Publications & COVID-19 Resources

Summary of the introduction of the 24-month working time frame for employers in Hungary during the COVID-19 period

22. 04. 2020.

Categories COVID-19 Resources

On the 10th of April, 2020, the Government of Hungary as part of its long-awaited Economic Protection Action Plan (the “Plan”) introduced by Government Decree 104/2020 the possibility for employers to introduce a 24-month working time frame. Our Employment Law team summarizes what employers should know. 


According to Government Decree 104/2020, during the state of emergency the Labor Code shall apply with the exception that the employer may order a working time frame for a maximum of twenty-four months. The regulation also overrides the provisions of collective agreements. The employer may extend to 24 months the working time frame imposed before the entry into force of the Decree. Employment according to the extended working time frame shall not be affected by the end of the state of emergency.


With certain exceptions, Section 99 of the Labor Code (daily minimum, daily and weekly maximum working hours) and Sections 104-106 (length of rest periods and number of rest days) cannot be deviated from, but this - especially in the case of unequally scheduled working time - gives employers a lot of leeway over a 24-month period.


The 24-month working time frame that companies can now unilaterally introduce is therefore a significant relief for large companies that are now stopping or restraining their activities and still need to pay a basic wage for workers. If the 24-month working time frame is introduced, the employer will have the opportunity to require employees to work the lost hours later without having to pay them overtime.