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New rules on labour law I.

  • Hungary


    From 1 January 2023, the most comprehensive amendment of the Labour Code enters into force, which primarily aims to transpose Directives 2019/1152 and 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council into Hungarian law.

    In our newsletters, we present the main legislative changes in two parts. We will send you the second part soon.

    1. Extension of employers' information obligations

    1.1 Obligation to provide information after the initiation of the employment

    Under the previous legislation, the employer was obliged to inform employees in writing of the characteristics of the employment relationship within fifteen days of the start of the employment relationship at the latest.

    However, from 1 January 2023, the employer must inform the employee of the essential characteristics of the employment relationship on the first day of the employment relationship, but no later than the seventh day. In addition to the information already provided, the obligation to provide information must cover the following:

    • start and term of the employment;
    • workplace;
    • the duration of the daily working time, the days of the week on which working time may be scheduled, the possible starting and finishing times of the scheduled daily working time, the possible duration of the extraordinary working time, the specific nature of the employer's activity (multi-shift, uninterrupted, etc.);
    • the rules relating to termination of employment. In this context, reference should be made to the need for written declarations on termination of employment and to the possibilities for legal remedies and protection against dismissal.
    • the employer's training policy, the length of time the employee may receive training, including training which is compulsory by law and training organised by the employer, and
    • the name of the authority to which the employer pays the public charge relating to the employment relationship. This is currently the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) in Hungary, so the NAV details should be provided in the information notice.

    There is no obligation on the employer to provide information on working conditions which have been expressly agreed in writing by the parties. In other words, if the parties have agreed on the start of the employment relationship and the place of work in the employment contract, they do not need to be repeated in the information notice.

    The employer is not obliged to provide information if the employee's working time does not exceed half an hour per day.

    Otherwise, on the basis of the transitional provisions of the Section 46 of the Labour Code, the employee may request the employer in writing within 3 months of the entry into force of the Act to provide the additional information provided for in the amendment, in the case of an employment relationship already existing at the time of the entry into force of the amendment, and the employer must provide the request within 30 days.

    1.2 Information obligation on the receiving employer

    In the event of a change of employer, the deadline for the receiving employer to provide information is significantly shortened. Instead of the current 15 days after the transfer date, the transferee employer must inform the employee of the change of employer on the transfer date.

    • Working abroad for more than 15 days

    In the case of working abroad for more than fifteen days, the information on which employers are obliged to provide written information has been further extended:

    1. Amendment of the provisions on annual leave

    2.1 Extension of paternity leave

    Under the previous legislation, the father was entitled to five working days of additional leave until the end of the second month after the birth of the child at the latest, and seven working days for twins.

    However, under the amended law, the father will be entitled to 10 working days' leave, to be granted at the latest by the end of the second month following the birth of the child or, in the case of adoption, the finalisation of the decision authorising the adoption, to be taken in two instalments at the time of his request.

    The employee is also entitled to paternity leave if his child is stillborn or dies.

    For the first 5 working days of paternity leave, the employee is entitled to 100% of the absentee fee (basically the salary), but for the 6 to 10 working days, the employee is entitled to only 40% of the absentee fee.

    The concept of father is defined by the new provisions of the Labour Code. In this regard, it is important to point out that paternity leave does not require that the father to be married, he can be single or divorced, nor is it a requirement that he lives in the same household as the child.

    Given that the transposition of the Directives was due in August 2022 but has not actually taken place until 1 January 2023, the transitional provisions provide that if the employee has not taken paternity leave or has taken it under the previous rules (i.e. for a maximum of 5 or 7 working days), in this case, he can take the working days for the difference in paternity leave within 2 months starting from January 2023 if the employee's child was born between August 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022. This also applies to adopted children.

    2.2 Introduction of parental leave

    The Labour Code already allows parents to take extra leave for their children under 16. This additional leave, for which, like other paid leave, an absentee fee is paid, remains unchanged.

    In addition to the above-mentioned additional leave, the Labour Code therefore introduces the institution of parental leave, under which the employee is entitled to 44 working days of parental leave up to the age of 3 of the child. To be eligible for parental leave, the employment relationship must have lasted for one year after the birth of the child or, in the case of adoption, after the decision authorising the adoption has become final. The entitlement to leave is also based on the fact that the employment relationship lasts for one year, i.e., if, for example, the employer establishes an employment relationship with the father of a one-year-old child, the employee will be entitled to 44 working days of leave for his two-year-old child after one year (provided the employment relationship is continuous).

    The employer will grant parental leave at the time requested by the employee. The employee's request must be notified to the employer at least 15 days before the leave is taken.

    The employer may postpone the granting of parental leave for a maximum of 60 days for exceptional reasons of major economic interest or for reasons directly and seriously affecting the operation of the employer's business, giving reasons in writing to the employee.

    Furthermore, the employer may refuse to grant leave, in which case the employer must state the reasons for refusing to grant leave. It is then up to the employee to decide at which other time he or she wishes to take the leave.

    For the duration of parental leave, the employee is entitled to 10% of the absentee fee, reduced by the amount of the childcare allowance. A parent who receives these benefits will therefore be entitled to even less during this leave.

    Due to the delayed implementation of the Directive, if the employee's child reaches the age of three between 2 August 2022 and 30 June 2023, the employer will grant parental leave, at the employee's request, no later than 30 June 2023.

    • Common rules on paternity and parental leave

    The duration of both leaves is an absolute prohibition on termination, which means that the employer cannot terminate the employment relationship by giving notice either during paternity leave or parental leave. The parties may not derogate from this provision, even in the case of an executive employee.

    It is also a general rule that, by their nature, neither paternity leave nor parental leave must be taken in the year in which it is due.

    The special nature of leave also justifies the fact that the employer is not obliged to pay for unused leave, the legislator's aim being that the employee should actually take the leave and spend it with his or her child.

    Accordingly, if the employee has not taken paternity or parental leave, or has taken only part of it, before the termination of employment, he or she can take it at his or her new place of work. This is ensured by the employer's certificate, which must also indicate the duration of the paternity or parental leave granted by the previous employer.

    Another important provision is that if the employee has already started paternity or parental leave, the employer may not interrupt it.

    In our next newsletter, we will look at the changes to the prohibition of abuse of rights an0d the new cases of mandatory changes to employment contracts.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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