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Hungary

Staff

Updated 07/2012

Legal requirements

General labour regulations in Hungary are outlined in the Labour Code.

These regulations also refer to the employees of foreign companies who work in Hungary. In that case, the legislation provides for an exception, if employment relationships are regulated more favourably in the country of origin of a foreign company or if the employer and employee conclude a more favourable agreement.

State duties related to employment are coordinated by the Ministry of National Economy and the Ministry of Human Resources.

The Central Administration of National Pension Insurance (ONYF) handles matters related to pension insurance, while the central authority for social security is the National Health Insurance Fund (OEP).

The mandatory minimum wage is regulated each year by government decree. Various contributions have to be paid on wages, some of which are paid by the employer and some by the employee.

Terms of employment

The employer pays a wage to his employee on the basis of his employment. The mandatory subsistence wage (minimum wage) is regulated each year by government decree.

Unless otherwise agreed, employment is full time, i.e. 8 hours a day (general full-time schedule). The full-time working shcedule may be raised to maximum 12 hours a day on the basis of an agreement between the parties. The working hours are shorter for part-time work.

In any event, the employer must guarantee the conditions for working safely and fulfil the minimum requirements for health and safety at work.

Employment may cease for example by the death of the employee or upon expiry of the period defined in the employment contract, or it may be terminated by mutual consent, by giving ordinary or extraordinary notice, or with immediate effect in various circumstances.

Employees are entitled to breaks, both while working and in between workdays. In addition to this, all employees have the right to take leave.

In many cases, the Labour Code contains more favourable regulations in order to protect minors.

An important task is to improve living conditions, equal opportunities and employment support for disabled people.

In order to protect employees and maintain a peaceful working environment, contact between employees and employers and their associations is regulated by law Freedom of association and the participation of employees in developing working conditions are ensured under the law.

Employment contracts

Employment relationships are usually created through employment contracts. Employment contracts must comply with strict requirements in terms of their form and content. The requirements for occasional work are regulated by the Act on Simplified Employment.

Employment of foreigners (non-EU citizens)

As a general rule, employment of foreigners is subject to a permit but there are several exceptions.

During the naturalisation and recognition procedure, diplomas and certificates obtained abroad, outside the EU, assume equal value to those that can be obtained in Hungary.

Workers arriving on secondment from other Member States of the EU are advised to request an A1 form and European Health Insurance Card before they move to Hungary. These forms prove the temporary employment relationship as well as entitlement to healthcare services in Hungary.

There are minimum social rules to follow, especially about non-discrimination, gender equality and health and safety.

Administrative procedures

Advising of new and terminated employment relationships and filing wage contribution returns

Employers must advise the competent tax authority of new and terminated employment relationships, either electronically or using special forms.

Employers may only advise of employment relationships and satisfy their obligations relating to wage contribution returns electronically on the Government Portal once they have registered at the Client Gateway:

Creating an employment relationship

As a general rule, employment relationships are created through employment contracts; unless there is an agreement to the contrary, they imply full-time work (8 hours a day, 40 hours a week) and are concluded for an indefinite term.

Employment

Various contributions have to be paid on wages, including the social contribution payable by the employer, and the health insurance and pension contributions payable by the employee. Wage contribution returns may be filed electronically on the Government Portal after registration on the Client Gateway.

Recrods

The employer must keep records of the insured.

Certificates are issued to employees, and data is provided to the authorities as prescribed by law, using the data in the records.

Data must be provided electronically on the Government Portal after registration on the Client Gateway:

Data relating to pension insurance records are handled by the pension insurance body responsible for the Pension Insurance Fund.

Data relating to health insurance records are handled by the health insurance body.

Data relating to the wage contribution filing, payment, and implementation records are handled by the State tax authority.

Cessation, termination of employment

Employment can be terminated by mutual consent of the employer and employee, by giving ordinary notice, extraordinary notice, or with immediate effect during the probation period, or by the employer before the expiry of the specified period.

The employee is due severance pay if the employment relationship is terminated extraordinarily by the employee, or by the employer with notice, or upon termination of the employer without legal succession, and where the employee is not of retirement age and has worked for a period of at least three years for the employer in question. In the event of termination without legal succession, nobody will replace the terminated company.

Employers are obliged to report group redundancies to the State employment body and the competent regional job centre. Employers may also make reports using the online system, which allows the intent and decisions for mass redundancies to be recorded electronically.

Resources

EURES, the European job portal, offers employers information and support on recruiting across the EU. As well as assisting jobseekers, it helps entrepreneurs find workers from across the EU. In border regions, EURES provides information on cross-border commuting and helps workers and employers with problems that may arise.

Programmes

Start programme

The Start programme helps young people with basic or secondary qualifications at the start of their careers to obtain practical experience over a period of two years, or over a period of one year in the case of those who are at the start of their careers and have a degree-level qualification. Employers can benefit from preferential contribution rates if they are prepared to employ young people.

The Start Bonus programme will replace Start Plus and Start Extra programmes from 2012. Any person continuously registered as a job-seeker for at least 3 months directly before the date of application for the card, or who wants to work again after suspension of a child care benefit, a child care allowance, a child raising benefit or care taking benefit within one year, or who wants to work simultaneously with receiving child care benefit after the child becomes more than 1 year is entitled to apply for a Start Bonus card.

Programme promoting the employment of disabled persons

The rehabilitation card is a new tool for the employment of disabled persons. Any disabled person whose employment becomes possible with rehabilitation, or who requires permanent employment rehabilitation, or received or receives disability or accident disability pension group III, regular social benefit or rehabilitation benefit is entitled to apply for a rehabilitation card.

Help & advice

Help & advice

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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