New employment provisions arising from EU Directives

In 2019, two EU directives were adopted which must be transposed into Hungarian labour law within a short deadline. In order to comply with EU Directive 2019/1152 on transparent and predictable working conditions and EU Directive 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and carers, the modifications of the Labour Code should be adopted by the beginning of August 2022. According to the current information, no substantive work has been started by the Hungarian legislator to modify the Labour Code in order to ensure the compliance with the provisions of the EU Directives.

Directive 2019/1152 redefines the employer's obligation to provide information. The information should be more detailed and cover a wider range of circumstances. For example, more information must be given to the employees on the working time schedule and the method of ordering and paying overtime. The employees should receive the basic information on their employment relationship as soon as possible, but within 7 days at the latest from the start of their employment (the current Labour Code requires to inform the employees within 15 days from the start of employment). The written information required by the Directive can also be provided to the employees electronically. The Directive also contains other provisions not yet covered by the Hungarian Labour Code; for example, it requires that in the case of fixed-term employment, the probationary period must be proportionate to the length of the employment relationship.

The aim of Directive 2019/1158 is to promote equal opportunities between women and men by encouraging men to take on more caring responsibilities than before. Accordingly, the Directive provides for 10 working days of paternity leave, which can be taken at the birth of a child (according to the current provisions of the Labour Code, 5 days paternity leave is available for fathers). The workers who care for a relative should be entitled to at least 5 working days' leave per year. For the above leaves, it must be ensured that the employees receive remuneration. In addition, workers should be able to request flexible working arrangements until the age of 8 of their children. Flexible working arrangements can mean work reorganisation, such as teleworking, part-time work or flexible working hours.