Last updated on: February 28th, 2022

Labor Requirements

The main source of employment law in Hungary is the Labor Code, which came into force in 1992 and was significantly revised in 2012 (last amended in 2020). The Labor Code governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, and employment relationships. Another important source of law is the Constitution of Hungary, which protects the basic rights of employers and employees.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The regular daily working time is 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week (inclusive of overtime for the week). The employer and the employee can agree to increase daily working hours to not more than 12 hours daily for employees working on-call or who are close relatives of the employer.

 

Work shall be scheduled for 5 days a week, between Monday through Friday (standard work pattern). The scheduled working time of an employee may not be less than 4 hours except for part-time employees. According to the work schedule –

      • The daily working time of employees shall not exceed 12 hours including overtime or 24 hours in the case of employees in stand-by jobs.
      • The weekly working time of employees shall not exceed 48 hours including overtime, or 72 hours in the case of stand-by jobs if so agreed by the parties.

Employers are required to ensure that the work schedule of employees is drawn up in accordance with occupational safety and health requirements and in consideration of the nature of the work. The employer shall notify the working schedule in writing at least 1 week and at least 168 hours in advance of the start of the daily working time according to the schedule.

 

Daylight savings: If the date of switching to wintertime falls within the working hours of an employee as may have been scheduled, in such case, the daily or weekly working time can be exceeded by a maximum of 1 additional hour.

 

In cases where the duration of work performed by an employee cannot be measured, the entire duration of on-call duty with respect to such an employee shall be included in his/her scheduled daily working time. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 93 – 100 and 103.

 

Working Time Banking

A working time bank allows employees to save and combine their working time, earned time off or monetary benefits converted to time off and also enables them to accumulate longer periods of time off in the bank. Working time flexibility is primarily ensured through implementing and allocating cumulative working time (or working time banking) when the actual working time schedule can be adjusted to the labor force requirement

The employer may define the working time of an employee in terms of the ‘banking’ of working hours. The period covered by banking of working time shall be arranged based on daily working time (8 hours) and standard work pattern(5 days working week). Any public holidays falling on a working day within the standard work pattern and the duration of absence (for example due to training provided by the employer, breastfeeding, etc.) shall not be counted.

An employer shall ensure that the maximum daily working time in the working time banking is not less than 4 hours per day and shall not exceed 12 hours inclusive of overtime.

In the case of working time banking, the beginning and ending date shall be clearly mentioned to the employee.

The weekly 40 working hours (full-time) shall be completed during the whole period of working time banking in irregular weekly working time. During the work schedule compilation,  employees shall be entitled to weekly rest time for at least 2 days or 48 consecutive hours, and also 11 hours of consecutive rest time (daily rest) must be provided between the end of the daily work and the beginning of the daily work on the next day.

For example, when applying a working time banking of 2 months, the employer can schedule the working time of employees to weekly 45 hours in the first month and to 35 hours in the second month. In such cases employees work more than the weekly 40 working hours (full-time) in the first month and still, the additional working time shall not be considered overtime work. In the second month, employees work less than the weekly 40 working hours (full-time) and still shall be entitled to the employee’s monthly wage.

The maximum duration of working time banking is 4 months or 16 weeks. And the maximum duration of working time banking is 6 months or 26 weeks in the case of employees working in continuous shifts, working in shifts, etc.

The maximum length of working-time banking period can be extended up to 36 months if this is stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 93 – 94 and 143.

 

 

Split Working Time

The employer shall in agreement with the employee’s scheduled daily working time is up to 2 periods split up over the day. Between the split daily working times scheduled at least 2 hours of rest must be provided.

 

On-call and Stand by

An employee may be required to stand by and remain available beyond the regular daily working hours scheduled. Standing by for a period of over 4 hours may be ordered.

