Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

In accordance with the provisions of the Labour Code, the amount and scope of mandatory minimum wage (basic amount) and guaranteed wage (if the job requires secondary educational and vocational qualifications) is determined by the Government after consultations with the Nemzeti Gazdasági és Társadalmi Tanács (National Economic and Social Council). From 2012 onwards, the consultations on minimum wages are not held under the National Economci and Social Council rather these are done under the Permanent Consultation Forum of the Competitive (Private) Sector (Versenyszféra Konzultációs Fórum, VKF). VKF has representation from Government side, workers side (Független Szakszervezetek Demokratikus Ligája-LIGA Szakszervezetek, Magyar Szakszervezetek Országos Szövetsége –MSZOSZ, and Munkástanácsok Országos Szövetsége) and employer side (Általános Fogyasztási Szövetkezetek és Kereskedelmi Társaságok Országos Szövetsége -ÁFEOSZ-Coop Szövetség, KÉSZ, Munkaadók és Gyáriparosok Országos Szövetsége-MGYOSZ, and Vállalkozók és Munkáltatók Országos Szövetsége -VOSZ). Under this forum, the social partners consult and enter into agreement on issues relating to employment policy, labour law reforms, incomes of the private sector employees (minimum wage, guaranteed minimum wage and salary recommendations), labour relations, etc.

At the end of 2013, the government has consulted with the Permanent Consultation Forum of the Competitive Sector (VKF) on the issue of minimum wage and the guaranteed wage minimum. In this forum the employees' and the employers' side has reached an agreement on the growth of minimum wage and guaranteed wage minimum. After it, the government has issued the regulation on the new minimum wages.

The mandatory minimum wage specified by the government for certain groups of employees may differ. The amount and scope of mandatory minimum wage is determined by taking into account cost of living, expected level of pay increases, level of non-wage benefits, status of national and level of economic development, level of employment, unique requirements of certain economic sectors and geographical areas in terms of workforce and certain other requirements for specific occupations. In accordance with the Regulation fixing the minimum wage and guaranteed minimum wage, the regulation applies to every employer and employer. Thus no worker, whether local or foreigner, can be paid less than the announced minimum wage. The part time workers are entitled to proportional monthly, weekly, daily or hourly rate according to the time they performed work. The minimum wage is adjusted every year.

An employee, trade union or works council may initiate proceedings as a result of an act or omission contravening the Labour Code. One such relevant contravention is the failure to pay minimum wage rates. The Hungarian Labour Inspectorate is responsible for compliance with the provisions of Labour Code including minimum wage related provisions. A complainant can directly submit the complaint to the Labour Inspectorate.

The Labour Inspection Act has relevant provisions on penalties if minimum wages are not paid. The amount of fine (on contravention of Labour Code) ranges from 30,000 to 10,000,000 forints. If the number of persons employed by the employer does not exceed 20, the amount of fine ranges between 30,000 and 5,000,000 forints. In the case of an offence employees of a natural person, the amount of fine ranges between 30,000 and 1,000,000 forints. The rate of fine may be extended to twice the above limits if at least one offence with the same precedent is established within three years of the imposition of decision imposing fines as a result of previous labour inspections.

In determining the amount of fine, account must be taken in particular of the period of unlawfulness caused by the infringement of the law, the magnitude of the disadvantage caused, the number and effect of infringements and the number of employees concerned.

Sources: Art. 153 of Labour Code 2012; §3 & 7 of the Labour Inspection Act 1996

For updated minimum wage rates, kindly refer to the minimum wages section

Regular Pay

The Labour Code requires that the base wage must not be less than the mandatory minimum wage. The base wage is usually specified in time basis. And to determine the hourly rate, the amount of basic monthly salary is divided by 174 hours in case of regular daily working time. The wage may be established on the basis of time, performance or a combination of both. If wages are paid on the basis of performance only, a guaranteed salary is paid of an amount up to at least half of the base wage. Wages are to be paid in the national currency, i.e., Forints. Absent any contract or collective bargaining agreement to the contrary, wages are payable monthly in arrears not later than the 10th day of the following month. If the wage can be established only later (like on performance basis), a monthly advance is payable amounting to half of the base wage. If wages are due on a public holiday, rest day, or during a paid vacation, they must be paid on the last working day preceding the due date. Wages may be paid in cash, or by way of transfer to the employee's bank account.

(Chapter XII on Remuneration of Work. Section 136-165 of Labour Code 2012)

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • 2012. évi I. törvény a munka törvénykönyvéről ( 2013-ban a 2013. évi CIII törvénnyel módosítva) / Labour Code, 2012 (amended in 2013 by Act CIII of 2013)
  • 347/2014 sz. kormányrendelet a minimálbérről és agarantált bérminimumról / Government Regulation 347/2014 fixing the minimum wage and guaranteed minimum wage

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