The Hungarian government has given employers the right to make it compulsory for employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. On 21 October 2021, Government Decree No. 598/2021 (X. 28.) on the protection of workplaces against Coronavirus was published in the Hungarian Official Gazette.
According to the Decree, an employer can, in the interests of health protection and in light of the specific characteristics of the workplace and the job profile of employees, impose vaccinations on unvaccinated employees as a condition of employment.
Employers are entitled process the following employee information:
- Personal data in the official document used to prove acquired protection. These documents include:
- the EU digital Covid-19 certificate;
- the Hungarian immunity certificate;
- a certificate of vaccination issued by the doctor who certified the vaccination, based on the template published on the website of the National Public Health Centre (Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ);
- an international vaccination certificate issued by the World Health Organisation, if it contains an entry by a doctor certifying that the vaccination has been administered;
- the immunity certificate issued by a state whose immunity certificate is recognised by Hungary, and was established by the Minister responsible for foreign policy in a decree issued in agreement with the Minister responsible for border police.
- Personal data in the medical opinion supporting the fact that the employee is contra-indicated for medical reasons and is therefore exempt from compulsory vaccination.
The employer may process employee data only to the extent and for the time necessary to achieve the purpose, and only while the government-imposed pandemic-related state of emergency is in effect.
If the employee has not taken the vaccination within the time limit set by the employer, the employer may assign the employee to unpaid leave unless the employee has been exempted from taking the vaccination.
The employer may immediately terminate the employment relationship with an employee by regular notice, if one year has elapsed from the date of the unpaid leave and the employee has not provided proof of vaccination to the employer and the employee does not present the medical certificate specified above.
To fulfil the Decree, employers must do the following:
- Assess whether it is necessary – in the interests of health protection and considering the specific characteristics of the workplace and job profiles – to impose vaccinations.
- Inform the employees electronically or on paper of the relevant measures, deadlines and of the possible legal consequences of not complying with the vaccination order.
- Carry out a data protection impact assessment in advance, if necessary.
- Publish a data protection notice on the processing of employee personal data in connection with mandatory workplace vaccinations.
For more information on this Decree and how this regulation could affect your Hungarian business, contact your CMS client partner or the following CMS experts.
Article co-authored by Anna Horváth.