FUNDAMENTAL RULES RELATING TO WORKING TIME AND ITS SCHEDULING

I. The working time

1. In general

1.1. Pursuant to the provisions of Act Nr. I of 2012 on the Labour Code (the “Labour Code”), working time shall mean the duration of the time prescribed for working, from its commencement until its termination.

1.2. Working time shall further mean the duration of any preparatory and finishing activities connected to the work, i.e. the performance of all tasks relating to the position the employee is obliged to perform usually and regularly without any separate order of the employer. Such tasks are to be determined primarily by the job description of the employee, or by taking into consideration the characteristics of the specific position (such tasks consist of e.g. clean-up of the working area, preparation for the next working day, preparation and stowage of the equipment required for work, etc.).

1.3. As a general rule, working time does not include break-times and the duration of the employee travelling from the place of residence or stay to the place of work and back.

1.4. The daily working time may be full-time working time (regular daily working time of 8 hours, fulltime working time longer or shorter than the regular daily working time /i.e. extended or reduced fulltime working time/) or part-time working time.

1.5. Scheduled daily working time shall mean the regular working time ordered for a working day.

2. Full-time and part-time working time, extended or reduced full-time working time

The daily working time of the employee can be determined depending on whether the employee is employed in full-time working time of 8 hours or otherwise:

a) In the case of full-time working time of 8 hours, the daily working time of the employee is 8 hours.

b) In the case of extended full-time working time, the daily working time of the employee is longer than 8 hours, but not more than 12 hours (e.g. 9 hours, 10 hours, 10 and a half hours, etc.). The employee can be employed in extended full-time working time only in the cases specified in the Labour Code, such as employment in stand-by jobs (e.g. security guard, night porter, etc.) or if the employee is a relative of the employer or its owner.

c) In the case of reduced full-time working time and part-time working time, the daily working time of the employee is shorter than 8 hours (e.g. 7 hours, 6 hours, 5 hours, etc.). The lower limit of the full-time working time of 8 hours is 4 hours daily, while the part-time working time has no lower limit.

3. The relation between the employment agreement and the working time

3.1. It is not obligatory to regulate the working time the employee is employed in by the employer in the employment agreement, and thus, as a general rule – unless agreed by the parties otherwise – the employment shall be considered as established for full-time working time of 8 hours.

3.2. The parties to the agreement are obliged to agree expressively in the terms of the working time only if the employer intends to employ the employee in a scheme differing from the full-time working time of 8 hours (in extended or reduced full-time working time or in part-time working time). The employer is not allowed to derogate from employment in fulltime working time of 8 hours by its unilateral order. In the case of part-time working hours, part-time employment shall be expressively stipulated in the employment agreement; otherwise the employment will be established as employment in reduced fulltime working time.

II. The work schedule (working arrangements)

1. In general

1.1. The employer is entitled to schedule the working time of the employee. By vesting the employer with the right of working time scheduling, the Labour Code provides the employer with the possibility to schedule the working time of the employee in a flexible way, according to the tasks to be performed, since the employee may determine and modify the work schedule by its order without the consent of the employee.

1.2. In order to the above mentioned right of order of the employee be effective to the fullest extent, it is appropriate to provide for the work schedule only to the minimum extent if at all, since in the wider scope the parties regulate this matter the more the employer restricts itself in its ordering right in this respect, as the matters regulated in the employment agreement may be modified only by the mutual consent of both parties.

2. Rules of work scheduling

2.1. Employers shall ensure that the work schedule of employees is drawn up in accordance with occupational safety and health requirements and in consideration of the nature of the work.

2.2. The employer shall notify the employee on the work schedule in writing 7 days in advance at least and for one week at least. The employer may alter the work schedule for a given day upon the occurrence of unforeseen circumstances in its business or financial affairs, at least 4 days in advance (e.g. the employer receives a high volume order which could not be fulfilled with the available number of staff).

3. The daily working time

The scheduled daily working time of an employee may not be less than 4 hours, with the exception of part-time work. The scheduled daily working time of an employee may not be more than 12 hours, the
weekly working time may not be more than 48 hours. The daily working time of an employee employed in extended full-time working time may not exceed 24 hours, the weekly working time may not be more than 72 hours, under the condition of the written agreement thereon of the parties.

4. The daily rest period

At least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest period shall be granted to the employees after the conclusion of daily work and before the beginning of the next day’s work (daily rest period), under the provision that to employees working in split shifts, in continuous shifts, in multiple shifts, in seasonal jobs, in stand-by jobs at least 8 hours of continuous daily rest shall be provided.

5. The weekly rest day

Employees shall be entitled to two rest days in a given week (weekly rest day). However, one rest day in each month shall be allocated on a Sunday.

6. Weekly rest period

In lieu of weekly rest days, each week employees shall be provided with at least 48 hours of uninterrupted weekly rest period, under the provision that the weekly rest period shall be allocated on a Sunday at least once in each month.

7. Standard work pattern (equal work schedule), unequal work schedule, flexible work schedule

7.1. In the case of standard work pattern, the employer schedules the weekly work time of the employee equally from Monday to Friday, while Saturday and Sunday are considered as weekly rest days.

In the standard work pattern work performed outside of the scheduled regular working hours qualifies as overtime work, for the duration thereof the employee is entitled to wage supplement or time off above the base wage to the extent as specified in the Labour Code. 7.2. The unequal work schedule provides the employer with the opportunity of more flexible work scheduling by the following:

a) the daily working time can be scheduled unequally in a flexible way,

b) the weekly rest days can be scheduled unequally, in which case one weekly rest day shall be scheduled following each six workdays,

c) instead of the general weekly rest period, the employees may be provided with an uninterrupted weekly rest period comprising at least 40 hours weekly including a calendar day, in which case the weekly rest period of at least 48 hours shall be ensured in the average of the framework of working time or payroll period.

7.3. In the case of flexible work schedule, the employer transfers the right of work scheduling to the employee, and the rules of work scheduling and rest periods shall not apply.
III. Summary

The rules of working time and its scheduling are divergent. The Labour Code provides for the flexible determination and scheduling of working time in accordance with the employer’s needs. In order to find the optimal solution, it is advisable to gain information on the legal rules applicable to the specific cases prior to concluding the employment agreements.

 

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