News Article coronavirus economy home office Hungary remote work
by Property Forum | Economy

Employers may not unilaterally order employees to work from home even in case of a strong resurgence of coronavirus infections and this would require a mutual agreement under new remote work rules that can now be considered final. Home officing would also be supported by a lump sum payment of overhead costs to the tune of HUF 16,100 (around €45) per month, tax-free. There are, however, still question marks regarding health and safety issues, local daily Magyar Nemzet reports.

An amendment of the Labour Code aimed at making working from home more flexible is to be addressed in Parliament shortly. Both employer and employee representatives are content with the new home office regulations the text of which has already been finalised, the paper has learned. If MPs adopt the legislation, it will be up to a mutual agreement where the employees will work from (i.e. the office or home).

This means the employer may not oblige employees to constantly work from home, while employees may request home officing.

Key items in the regulation:

  • The rule would be flexible in various aspects. e.g. the parties are allowed to reach an agreement on which days the employee will work from home.
  • The employer would pay a lump sum contribution of HUF 16,100 (10% of the minimum wage) to overhead costs (water, gas, electricity, Internet) per month.
  • It will be the employer's responsibility to provide the tools for work, e.g. smartphone, laptop, or parts and equipment if it's not office work, that are required to carry out the job safely.
  • Employers are also responsible for the use of tools and a safe working environment.
  • Employers may inspect the work of employees, but they may do so via digital equipment only if it is not the employees' own.
  • Other job-related requirements, the place of work and working hours will continue to be regulated by contracts of employment.
  • The social partners are satisfied with the new home office rules but think that safety issues, e.g. accidents at work, need to be clarified at certain points, possibly by amending other regulations.

Drawing the line between work and family is the responsibility of the employees, but the employers may not have unrealistic expectations, such as the mandatory digital presence or hidden overtime work or a unilateral and immediate change to the beginning and end of working hours.