Hungary ends state of emergency

Hungary

On 18 June 2020, Hungary lifted its state of emergency, and decrees passed to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, such as Government Decree No. 47/2020. (III. 18.), are no longer in effect.

To ensure a regulatory transition from the extraordinary measures taken during the state of emergency and to prepare for a possible second wave of the epidemic, the Hungarian parliament passed Act LVIII of 2020, which introduces provisional measures and steps for “epidemic readiness”.

This act entered into force simultaneously with the lifting of the state of emergency. Within the framework of epidemic readiness, the act also sets forth provisions relevant from a labour-law perspective. Pursuant to Article 56 (2) of the act, as of 1 July 2020, the following labour-law provisions come into force:

  • an employer can schedule working time only in compliance with the “regular” deadlines concerning employee notification [Section 97 (5) of the Labour Code];

  • an employer can no longer unilaterally order home office and telework;

  • measures for checking the health status of employees are no longer governed by Government Decree No. 47/2020. (III. 18.);

  • an employer and employee can not agree to deviate from rules set out in the Labour Code to the employee’s detriment as was generally mandated by Government Decree No. 47/2020. (III. 18.).

However, further to the provisions of the act, the lifting of the state of emergency does not oblige employers to unilaterally repeal the working-time framework ordered or agreed during the state of emergency.

Employers may still consider necessary and reasonable measures to check the health of employees, but they must assess the privacy legal basis with a view to Articles 6 and 9 of the GDPR. References to the specific authorisation for the related personal data processing provided by Government Decree No. 47/2020. (III. 18.) must be deleted from privacy notices.

For more information on the act and the new legislation that terminates the state of emergency, contact your regular CMS advisor or local CMS experts: