Changes in Labour Law regulations in Hungary due to COVID-19 situation

By Dr Attila Kovacs, Kovacs Reti Szegheő Attorneys at Law

In order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the national economy, the Hungarian Government has taken measures by a Government Decree that did cause some changes in the prevailing labour law regulations.

According to the Decree mentioned above, until 30 days subsequent to the period of the national emergency (which Hungary has declared and is ongoing):

  • Employers may deviate from the general rule that in the event of unforeseeable business or operational circumstances, changes in working time schedules may only be made at least ninety-six hours in advance of the start of daily working shift. Due to such, working schedules may be altered also in case there are less than 96 hours before the start of the given shift.
  • The employer may unilaterally order home-working and teleworking for the employee. Prior to this, this required the agreement of the parties, but in our view and under current legislation, this provision does not affect the employer's obligation to ensure workplace safety (such as conducting a risk assessment of the workplace, providing work equipment / checking its safety).
  • The employer may take the necessary and justified measures to check the employee's state of health.
  • Provisions of collective agreements that deviate from those described above may not be applied during the time period covered by the Decree.
  • The employee and the employer may deviate from the provisions of the Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code by an individual agreement.

Dr Attila Kovacs

Dr Attila Kovacs

GGI member firm
Kovacs Reti Szegheő Attorneys at Law
Law Firm Services, Tax
Budapest, Hungary
T: +36 1 275 27 85
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Kovacs Reti Szegheő Attorneys at Law, established in 1992, is one of the oldest independent Hungarian law firms. It is active in Hungarian, English, German, and Italian and operates over a wide spectrum within the fields of civil and business law, for both domestic and international clients.

Dr Attila Kovacs graduated in 1996. After gaining professional experience in Hungarian and German law offices, he became a member of Kovács Réti Szegheő, and has been Managing Partner since 2004. He speaks Hungarian, English, and German, and his primary areas of practice are bankruptcy law, real estate law and corporate law. Attila is Global Chairperson of the GGI DCRI Practice Group.

Published: COVID 19: Labour Law Implications in different jurisdictions, March 2020 

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