Pay – For on-call and standby duty, a premium corresponding to 20% and 40 %, respectively, of the regular wage must be paid. If the duration of  work performed cannot be measured, the employee is entitled to a 50% premium at the regular rate of pay

The monthly duration of standby duty may not exceed 168 hours, which shall be taken as the average in the event that banking of working time is used and the duration of on-call duty shall not exceed 24 hours and shall include both the duration of scheduled daily working time and overtime work on the first day of on-call duty. The employee may be ordered to be on stand-by for not more than 4 times a month if it covers the weekly rest day (weekly rest period).

In cases where the duration of work performed by an employee cannot be measured, the entire duration of on-call duty with respect to such an employee shall be included in the employee’s scheduled daily working time.

If an employee working in a stand-by job is scheduled to work on Sunday, he may not be scheduled to work on the preceding Saturday. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 92, 103, 139-142, and 144(3).

 

Recordkeeping Requirements

An employer shall maintain records of the time of commencement and end of any regular or overtime work, duration of stand by duty, periods of leave, etc of employees and shall update it on a daily basis. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 134.

Overtime

The employer may require employees to work up to 250 hours of overtime per year, but if the employer concludes an agreement with the employee in writing, the employee can be assigned an additional 150 hours per year, and overtime can be increased up to a maximum of 400 hours per year.

 

The maximum daily working hours is 12 and weekly working hours are 48 both inclusive of overtime, hence an employee can perform a maximum work of 4 hours of daily overtime per day and 8 hours of overtime per week.

 

Employers also can take up to 36 months to settle payments of accrued overtime and may agree on overtime arrangements directly with employees without having to include unions in the negotiations.

 

 

Pay for Overtime Work

Employees are entitled to a 50% premium at the regular rate of pay for overtime work performed in addition to the daily working time as mentioned in the schedule of the employee, for work performed in the working time banking period, or for work performed over and above payroll period or time off from work, the duration of which shall not less than the amount of overtime work performed with adequate part of the base wage. 

Night Work

Night work shall mean work carried out between 10 pm and 6 am. The employee’s daily working time during night work may not exceed 8 hours.

 

Pay – In the case of employees working in shifts, if the beginning of their scheduled daily working time changes frequently, for work performed between 6 pm and 6 am, a 30% premium at a regular rate of pay (shift allowance) shall be paid. 

 

Employees must be paid a 15­% premium at the regular rate of pay for working at night(performed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.) provided that the employee is not entitled to the shift allowance provided above. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 139­ – 142.

Breaks

If the scheduled daily working time or duration of overtime exceeds 6 hours, the employee is entitled to a minimum 20-minute uninterrupted unpaid break from work. If the duration of work exceeds 9 hours, an additional 25-minute unpaid break must be given to the employee. Working time shall not cover break-time.

 

The break time, in any case, shall not exceed 60 minutes via an agreement between the parties or via collective agreement. Employees will be provided with a break after 3 hours of work but before the completion of 6 hours of work. Labor Code, Act 2012, (as amended), §§ 103.

 

Daily Rest Period

If the scheduled daily working time or duration of overtime exceeds 6 hours, the employee is entitled to a minimum 20-minute uninterrupted unpaid break from work. If the duration of work exceeds 9 hours, an additional 25-minute unpaid break must be given to the employee. Working time shall not cover break-time.

The break time, in any case, shall not exceed 60 minutes via an agreement between the parties or via collective agreement. Employees will be provided with a break after 3 hours of work but before the completion of 6 hours of work. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 104.

 

Weekly Rest Day

Employees are entitled to 2 rest days in a given week. Employees shall be provided at least an average of 48 hours of a weekly rest period.

 

In the case of an irregular work schedule the weekly rest days may be scheduled irregularly and after 6 days of work 1 rest day shall be allocated in a given week. In the case of unequal working hours without interruption, multi-shift, seasonal activity employees shall be entitled to at least 1 weekly rest day per month.

Employees shall be allocated at least 1 weekly rest day in a given month on a Sunday, except for part-time employees who work on Saturday and Sunday only.

Work On Rest Days

If an employee works on a Sunday, they shall be entitled to a 50% premium at the regular rate of pay.  If an employee working in a stand-by job is scheduled to work on Sunday, he may not be scheduled to work on the preceding Saturday.

