Trade secrets are protected on more levels in Hungary. While the Business Secret Act provides general protection, the Labour Code protects the business secrets of employers in the employment context. Yet this abundance can cause problems when it comes to the question which court is competent to protect employer’s rights in case of theft of trade secrets by an ex-employee. Can an employer file a damage claim against an ex-employee and a competing company as co-defendants in front of the commercial court? Or is it the labour court which is competent to hear the case? A fresh decision of the Hungarian Supreme Court, analysed in this short article, deals with these questions.
At the beginning of the year, several important provisions of the Labour Code were amended, and the changes affect all employers in Hungary. It is recommended for the employers to review whether the labour templates, policies and HR processes of company comply with the amended rules. In our article, we describe the main changes by providing a non-exhaustive summary.
In connection with the outsourcing of tasks to an external company, which is popular these days, everyone thinks of the savings, smaller company size, and less responsibility. However, a special labour law rule must also be taken into account in connection with outsourcing, because the legal consequences of an unlawfully executed process can be more costly than the savings expected from it. In order to avoid this scenario, in this article we examine the legal background of the mentioned special labour law rule, and in the second part of the article, its practical operation, based on Hungarian and EU judicial practice.
As the well-known proverb says humans make mistakes. Thus, it can happen that a contract prepared by the employer contains clauses that do not represent his real will. What measures can the employer take in such cases under Hungarian labour law? Is the employee expected to point out the error? The recent judgement of the Hungarian Supreme Court answers these questions.
At the end of our series of articles on working time, we come to the issue that generates the most dispute between the employer and the employee about working time, the overtime. While in the case of a factory worker, it is most often evident to compensate for the extra work, in managerial or career-promising positions, it is often considered an inherent part of the employment and the employee is expected to handle the issue of working hours "flexibly". In our article, we will find out whether an employer can legally avoid paying wage supplement related to overtime in Hungary.
In the latest part of our series, we discussed the rules of irregular work scheduling, i.e. working time banking and payroll period in Hungary. In this article, we discuss the cases when employer transfers the right to schedule working time to the employee in whole or in part. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the widespread Home Office working arrangement, this type of working time schedule is becoming more and more popular, so we consider important to examine this institution.
In the previous article of our series, we presented the regular work schedule by the employer, which most often means an 8-hour working time per day. However, in many cases the effective functioning of the employer cannot be achieved in this system, and it becomes necessary to schedule working time more freely. In this article we will discuss the irregular work schedule which serves the above purpose, and which is implemented by the working time banking and the payroll period under Hungarian labour law, which, despite their practical advantages, are not so well known.
In our previous article, we examined the basic concepts of working time and clarified when we are talking about it, to make the complex system of working time understandable. This time we will examine the amount of working time that can be allocated and rules governing working time scheduling. First, we will clarify the exact lengths of time we can allocate, and then we will go around the types of work schedules and the conditions related to them.
It is not the first time on the Smartlegal blog that we publish a series of articles about a complex labour law topic. After our series on dismissal, we are now examining the details of another cornerstone of labour law, the working time. In connection with this topic there are also many misconceptions in the public awareness, which may cause serious financial consequences on the side of the employer. Since working time is a variable and complex topic, we will analyse it in a series of articles to give you a comprehensive picture.
In case the employer terminates the employment relationship unlawfully, he shall reimburse the damage caused by the termination, including the loss of salary of the employee. However, the employee shall mitigate damages by registering as job-seeker, and actively searching for other job opportunities. In its latest decision, the Hungarian Supreme Court addressed how extensive is the duty of the employee to mitigate damages.
In its most recent decision , the Curia (the Supreme Court of Hungary) examined whether the requirement of equal treatment related to age can be considered in cases where the employer terminates the employment of a retired employee solely because of his age, without giving reason. In this article we examine the answer given by the Curia in connection with this question.
As a result of the COVID-19, the working from home is the “new normal” for many employees, therefore statutory regulation of distance work has become essential. After the "temporary" rules so far, the Parliament regulated the issues of working from home in December 2021. Based on the new law, the current regulations live on in the Labour Code after the end of the state of emergency, with effect from 1st June 2022. In this article we summarize the most important rules in effect.
As it is known, the probationary period is typically 3 months long in Hungary. However, many employers feel that the employee's competence cannot be properly assessed during this time. So employers wonder whether it is possible to determine a longer probationary period or extend the 3-months’ probationary period, or if there is any other solution in the above case. In this article we address these issues of Hungarian labour law.
