Labour law questions in Hungary regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

May 8, 2020

Due to the state of extreme danger in Hungary since mid-March 2020, labor law issues receive special attention. What rights and obligations do employers and employees have in the current situation, what provisions can be made to maintain the employment relationship?

Many industries and services are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, as many businesses are forced to close or to limit or reopen their opening hours due to curfew restrictions and mandatory distance obligations.

It is important to emphasize that the employee is entitled to the basic wage under the employment contract until a decree is issued by the Government that significantly restricts or prevents the operation of the employer.

If the nature of the job allows it, working from home may be a solution, which is not regulated by the Labor Code, but its rules have been developed by case law. Your order may be based on a bilateral agreement or an employer decision, which should regulate occupational safety issues, adequate data security and the protection of business secrets.

An obvious solution could be an agreement on unpaid leave, but during this period the social security relationship, ie the quality of the insured will be suspended, with a few exceptions.

If the employee is subject to quarantine or other official measures, he is exempted from the obligation to work and the rules of sick leave will not apply. Therefore, the state reimburses the employee.

Please note that the above is for general information only, legal advice on individual cases can only be given in the context of an individual consultation, taking into account all the circumstances of the case.