per day (two hours in the case of twins) until the end of the ninth month after the birth. An employee is entitled to unpaid leave:
Upon the birth of his child, a father is entitled to 5 working days’ compensated leave, in case of twins the duration is 7 working days’ leave within two months following the date of birth on days he requests. An employee is entitled to unpaid leave:
Employees are relieved from the obligation to work in the following circumstances:
An employee is entitled to unpaid leave when:
Last updated on: February 11th, 2019