In the following we would like to inform you shortly about the changes to the Labor Code that will come into force from 1 January 2023.
Changes to the Labor Code from 1 January 2023
Change of employment contract by the employee
The employee - except for the first 6 months of the employment contract - may request a change in the place of work or working hours, teleworking or part-time work for his/her child up to the age of 8.
They must give reasons for their request in writing, stating the duration of the change. The employer must reply within 15 days, and providing a reason in case of refusal. In case of non-answer or unlawful rejection of the request, the court will replace the employer's statement of consent.
For short employment contracts, the probationary period should also be adjusted.
If the employer concludes an employment contract with the employee for a period of less than 12 months, it will be required to adjust the probationary period accordingly, for example, for a fixed term of 6 months, the maximum probationary period might be 1.5 months, which can be increased to a maximum of 1.5 months by collective agreement.
Under the new provisions, no probationary period may be imposed for the extension of a fixed-term contract or for its re-establishment within six months of its termination, in the case of employment in the same or a similar post.
Another new rule on probationary periods is that from January employers will be able to post the notice of termination with immediate effect until the last day of the probationary period, and it will not be a problem if the employee only receives the document after the probationary period.
Fixed-term employment contract
A fixed-term employment contract can still only be extended if the employer has a legitimate interest.
No probationary period is allowed in the case of renewal or a new fixed-term employment contract for the same or a similar job within 6 months of the expiry of the fixed-term contract.
- Release of leave
From January, employers will be given the right to amend the date of vacation previously agreed upon or to postpone it for up to 60 days in the event of economic reasons of particular importance or any direct and consequential reason arising in connection with its operations. However, employers will have to justify and explain their reasons in each case and reimburse the employees for any damages and expenses incurred in connection with the modification or interruption of vacation.
- Fathers leave
The father is entitled to 10 working days' paternity leave (instead of 5) until the end of the second month following the birth of the child, to be granted in up to two periods, at the time he requests.
However, 100% of the absence allowance is payable only for 5 days, and only 40% of the absence allowance is payable for the other 5 days.
- Parental leave
Employees are entitled to 44 working days of parental leave up to the age of 3, but only 10% of the absence allowance (reduced by the amount of childcare allowance or childcare allowance).
Both parents are entitled to this leave, but it cannot be taken after the child reaches the age of 3 and cannot be converted into cash.
- Caregiver’s working hours benefit
This exemption from working time is for the purpose of caring for a sick relative or a partner living with the sick person, if the sick person's doctor certifies this.
As from January, the caregiver's leave of absence, which is not leave but certified absence, is limited to a maximum of 5 working days per year and is therefore not paid for these maximum 5 working days per year.
In the case of no pay, the employee will be liable to pay health service contributions for this time of absence. This contribution can of course be taken over by employers from their employees.
New rule on termination of employment
In certain cases (e.g. probationary period, or if the employee is retired), the law allowed the employer to terminate the employment relationship without giving reasons.
However, under the new provisions, the employer may still be required to give reasons for termination in these cases. This is because if the employee claims that the termination of the employment relationship is during
- caregiver's leave,
- father’s leave,
- parental leave
- the use of unpaid leave to care for a child
the employer must give reasons for the termination of employment within 15 days of the employee's request made within 15 days.
The list of prohibitions on termination is extended
Prohibitions on termination are periods of time during which an employee cannot be terminated because of a particular life situation or condition. These are:
- maternity leave,
- unpaid leave to care for a child,
- actual voluntary military service in the reserve,
- pregnancy and treatment in connection with the human reproductive process, up to a maximum of six months after the start of the pregnancy
- caregiver's leave,
- father’s leave,
- parental leave.
Due to the general nature of our Information letter, this can’t be considered as a decision-justifying consultation. Regarding this, please be so kind as to contact our colleagues with your specific questions in connection with this information letter, our colleagues will be happy to assist you.
Budapest, 20 January 2023
Gabriella Takács, HR Consultant