 

Pay for overtime work on a weekly rest day 

For overtime work performed on weekly rest days/periods, an employee shall be entitled to a 100% premium at the regular rate of pay or a 50% premium at the regular rate of pay if the employer provides another weekly rest day (weekly rest period).

The time off or the weekly rest day (weekly rest period) shall be provided at the latest in the following month from when the overtime work was performed, or by the end of the banking of working time or the payroll period in the case of an irregular work schedule. By agreement of the parties, time off shall be provided at the latest by 31 December of the following year. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 105, 106, and 143(3)

Sunday Work

Employees must be paid a 50 ­percent allowance in addition to regular wages for employees working in shifts and stand-by jobs on Sundays. If an employee working in a stand-by job is scheduled to work on Sunday, he may not be scheduled to work on the preceding Saturday.

 

Pay for overtime work on Sunday

An employee shall be paid at a rate of 100 percent wage supplement or shall be paid at 50 percent if the employer provides another weekly rest day to the employee. Labor Code, Act I of 2012, (as amended), §§ 139­ – 142.

Public Holidays

The following 12 national holidays are observed in Hungary:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • March 15: Revolution Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • Pentecost Monday (varies)
  • August 20: St Stephen’s Day
  • October 23: Republic Day
  • November 1: All Saints’ Day
  • December 24: Public Holiday
  • December 25­: Christmas
  • December 26: Second Day of Christmas

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.

 

Pay for Work on Holiday

Employees who perform work on a holiday must be entitled to a 100% premium at the regular rate of pay. This wage supplement is also paid for work performed on Easter Sunday or Whit Sunday or public holidays which fall on a Sunday.

 

Pay for Overtime Work on Holiday

Employees who perform overtime work on a public holiday are entitled to a 100% premium at a regular rate of pay, or where the employer provides another weekly rest day/period for overtime work performed on a public holiday, employees are entitled to a 50% premium at a regular rate of pay. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 101­ – 102, 140, and 143(4)

Annual Leave

The basic annual leave entitlement is 20 working days. Employees receive basic and additional annual leave for each calendar year of employment.

 

Working days shall include any duration of exemption from work as scheduled, paid leave, maternity leave, the first 6 months of leave of absence without pay for caring for a child, incapacity up to 30 days per calendar year, leave of absence without pay taken up to 3 months for the purpose of actual reserve military service, the duration of other exemption from work.

 

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 shall be entitled to extra vacation time as follows:

      • 1 working day over the age of 25;
      • 2 working days over the age of 28;
      • 3 working days over the age of 31;
      • 4 working days over the age of 33;
      • 5 working days over the age of 35;
      • 6 working days over the age of 37;
      • 7 working days over the age of 39;
      • 8 working days over the age of 41;
      • 9 working days over the age of 43;
      • 10 working days over the age of 45.

Employees shall be first entitled to extra vacation time in the year when reaching their age.

 

Additional Vacation Leave

Employees in special circumstances receive additional leave as follows:

          • Employees under 18 are entitled to 5 extra days of vacation each year;
          • Employees are entitled to extra vacation time for children under the age of 16: 2 days a year for one child, 4 days a year for two children, and 7 days a year for more than two children, and an additional 2 days per child if the child is disabled.
          • Employees permanently working underground or spending at least 3 hours a day on a job exposed to ionizing radiation are entitled to 5 extra days of vacation each year; and
          • Employees receiving disabled or blind benefits and employees with at least 50 percent disability are entitled to 5 additional days of vacation each year.

A collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract may provide additional leave days.

 

Employers shall allocate 7 working days of the vested vacation time in a given year not more than two parts, at the time requested by the employees, with the exception of the first 3 months of the employment relationship. The employee shall notify the employer of such a request at least 15 days in advance. Otherwise, vacation shall be granted to contain at least 14 consecutive days at a time.

 

Timing of Vacation

      • Vacation shall be granted in the year in which it is due.
      • If the employment relationship commenced on the first of October or subsequently, the employer shall be entitled to grant vacation time by 31 March of the next year.
      • If vacation time could not be granted in the year in which it is due for reasons within the employee’s control, it shall be allocated within sixty days after the cause is remedied.

