Hungary -New labour law comes into force -April 10, 2013

The labour law reform introduced by the Fidesz government has come into force. The law, heavily criticised by trade unions, creates far greater flexibility in the hiring and firing of employees. Even employer organisations, which are generally happy with the law, have expressed their dissatisfaction at the lack of social dialogue in the coming about of the law. Amongst other things, the law creates a three to six month probation period, during which employees can be fired without any reported reason. In case of unfair dismissal, the court no longer holds the power to reinstate workers, but only to impose a fine. The law raises the number of allowed over hours and allows employers more flexibility to change work schedule, however, it also does allow more leave days for workers with children. The law limits employer liability in case of work related accidents and allows employers not to pay wages in case of external influences, such as power cuts. Trade unions also lose some power and protection in favour of works councils. The law restricts the number of trade union officials that receive legal protection to five per workplace, and less in smaller companies. Union officials’ work time exemptions have been reduced and at least 10% of a company’s workforce must be members of the union concerned in order to settle collective agreements.


Focus on Hungarian industrial relations:


For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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