In part IV of our series of articles on the reasons for termination of the employer, we have already mentioned the qualification-based change as reason for termination in connection with the operation of the employer. Since qualification-based change is perhaps the least known reason dismissal, we summarise the Hungarian judicial practice in this article.
In its recent judgment, the Hungarian Supreme Court addressed the question whether the immediate termination is lawful if it refers to several minor infringements of the employee already sanctioned by the employer prior to the termination. In our short article we analyse the decision of the Supreme Court and the relevant judicial practice.
The non-compete agreement may provide protection of the legitimate economic interests of the employer even after the termination of employment relationship. However, the Hungarian Labour Code lays down strict requirements for the agreement. In our article we analyse a recent decision of the Supreme Court about the importance of the precise determination of the compensation, so you as an employer can conclude a valid non-compete agreement.
Our Colleague, Anita Vereb made a presentation at the debate meeting of the Hungarian Labour Law Association called „The right to freedom of expression in the employment relationship” about the court practice of employee opinions published on social media platforms.
Refusal of employer 's instructions, unjustified absence, intentional damage: some cases where the justification for dismissing an employee is relatively easy to determine. What happens, however, if the employee does not commit a severe breach of duty similar to the one above, but his or her colleagues consider him incompatible, with whom it is impossible to cooperate, or even afraid of him or her. Can dismissal be justified by behaviour that is incompatible with others and creates disharmony in the working environment? In our article, we seek the answer to this question in the light of Hungarian judicial practice.
In the recent weeks, a number of questions have been arisen whether the employer may know the data contained by the „immunity card”, which aim is to certify immunity to coronavirus. Is the employer entitled to request information from the employee regarding the immunity card or store the information concerning its employee? In this article we answer the above questions on the basis of the information („Information”) of Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
In the event of a longer leave of a worker, it is common for employers to hire a replacement worker with fixed term contract to make up for the missing workforce. When the replaced worker returns, a labour dispute may arise. In the legal case presented in our article, the Supreme Court examined how the employment relationship of the replacement employee terminates at the end of the replacement. From our article you can learn about the decision of the Supreme Court and what to look for as an employer to make the closing of the replacement smooth. (In our article, we examine the court decision published under No. BH 2021.2.51)
Termination of employment is a sensitive area and the process is not always smooth. It can happen in an escalated situation that both parties give notice of termination or a party later changes its previous declaration. The employer must also be prepared for such situations, as it is not uncommon for an employee to take legal action after a poorly coordinated dismissal, in which case the final farewell takes place in a courtroom.
In its recent decision, the Curia dealt with questions, which may affect many employer in Hungary. Whether the non-compete clause of an employment contract, obliging the employee to pay a fixed amount damages in case of breach of the non-competition agreement, is valid? We analyse the decision in our short article.
It is often the case that the employer does not clearly regulate the employment relationship of the employees, which later leads to an employment lawsuit. This happened in the case before the Hungarian Supreme Court, where a legal dispute arose in connection with the employee's work schedule, the stake is the payment of several million forints of overtime work compensation to the employee. In our short article, we analyze the Supreme Court’s decision and draw conclusions on how the employer can avoid similar situations.
In its recent decision, the Curia dealt with the issue concerning what are the consequences if you fail to put in writing the employment contract which contains a probationary period clause. Is the probationary period clause valid or invalid in that case? We analyse the decision in our short article and answer the question above.
From September 2020 the rules, which regulate the status of the adult educators and the organisation of adult educations have changed. There are significantly more educations, which are considered as adult education and performing an adult education entails a lot more obligation. The changes affect almost every employer who organises certain kind of educations for its employees. We summarize the most important changes concerning the adult education.
The parties usually establish the employment relationship for an unlimited period. However, in certain cases, for various reasons, like business or organisational considerations, it seems to be better to conclude a fixed-term labour contract. In this article we summarize what you as an employer shall consider in Hungary in case you would hire someone for a fixed period.
What are the main risks if you employ your staff at different employer, within or outside the company group? Is that a new legal relationship, is remuneration payable for that, or the “good old” labour contract can cover this situation? In a recent judgement the Hungarian Supreme Court Curia addressed these questions. In our short article we analyse the judgement and summarize what you as an employer should consider if you would like to temporary reassign your employee.
