Following the trend of recent years, the beginning of the year brought changes to employment legislation in Hungary that went into effect on January 1, 2020. Below is a summary of these changes.

Extended period of part-time work

The provisions of part-time work have changed. Employers are required to agree to an employee’s request to work part-time—being 50 percent of regular daily hours—to last until the employee’s child reaches the age of four or the age of six in the case of parents with three or more children. The part-time work allowance has increased from the ages of three and five respectively. The mandatory change of the duration of the working schedule remains at four hours per day part-time work (unless the parties agree upon a different duration).

The range of persons entitled to maternity leave and unpaid leave has expanded

As of January 1, 2020, maternity leave has been extended to also apply to a parent who provides care for a child under a court decision or a resolution issued by the guardian due to the mother’s health condition or death.

In addition to maternity leave, employees may take additional unpaid leave for the purpose of taking care of their children until they reach the age of three. This has not changed. However, there have been legislative changes concerning adoption. From January 1, 2020, employees are entitled to unpaid leave for the purpose of caring for an adopted child for a period of three years from the initial time when the child was placed in the employee’s care. If the child is older than the age of three at the time of adoption, employees are entitled to unpaid leave for a period of six months, which shall be allocated at the time requested by the employee.

Employment without the approval of the child’s guardian

From January 1, 2020, the permission of the child’s guardian to employ persons under the age of 16 for the purposes of performance in cultural, artistic, sport, or advertising activities is no longer required. The only precondition is to notify the guardian at least 15 days prior to the commencement of the employment.

As a result of the amendment, the discretionary power of the guardian to refuse to give permission was withdrawn in this area.

The amount of the minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage

The minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage increased for 2020. The minimum wage is now HUF (Hungarian forints) 161,000 gross per month, up from HUF 149,000 gross per month in 2019. The guaranteed minimum wage, set for employees who have a full-time job and have at least a secondary school qualification or a secondary vocational qualification, is now fixed at HUF 210,600 gross per month, up from HUF 195,000 gross per month in 2019.

Noncompete agreements

From January 1, 2020, noncompete agreements shall be in writing in order to facilitate the provision of evidence in the event of a legal dispute.

Written by Dr. Barnabás Buzási and Dr. Eszter Bohati of Wolf Theiss Faludi Erős and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins

© 2020 Wolf Theiss Faludi Erős and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.