no exact rules in the Hungarian Labour Code for the case of pandemic. First, we
give you a summary about the most common questions and situation with a short
explanation. Later, we will introduce the current measures that amend the
normal regulations in this situation. These are not legal advice, if you have
any question, just contact us.
First of all, let us declare that employers and employees must cooperate and inform each other about the health risks and safety issues related to the work and its environment.
The employer must ensure that the employees can work in a safe and healthy environment. The employer can order to work at home, since the place of work is his decision. Of course, it depends on the nature of the work and on the technical conditions. The employer should have Home Office Policy but it is not a condition of ordering to work from home. The employee has basically no right to refuse going to work but he can deny an order if it seriously endangers his health or safety – for example the public transport in rush hours.
The actual working time must be registered in home office as well. Of course, singing a paper does not work in this case. If the company has an electronic tools, or even an Excel sheet, it can work.
If the employee is officially ordered to be in quarantine – at home or in hospital – he is entitled to sick leave and gets the payment as a sick employee. Voluntary quarantine is not acknowledged as medical issue.
The Employer can order the holidays except the 7 days per year that are in the sole decision of the employee. However, the employer should order the holidays 15 days in advance. The mutual agreement is a general solution to solve this question.
Unpaid leave can only be applied with the agreement of the employee – the employer can not force it. Another option is if the parties agree that the employee does not have to go to work but he gets paid fully or partially for the duration of the discharge, keeping both the workplace and the employee.
The employer can instruct the employee in writing not to go to work. The written order should include that the employee will receive the base salary and his insurance remains valid. The lack of supply is not vis maior, the employer must pay salary to the employee. And the employee must be available for work in proper condition.
It is important that the work contracts must not be amended without the approval of the employee. Every change of work time, salary and other conditions must be agreed in writing. This is a sensitive issue even in this situation.
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