In certain cases, the Hungarian Labour Code does not require the dismissal to be justified by Employer. But what, if despite that, the employer gives justification for the dismissal? Is it possible for the Labour Court to review the legality of such non-mandatory justification? And can the defect of this non-mandatory justification render the dismissal unlawful? In its recent decision, the Hungarian Supreme Court examined the above question concerning that analyse the decision in our article.
Can employers withhold the wage of employees because of an ongoing internal investigation? Is the suspicion that the employee caused damage sufficient to hold back mone, or the payment cannot be refused in this case? We analyse the recent decision of the Hungarian Supreme Court and answer this question in this article.
Whether the lack of handover makes the dismissal unlawful based on the recent judgment of the Hungarian Supreme Court? What happens in case the employee fails to take over the dismissal? We address these issues in our article by analysing a recent judgment of Hungarian Supreme Court.
According to the Labour Code, if the executive unlawfully terminates his employment, the employer is automatically entitled to damages equals to twelve months’ absentee fee without proving the actual damage. Can this rule be applied in an opposite situation? We explain the recent decision of the Curia which answers to this question.
Is the employee considered as an executive employee if though the parties qualify the employee as executive, but refer to the wrong provision of the Labour Code? Does the will of the parties or their contractual declaration matter in this case? We analyse the latest decision of the Curia in our short article.
In a judgement published recently, the Curia examined the question whether it may be the justified reason of the extraordinary dismissal if the employee operates a webpage closely related to one of the activities of the employer. In our short article we summarize the decision of the Curia and shortly analyse what lessons you as an employer can learn from this case.
In the difficult economic situation triggered by the coronavirus in several European countries the state takes over the payment of certain part of the employees’ salaries. Based on the government decree published on Good Friday, and already modified on 21st April, finally there is a possibility in Hungary as well to request support from the State in case of employment in reduced working time. In this article we summarize the characteristics of the support and the most important eligibility criteria.
The coronavirus is already having its unfortunate impacts in the whole world and there is almost no sector which has not been rocked by the effects of the virus. In this rather difficult situation, it is questionable for the employer how to manage their resources and how to protect their employees. The decree of the government effective from 19th March 2020 gives certain tools to the employers which may help them to optimize their operations and to defend their employees. In our short article we summarize these measures.
The coronavirus has appeared in Hungary as well: when writing this article 9 infected and 67 quarantined persons are registered. Because of the virus, the employers may have headaches, too since often it is not obvious how the situation shall be handled from labour law perspective. In this short article we explain the relevant legal provisions by presenting some typical cases.
You are reading the final part of our series on “lawful dismissal”. This article examines with a case study approach, that in practice, what violations may justify immediate termination, i.e. what shall be meant under the Labour Code definition “grave violation of a substantive obligation”.
In the last two articles of our series on “lawful dismissal” we present the most severe sanction that can be applied to an employee, the immediate (formerly: extraordinary) termination. This measure is applied in serious incidents only, so many employers believe that they will not need to use the sanction. But, as we know, the devil does not sleep and it is in the details, so the employer needs to be prepared for this scenario as well to avoid further inconvenience.
In the previous articles on the lawful dismissal, we discussed that, ranging from the employee’s behaviour to the employer’s reorganization, there can be many legitimate reasons for dismissal by the employer. However, irrespective of the legitimate reason, the employment relationship cannot be terminated if the employee is protected against dismissal by law (i.e. the Labour Code). From our article, you can learn about these protections.
In its recently published decision, the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (NAIH) has dealt with the questions of the usage of the corporate email account for private purposes and the monitoring of the e-mail account. As the topic can affect every employer, who provides an e-mail account for its employees for working purposes, we summarize the most important conclusions of the decision in our short article.
In the previous articles on the lawful dismissal, we explained dismissal for employee-related reasons. However, that is only half of the whole picture, because in many cases the employer dismisses employees for reasons of reorganization or redundancy. Justification must meet strict rules to be lawful in this case as well, the details of which we explore in this article based on case law of Hungarian labour courts.
Can you dismiss your employee, if caught on hidden camera while stealing cash? In its recent decision, the European Court of Human Rights answered this question in the affirmative, however it is doubtful, whether this ruling is compatible with strengthening data protection in the EU, particularly following the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.
In our previous article we have examined the cases in which an employer may terminate the employment due to an employee's inappropriate behaviour or attitude. But what if inadequate work or the lack of expected results is not because of the misbehaviour or bad attitude of the employee, but because of not having the knowledge or skills needed to perform the job properly. What can an employer do in this case? What can be the basis for a legal termination? From our article, you can get the answer to these questions.
