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Global employment briefing: Hungary, January 2018

  • Hungary
  • Employment law


Increase in the mandatory minimum wage and guaranteed wage minimum

As of 1 January 2018, the mandatory minimum wage and the guaranteed wage minimum were increased. Previously, the rates were: gross HUF 127,500 (approx. EUR 410) and HUF 161,250 (approx. EUR 520). From 2018, the mandatory minimum wage is raised about 8 percent to gross HUF 138,000 (approx. EUR 445) and the guaranteed minimum wage is raised about 12 percent to HUF 180,500 (approx. EUR 580).

At least the mandatory minimum wage must be paid to full-time employees and at least the guaranteed wage minimum must be paid to employees who work in positions that requires secondary educational skills.

Changes introduced aimed at protecting the health of workers

The Labour Code has been modified and supplemented with more provisions that aim to protect employees whose health/work conditions change during their employment. The changes came into effect on 1 January 2018 and the main ones are as follows:

  • Previously, the Labour Code stated that employees shall be employed for work that is not detrimental to their physical condition. This section has been supplemented and now clarifies that the employer is obliged to change the employment conditions of employees whose health condition changes during the term of employment.
  • According to the former section of Labour Code, employees with a health impairment of at least 50 per cent, as diagnosed by competent authority, were entitled to five days extra holiday per year. Now, the Labour Code states that this extra holiday is extended to employees that are deemed to be ‘employees with changed ability to work’. This concept is determined in law and is broader than previously. Consequently, more employees might be eligible for the five days extra vacation time.

Trade union officers are now included as ‘employee representatives’

As of 1 January 2018, the definition of employee representatives is extended. In addition to members of works council, shop stewards and employee representatives of companies’ supervisory board, trade union officers are now also deemed as employee representatives. This has consequences because of the special protection for employee representatives, for example, they may claim reinstatement in relation to a wrongful termination lawsuit.

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