Rivermate | Hungary flag


Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Hungary


In Hungary, the termination of an employment contract is governed by specific regulations. These regulations are primarily outlined in the Hungarian Labour Code (Act I of 2012) and are crucial for both employers and employees to understand.

Lawful Grounds for Dismissal

Employers in Hungary can terminate an employment relationship based on several grounds:

  • Employee Conduct/Capability: Employment can be terminated due to unsatisfactory performance, misconduct, or a breach of contractual obligations.
  • Operational Reasons: Dismissal can be justified by redundancies or economic difficulties related to the employer's operations.
  • Employee's Health Status: If an employee is unable to carry out their duties due to health reasons, the employer may terminate employment.

Notice Requirements

Specific notice periods for termination are mandated in Hungary, depending on the grounds and the employee's length of service.

  • Standard Notice: The minimum notice period is 30 days.
  • Extended Notice for Employer-Initiated Dismissal: The notice period increases based on the employee's employment duration, with additional days added for three years of service and beyond.
  • Mutual Agreement: Employers and employees may mutually agree on a different notice period, but it cannot exceed six months.

Severance Pay

In certain termination scenarios, particularly for employer-initiated dismissals, Hungary requires severance pay. The calculation depends on the employee's duration of employment:

  • Operational Reasons: For employees with under ten years of service, one to three months of wages is required. For those with ten or more years, the amount is based on length of employment.
  • Inability to Perform Duties: An employee is entitled to severance pay if the termination is due to health-related incapacity.
  • Note: Severance pay may not apply in cases of serious employee misconduct or disciplinary action.


Hungary's legal framework is designed to combat discrimination and promote equality based on specific protected characteristics. The primary statute in this area is Act CXXV of 2003 on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities. This comprehensive law aligns with key EU directives prohibiting discrimination within the workplace and beyond.

Protected Characteristics

Hungarian anti-discrimination law protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of the following characteristics:

  • Sex: Including pregnancy, childbirth, and associated circumstances.
  • Gender Identity and Expression
  • Race: Includes color, ethnicity, nationality, and national origin.
  • Disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Age
  • Family Status: Encompasses marital status and caring responsibilities.
  • Religion and Belief: This includes having or not having religious views.
  • Political Conviction
  • Other Status: This open-ended category can cover factors like wealth, social origin, etc.

Redress Mechanisms

Victims of discrimination in Hungary have several avenues for seeking redress:

  • Complaints to the Equal Treatment Authority (Egyenlő Bánásmód Hatóság): This independent body investigates discrimination complaints, attempts conciliation, and may impose fines for violations.
  • Labor Courts: Employees specifically facing workplace discrimination can initiate legal proceedings before the labor courts.
  • Civil Courts: For instances of discrimination outside of employment, individuals can seek civil remedies, including damages and injunctions.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Hungary have a proactive responsibility to prevent discrimination within the workplace. Key obligations include:

  • Non-Discriminatory Policies: Establishing written policies that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on protected characteristics.
  • Equal Treatment Practices: Implementing fair hiring, promotion, compensation, and termination practices that ensure equal opportunities for all.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Awareness: Raising awareness through training and initiatives that promote a respectful, inclusive workplace culture.
  • Complaint Procedures: Having a clear, accessible grievance mechanism for employees to report incidents of discrimination.
  • Reasonable Accommodation: Providing reasonable adjustments, when necessary, for employees with disabilities or other protected characteristics.

Hungarian law also recognizes harassment and victimization as forms of discrimination. Employers must take measures to prevent and address such behaviors within the workplace.

Working conditions

In Hungary, specific regulations are enforced to ensure fair and healthy working conditions. These regulations govern aspects such as working hours, rest periods, and ergonomic considerations.

Work Hours

The standard workweek in Hungary is 40 hours, with a daily maximum of 8 hours. Overtime work is permitted up to a maximum of 250 hours per year, but it requires employee consent and adherence to specific compensation rules. Employees are entitled to two rest days per week, with at least one Sunday falling within that period.

Rest Periods

Following six consecutive working days, employees are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of at least 48 hours. Rest breaks are mandated during the workday. The specific duration depends on working hours, but there must be a 20-minute break after working six hours.

Ergonomic Requirements

Hungarian regulations promote ergonomic principles to minimize musculoskeletal disorders caused by work activities. Key requirements include:

  • Workstation Design: Workstations must be designed to accommodate different body sizes and postures, allowing for proper adjustment and minimizing strain.
  • Work Equipment: Employers must provide ergonomic equipment like chairs, keyboards, and monitors to promote proper posture and minimize discomfort.
  • Work Organization: Tasks should be designed to vary postures and movements throughout the workday to reduce static loads.

These working condition standards help Hungarian employers create a work environment that fosters employee well-being and productivity.

Health and safety

In Hungary, worker safety is a top priority, governed by a comprehensive set of regulations. The foundation of these regulations is Act XCIII of 1993 on Occupational Safety and Health, which is aligned with EU Directive 83/391/EEC. This guide will explore these regulations, outlining employer obligations, employee rights, and the enforcement bodies responsible.

Employer Obligations

Hungarian law places significant responsibility on employers to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Key employer obligations include:

  • Risk Assessment and Prevention: Employers must proactively identify and assess workplace hazards, implementing control measures to minimize risks.
  • Provision of Safe Equipment and Machinery: Employers are obligated to provide employees with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure machinery is safe for operation.
  • Safe Work Practices and Procedures: Establishing and enforcing safe work practices is crucial. This includes proper training, signage, and protocols for handling hazardous materials.
  • Workplace Maintenance: Employers must maintain the workplace in a good condition, ensuring proper ventilation, lighting, and sanitation.
  • Occupational Health Services: Depending on the industry and potential hazards, employers might need to provide occupational health services like screenings and medical surveillance.

Employee Rights

Employees in Hungary have a right to a safe and healthy work environment. This translates to several key rights, including:

  • Right to Information and Training: Employees have the right to be informed about workplace hazards, receive proper safety training, and be consulted on safety matters.
  • Right to Refuse Unsafe Work: Employees can refuse work they believe is unsafe or unhealthy without facing repercussions.
  • Right to Report Hazards: Employees have the right to report any identified workplace hazards without fear of retaliation.
  • Right to Occupational Health Care: As mentioned earlier, some workplaces require employers to provide access to occupational health services for preventive measures and early detection of work-related health issues.

Enforcement Agencies

The Hungarian government entrusts several bodies with enforcing occupational safety and health regulations:

  • National Inspectorate for Labour (Nemzeti Munkaügyi Hivatal): This primary enforcement body conducts workplace inspections, investigates accidents and complaints, and issues fines for non-compliance.
  • Local District Offices: District offices within the County-Level Government Offices also play a role in inspections and hold some enforcement authority.
  • Supervisory Authority of Regulated Activities (Magyar Bányászati és Földtani Hivatal): This body focuses on safety in the mining sector.
Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.