How to balance between the employer’s business interests and the employee’s right to freedom of expression? Can the employer restrict the employee’s freedom of expression and terminate his employment because of a blogpost? The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) addressed these questions in his fresh judgement brought in the case of a Hungarian applicant. In this short article we summarize the facts of the case and the findings of the Court.
Although, considering the current labour market in Hungary, employers are trying to keep the employees at the company, there may be situations where the employment relation cannot be maintained due to behaviour or attitude. In our previous article we explained that a dismissal by the employer is far from a simple move, as the legitimate justification must meet a number of criteria. In the present article, we examine the grounds for termination based on the behaviour of the employee.
From salary to vacation leave, an employment relationship can have many sensitive parts. However, labour disputes mostly arise around the termination of the employment by the employer and specifically in connection with the justification of dismissal. Since the fault of the justification will result in unlawful termination, leading to important pecuniary consequences, in our forthcoming article series, we summarise the rules governing employment terminations and the related case-law of the Hungarian courts. In the first part we present the general rules for justifying employee termination.
Whether weekly or once a year, to another continent or just across the city, work related travel concerns every single employment relationship. Despite its importance, Hungarian regulations are unclear about work related travel, which can easily be the source of an unpleasant labour dispute. To avoid this, from our article you can learn if your business is properly accounting for business travel.
Employers often use non-compete agreement in Hungary, but labour courts frequently declare them invalid. Can a training course serve as compensation of the agreement? Or what to do, if it turns out after years, that the leaving colleague does not mean a real and serious threat for your company? In its opinion published recently, the Hungarian Supreme Court gave a guidance on non-compete agreements, which we summarise in this article.
The loss of confidence was a frequently used reason of termination by employers, which was not defined by the Labour Code, therefore it is for the judicial practice to give substance to it. We summarize in our article, in which case was well-founded the termination based on loss of confidence in the practice of Labour Courts.
During this summer, the Hungarian Supreme Court (Curia) made a judgement in a case, where the central question was whether the monitoring of the employee’s own cell phone used for job-related purposes by the employer was lawful. Although the legal framework was slightly modified lately because of the entering into force of the GDPR, the case can offer important lessons. Read our short article if you would like to know whether you can monitor your employee’s cell phone which he uses for job related purposes.
Remuneration is one of the cornerstones of an employment relationship for both parties. It is not a new practice that employers seek other ways to increase the consideration of workers without modifying the base wage. The so-called “semi-official” solutions can be dangerous for the employer, because an employment ending badly can easily be the beginning of a labour dispute. In our article, we will show you smart salary solutions compliant with the Hungarian labour law.
Are you negotiating on salary with a new colleague in Hungary? Even if salary is subject to free negotiation, a higher salary for the same work can cause a tension in wage levels. In our short article we summarize the fresh decision of the Curia which can serve as a compass in relation with the applicability of the equal pay principle.
The Hungarian Supreme Court has made a decision in an employment related legal dispute whether the employer can process the data of the employee’s private life, and if so, then what can be the basis and the extent, and how can such data be processed. If you hire employees, you cannot avoid to process their personal data every day. This judgement can be a guidance for you to know what can be the limits of data processing if they contain sensitive data.
In a fresh judgement of the Curia the main question was how to define the working place in the labour contract. At first sight, this seems quite simple and it might be surprising why such a question needed to be decided by the highest forum. However, from our article summarizing the decisions of the Curia you will see that even a simple question can be misunderstood and can cost a fortune for the employer.
Can the executive employee undertake a non-competition obligation after the termination of the employment for free? It seems that the Hungarian Supreme Court finds the limits of party autonomy elsewhere than the legislator. We summarise the merits of the judgment in our article.
The new law modification in Hungary widely known as „slave law” has become a big issue recently. What will be the yearly overtime limit? 250 hours? 300 hours? 400 hours? Is it possible from now on to organize working weeks with 6 days? We would like to clarify the frequently heard urban legends, so that you can prepare your company to the new regulation.
When we talk about work, employment relationship comes to everyone’s mind first, although you can work for someone’s interest in other ways outside the “9-5”, monthly paid job system, for example by an engagement contract. Whether you are an employer or an employee, you need to know what the differences are between the two most common forms of working, especially because in some cases the employment authority or the court may re-classify the engagement as employment and may impose a significant fine on the principal.
