The Hungarian Government amended the rules of remote work by a government decree.
Although the provisions of the government decree are basically applicable during the state of emergency period, however, having regard to the background, i.e. the lack of legal determination of the home office in last year, there is a legitimate presumptionamong legal interpreters that these provisions – at least a significant part thereof – may also be finalized beyond the emergency period.
The newly enacted legislation imposes significant changes in several respects, thus it does not only clarify the issues of work safety and taxation, but also changes the concept of remote work itself and its basic conditions.
The primary importance of the amendment is that, it does not only modify the concept of remote work itself, but at the same time lays down additional provisions defining the institutional framework of remote work.
Without claiming completeness, according to the modifications, on the one hand, the amendments no longer cover activities carried out only by computing devices, the results of which are transmitted electronically, but they also extend the concept.
On the other hand, the amendment deletes “regularity” as a conceptual element and instead clearly stipulates that in the context of remote work, the employee may work at the employer’s premises for a maximum of one third of the working days in the current year – unless otherwise agreed.
In addition, the amendment contains provisions on, for example, the exercise of the inspection right and the determination of employees’ working hours.
In the aspect of work safety, additional new obligations are imposed on the employers, such as requiring the employer to regularly verify the adequacy of the working conditions and the co-operation of the employees. Both these obligations and the additional provisions may have significant importance in determining a possible subsequent liability, whereas the fulfillment of the obligations imposed on the employer significantly affects the assessment of a claim.
At the same time, however, the amendment stipulates certain mitigations from the employer’s perspective, since under certain conditions, the employer becomes entitled to monitor the compliance of the occupational safety provisions by using computer tools as well.
In conclusion, although the scope of this amendment is limited to the emergency period, it is expected that the provisions in question, or at least the consistent practice based thereon will continue to apply following the effectiveness of the emergency provisions. Having regard thereto, a review of the remote work practice applied by the employers may be proposed, taking into account the obligations and rights imposed on the employers under this amendment.
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The information above possesses exclusively informative nature, therefore, it shall not be considered as legal advice of Germus and Partners Attorneys At Law, any attorneys or trainee lawyers thereof.