Leave shall be granted for working days according to the working hours. In the case of unequal working hours, every day of the week shall be considered a working day during the granting of leave, except for a weekly rest day according to the working time schedule and a public holiday.

Termination Pay

Upon termination of employment, an employee shall be compensated for any vacation time not previously granted as due. An employee whose employment is concluded or terminated is entitled to an adequate or proportionate amount of vacation in such a year. Any fraction of a day that comes to half a day shall count as a full working day. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 115 – 125.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2022, the mandatory minimum wage is HUF 200,000/ month.

Special Leave

Sick Leave

An employee is entitled to 15 working days of leave per 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. During sick leave, the employee receives 70% of the wages paid by the employer for the 15­ days of sick leave. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 118, 126 146.

Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to an unpaid leave of 24 weeks of which the employee is obliged to take 2 weeks, commencing four weeks prior to childbirth. The maternity leave terminates:

      • If the child is stillborn;
      • On the 15th day after the death if the child dies during maternity leave; or
      • The day following the day when the child is transferred to a welfare institution for over 30 days.

In the circumstances stipulated above, the duration of the maternity leave cannot be less than six weeks following the birth.

 

Maternity leave is also granted to a parent who cares for a child on the basis of an enforceable court judgment or an enforceable guardianship decision due to the mother’s state of health or death.

 

If the child is cared for in an institution for premature infants, the unused part of the maternity leave may be taken up to 1 year after the birth even after the child has been released from the institution.

 

Employees shall be entitled to unpaid leave at the times requested for the purpose of taking care of their child until the child reaches the age of 3. Employees shall be entitled to unpaid leave for providing care for a child in person until the child reaches the age of 10, during the period of receiving a child-care allowance. The relative of an employee shall be entitled to unpaid leave for the duration of the care, but for a maximum of two years, for the purpose of long-term personal care, which is expected to exceed thirty days.

 

Breast Feeding Breaks – Mothers are entitled to pay 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 paid one hour per day (two hours in the case of twins) until the end of the ninth month after the birth. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 127­ – 13

Paternity Leave

Upon the birth of his child, a father is entitled to 5 paid working days’ leave and in the case of twins, 7 paid working days’ leave which shall be taken within two months following the date of birth on the days as may be requested by the father. The leave shall be provided also if the child is stillborn or dies.

Employees (both parents) shall be entitled to unpaid leave at the times requested for the purpose of taking care of their child until the child reaches the age of 3. Employees shall be entitled to unpaid leave for providing care for a child in person until the child reaches the age of 10, during the period of receiving a child-care allowance. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 118(4) 128 and 130.

Adoption Leave

Maternity leave shall also be provided to a woman who has been given custody of a child for the purpose of adoption. The duration is 24 weeks of unpaid leave. Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 127(2).

Other Leave

Employees are relieved from the obligation to work in the following circumstances:

                  • Upon the death of a close relative, for at least 2 paid working days per occurrence;
                  • If the employee is incapable of working due to illness;
                  • For the duration of compulsory medical examinations (including pregnancy tests) with pay;
                  • For the duration of service as a volunteer firefighter;
                  • For the duration of absence to donate blood (minimum 4 hours) with pay;
                  • If the employee is unable to appear at work for personal or family reasons or due to circumstances beyond the employee’s control;
                  • For the duration of classes if employees are pursuing elementary school studies or for the duration of training if participating by agreement with the employer with pay;
                  • For the duration required to attend any calling from the court or authority;
                  • For the duration of treatment related to a human reproduction procedure;
                  • For any duration specified by the regulations.

Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 55.

Unpaid Leave

An employee is entitled to unpaid leave:

              • For any extended (more than 30 days) nursing or home care of a close relative up to a maximum of two years provided the employee personally provides the care; and
              • For the duration of actual reserve military service.

Labor Code, Act I of 2012 (as amended), §§ 131 – 132.