Remote working vs. home office in Hungary
Legislation concerning remote work is once again in the spotlight, as Government Decree 487/2020. (XI. 11.) on the application of teleworking rules during the state of emergency modified the provisions of telework as of 3 July 2021. According to the Decree, home office should be considered as remote work during the state of emergency and the provisions of the Decree are applicable instead of the provisions of the Labour Code on remote work.
As a change, the Decree broadens the scope of remote work to jobs by non-computer means as well. Accordingly, unless it is otherwise agreed by the parties, telework means that the employee shall work at the workplace for up to one third of his/her working days, and remotely on the other working days. Hybrid solutions of companies, allowing employees to work from home office partially or full time during the epidemic situation, may result in the application of the provisions of the Decree (i.e. application of the provisions of remote work) if the conditions are met.
The application of permanent home office requires the consensus of the employer and the employee and it must be regulated in the employment agreement. Therefore, in the absence of the parties’ mutual agreement, the employer can only order unilaterally to the employee to work from home office for 44 scheduled working days.
Contrary to the provisions of the Labour Code, unless it is otherwise agreed by the parties, the employee is obliged to work according to his/her original working time schedule (therefore, flexible working hours are not applicable automatically during remote work). Provisions on work safety and the employee’s right for the reimbursement of his/her expenses for the period of remote work are also covered (either itemised costs or a flat rate of 10% of the applicable monthly minimum wage, i.e. HUF 16,740/month).
The new provisions are applicable during the state of emergency, which means that the general rules, including the Labour Code, will be applicable once the state of emergency ceases to exist.