In the difficult economic situation triggered by the coronavirus in several European countries the state takes over the payment of certain part of the employees’ salaries. Based on the government decree published on Good Friday, and already modified on 21st April, finally there is a possibility in Hungary as well to request support from the State in case of employment in reduced working time. In this article we summarize the characteristics of the support and the most important eligibility criteria.
1. What does the reduced working time mean?
Based on the government decree the aid may be provided if the employer employs the employee in reduced working time in order to prevent workforce reduction.
Reduced working time shall mean at least the 25 % but not more than 85 % of the “original” working time. Counting with general full working time, which means 8 hours per day, the daily working time shall be reduced with 15% (1,2 hours) or maximally with 75% (6 hours) in order to be eligible for the state support.
In case the reduced working time does not exceed the half of the original working time, 30% of the working time “foregone” shall be so called individual improvement period during which or within 2 years as of the provision of the support the employee shall be exempted from work duty in order for personal improvement in relation with his position or the activity of the employer.
2. How much is the support?
Basically, the amount of the support is 70% of the monthly net base salary of the employee for the working time „foregone” and it can be claimed for a period of 3 months. However, the monthly net base salary which can be taken into consideration in relation to the amount of the support cannot exceed the amount of two times the monthly net minimum wage.
To give you some examples: if the base salary of the employee is equal to the minimum wage (currently HUF 107.065) and his working time was reduced with the minimum 15% then the monthly amount of the support is HUF 11.242. And the maximum monthly amount of the support, counting with two times the minimum wage and the maximum 75% working time reduction, is ca. HUF 112.240.
It is important to mention that in case the reduced working time exceeds the half of the original working time, the employer shall fill the “gap” in relation to the employee’s salary for the working time “foregone”: it is the eligibility criteria for the support that the employer undertakes that the employee’s salary reaches his base salary and that he pays salary for the individual improvement period.
3. What are the obligations of the employer?
In order to apply for the support, the employee has to meet several criteria, the most important are summarized in the below table:
operates at least for 6 months
presentation that reduced working time is in close connection with the economic circumstances connected to the emergency situation and the justification that preserving the employment is the interest of the economy at large
justification of the sound employment relations
undertaking of the individual improvement period (in case the reduced working time does not exceed the half of the original working time, optional)
is not under lawfully ordered winding-up procedure, liquidation, insolvency or other termination procedure
in relation to the employee(s) concerned he does not receive any job creation etc. support
Further, the employer shall assume the obligation not to terminate the concerned employee’s employment during the provision of the support and in the subsequent month, otherwise he shall pay to the State the proportional part of the support.
Moreover, the employer cannot order extraordinary work (overtime work) for the concerned employee(s) during the period of the provision of the support.
4. What are the conditions on the employee’s side?
Not only on the employer’s, but also on the employee’s side strict criteria shall be met in order to be able to apply for the support. These are presented by the below table:
he is employed at the employer at least since the announcement of the emergency situation (11 March 2020) and is not under notice period
undertakes the employment in the reduced working time
does not receive other support in relation to the employment in reduced working time
the establishment of a new employment will not be the obstacle of his re-employment in the original full-time job
he has no payment obligation in relation to support claimed back by the state employment services
will be at the disposal of the employer during the individual improvement period
5. Who, where and when can apply for the support?
The support shall be requested mutually by the employer and the employee and the application, with the necessary annexes, shall be filed electronically by the employer to the government office competent based on the place of the employment.
Based on the original government decree the application may be filed from 16 April 2020, however the decree about the lighter conditions will entry into force on 29th April 2020 which means that the support in the above mentioned form can be requested thereafter.
In order to apply for the support the form published on the webpage of the National Employment State Service shall be used, the forms in relation with the support are available here:
It is important to mention that in case the employer would like to file an application regarding more employee, he shall do it at the same time. Moreover, in case the authority rejects the application, the employer can file the request regarding the same employee only one more time. That is why it is very important to fill and file the application with due care and attention.
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