Labor law changes from 2023

2023 January 3.
Author: BRSP
  • Labor law
  • munkajog

Act I of 2021 on the Labor Code is amended from January 1, 2023. The most important changes are summarized below.

1. Duration of employment contract, place of work

Unless the parties agree otherwise, the employment relationship is established for an indefinite period of time. Therefore, if the parties wish to agree on a fixed-term employment relationship, this must be specifically indicated in the employment contract.

Unless the parties agree otherwise, instead of the usual place of work as regulated until now, the place of work shall be considered the usual place of work in the given position.

2. Employer’s information obligation

Instead of the current 15 days, the employee has to be informed about the circumstances related to the employment relationship within 7 days from the start of the employment relationship. New elements are that the employee must be informed on

  • the duration of the daily working time, the days of the week to which working time can be allocated, the possible start and end time of the daily working time according to the schedule, the possible duration of the extraordinary working time, the specific nature of the employer’s activity (e.g. multi-shift work schedule, uninterrupted work schedule),
  • the employer’s training policy, the time which is available to the employee for the training, and
  • the name of the authority to which the employer pays the public burden related to the employment relationship.

Therefore, the current information letter must be reviewed and modified in accordance with the new rules.

If there is a change in the content of the information letter, the employee must be informed on the day of the change instead of the previous 15 days following the change.

3. Exemption from the work performance

As a new rule, the employee is exempted from the obligation to work for a maximum of 5 working days per year for the purpose of providing personal care to a relative due to serious health reasons, or to a person living in the same household as the employee. This is an unpaid leave of absence.

4. Amendment of employment contract

As a new rule, on the basis of the information of the employer, the employee, with the exception of the first 6 months of the employment relationship, may request the amendment of his employment contract to full-time or part-time, telework or an indefinite-term contract.

In addition, up to the age of 8 of the employee’s child, except for the first six months of the employment relationship, may request a change in the place of work, a change in the work schedule, telework or part-time employment.

The employee shall justify his/her request in writing and indicate the date of the change.

Upon the employee’s request, the employer provides a written statement within 15 days. In case of rejection of the request, the employer is obliged to justify its decision and the employee may initiate a legal dispute in this regard.

At this stage, we believe that the rejection of the employee’s request for modification can be lawfully done with reference to the employer’s organizational and economic reasons (e.g., it is not possible to modify the employment relationship to part-time or telework employment.)

5. Justification obligation

A new rule is that if, according to the employee’s reference, the employment relationship is terminated due to taking paternity leave, parental leave, unpaid leave to the care of a relative or child care, the employer must provide justification to the termination for the request of the employee, even in case the employer has no reasoning obligation. As an example, if, during the probation period, or in case of pensioner or executive employee where there is no reasoning obligation for the employer, but according to the employee, the termination of the employment is made because of the use of parental leave by the employee, the employer is obliged to give reasons at the employee’s separate request, which justification must be real and reasonable. The employee may request the justification within 15 days after the employer’s legal declaration is disclosed.

6. New Termination Protections

As a new element the employer may not terminate the employee’s employment by notice during the period of paternity leave, parental leave and leave to care for a relative.

7. Restoration of employment

The scope of cases in which the employee may ask the court to restore the employment relationship is expanded which means that the employer is obliged to continue employing the employee based on the court’s decision. If the termination of the employment relationship violated the prohibition of abuse of rights, the requirement of equal treatment, or the employee was protected from termination, the employee may request the court to restore the employment relationship.

8. Parental leave

A new rule is the parental leave, the duration of which is 44 working days and can be used until the child is three years old. The condition for taking parental leave is that the employment relationship lasts for at least one year. The employee is entitled to the 10% of the absence fee for parental leave and it has to be issued at a time appropriate to the employee’s request. Parental leave is an alternative to unpaid leave, the two cannot be issued together. Unused parental leave cannot be paid upon termination of employment.

9. Paternity leave

Paternity leave will increase from the previous 5 working days to 10 working days. Unused paternity leave cannot be paid upon termination of employment.

10. Interruption or postponement of leave

If the employer postpones the time of giving out the employee’s leave for a maximum of 60 days due to an exceptionally important economic interest or a reason that seriously affects its operation, or interrupts the leave that has already started, it is obliged to justify its action in writing, and at the same time inform the employee of the new date of the vacation.

11. New rules of probation period

In case of a fixed-term employment relationship lasting less than 12 months, the probation period has to be determined proportionately. So e.g. in the case of a 6-month fixed-term employment relationship, a 1.5-month probation period may be provided instead of the general 3-month probation period.

If the fixed-term employment relationship is extended, but in a different position, a new probation period can be provided again, but in the case of the same or similar position, it is not possible.

12. Calculation of deadlines

The 15 days’ deadline after becoming aware of the violation, prescribed for the exercise of immediate termination, shall be considered met if the immediate termination is mailed by post on the last day of the deadline.