Should you have employee permission for CCTV record at workplace? How to be compliant with data protection laws regarding video surveillance? What are the cases when the strict data protection rules do not apply? In this article we examine these questions on the basis of the EU Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In his fresh article the Guardian reported that a Japanese lady logged 159 hours of overtime in one month which lead to her death. In Japan this is not an isolated case, they even have a word for the death from overwork called ‘karoshi’. Of course, this is an extreme situation and European work culture is different. Nevertheless, it is worth to read the 4 must-knows about the legal conditions of overtime work in Hungary.
Nowadays we cannot imagine a workplace without Internet and e-mailing. Besides the countless benefits of these tools, the use of digital technology also carries significant risks for employers. Given that the Hungarian labour law is left behind by the faster-than-light developing new digital word, employers have to keep the pace in order to avoid future labour disputes. In this short article we tell you the five most important reasons why your company should have an Internet and E-mail policy.
In a very fresh judgement, the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights ruled that employers can monitor their employees’ messages only within certain limits. This judgement gave me the idea to collect 5 areas of the employment relationship where personal data of employees may be collected and processed and thus the principles of the GDPR such as lawfulness or purpose limitation should be taken into account.
In Hungary, executives are a special group among the employees with a special labour-law regime. In this article we summarise the must-knows before hiring an executive officer under the Hungarian labour law regime as an employee.
I bet you know the situation when your employee calls in sick but you suspect that he is not actually ill. You are between a rock and a hard place. If you are not sympathetic with a truly ill employee, you will be the worst boss ever. But if you do not take actions against the employee who is not truly ill, workplace productivity and employee morale may suffer. Here is what you can and cannot do with sick-leave abusers in Hungary.
Recently, more and more clients complain about employees who are resigning orally or without giving the necessary notice period. Unlawful resignation causes uncertainties, inconvenience or in the worst case, serious damages to the employer. In this short article, we collected the four must-knows about unlawful employee resignation in Hungary.
Learn from others' mistake by reading the summary of a very fresh decision of the Supreme Court about an ordinary dismissal.
Works councils are often considered as meaningless bodies, although they could be a tool of harmonic cooperation at workplaces. Since the Hungarian Labour Code requires electing workers' representative at companies having 15+ employees and a works council in case of 50+ employees, it is worth to know their function, and the benefits & protection afforded to their members, to avoid unpleasant surprises as employer.
If you would like to fire an employee, but the conduct of the employee does not exceed a certain the limit that justifies extraordinary termination, the only way under Hungarian Labour law to dismiss him is the ordinary termination. Given that a wrongful termination can have serious financial effects, it is worth to summarise the 5 must-knows for an employer in relation with ordinary dismissals, including the case law of Hungarian Labour courts.
Hungarian Labour Law confers on employees the right for free time, even during working hours. Even if the employer is not obliged to give a “smoke-break”, special regime applies to employees working in front of computers, as well as to employees with special needs like diabetes, pregnancy, etc. We summarise the key-points of this topic in this article.
One of the largest business risk is an employee who leaves the company with the information and know how acquired during his employment. Business owners should think about protecting their business in advance, before it is too late. We summarize the key points of non-compete clauses under Hungarian law in this résumé.
Based on recent surveys among employers, empathy, compromising skills and flexibility are the main advantages of hiring female employees, while pregnancy and child-related parental leave cause the vast majority of labour issues in Hungary. Since expectant female workers and mothers enjoy special protection under the Hungarian Labour Code we sum up the must-knows for employers in this domain.
Wage costs represent significant part of the corporate expenditures. While employers are interested in decreasing these amounts, it is hardly reconcilable with employees’ interests to achieve higher salary. Given that salary is one of the most important motivating force, besides complying with the Labour Code, employers should avoid demotivating their workforce. In this short summary we gathered 5 tips how you can reduce your company’s labour costs without demotivating your employees and violating the Labour Code.
Wrongful termination of an employment contract is the most common trigger for lawsuits arising out of labour relationships. The following guide summarizes the most important rules of firing an employee in Hungary in order to help you to reduce your company’s exposure for unlawful firings and lower the risks of a costly labour litigation.
One of the simplest ways to communicate basic yet important information and policies to employees is through the employee handbook. While a well-written employee handbook serves to proactively confirm company policies and it can be also a litigation prevention tool, not too many employers have one. In this short article we tell you what exactly an employee handbook is, why you should have one and some tips about what to include in your employee handbook.