With respect to the pandemic situation we would like to briefly inform you on some crucial points and ideas that we find important and that Employers must consider in the upcoming period with respect of employment issues.
Of course, each employer may have different preferences when it comes to employment, but the below topics should be considered.
THE EMERGENCY DECREE
Based on the related Governmental Decree the employer may modify the announced working time schedule in a manner different from the rules of communication under Labour Code (LC),
- the employer can unilaterally order home office and telework for the employee,
- the employer may take the necessary and justified measures to check the health of the employee,
- collective agreements’ rules different of those referred to above may not be applied during the period covered by the decree,
- the employee and the employer may derogate from the provisions of the LC by mutual agreement
- The above defined temporary measures can make the decisions of the employer easier, nevertheless we suggest to be cautious and also consider the basic rules of labour law to be as compliant as possible in the given circumstances.
WHAT WE SUGGEST TO CONSIDER IN THE FIRST ROUND
Cooperation of the parties is even more crucial in the present days
- Informing the employees on safety measures introduced by the Employer on the working areas, requiring the Employees to report possible infection events to the Employer.
Signing employment contracts and modifications while avoiding personal presence
- In order to avoid personal contact, it is possible to conclude the employment contracts without simultaneous presence of the parties. We suggest to insert a special clause in the templates for these cases.
Delivering labour law declarations (instructions, sanctions, terminations, etc.) while avoiding personal presence
- While main solution is still personal delivery or post currier, you may use sms (for termination it is not suggested) or e-mail as well but consider that the burden of proof is on the Employer’s side about the delivery. We suggest to use corporate e-mail system and servers to communicate, which is traceable.
Ordering home office
- In case the company has the necessary infrastructure and the employee’s scope of work does not requires necessarily their personal presence, order the home office to minimize personal contact:
- the necessity of contract modification – with respect to the place of work – may rise in case the home office would exceed 44 working days per year,
- prepare and publish related policies that defines for example the frame of the reporting system, availabilities, etc.,
- IT rules must be established related to document archiving in cloud or company servers, not local computers.
- In case the decrease of workload is expected order the use of the holidays:
- employers shall allocate seven working days of the vacation time in the actual year in not more than two parts, as requested by the employee,
- employees shall be notified of the scheduled date of their vacation not later than fifteen days before the first day of vacation,
- parties may agree differently in written agreement.
Modification of the employment contract
- Only with mutual consent of the parties in written form parties may agree in part-time employment, decreasing the salary, etc.
Termination of the employment contract
- Main rules of the termination of labour contract shall be applied presently no special governmental or other legal decision is available that would restrict this right or enable employees to refuse work look for legal advice in case of planned termination, because the pandemic situation cannot be always a good reasoning.
OTHER SOLUTIONS WHICH MAY BE INTERESTING IN THE FUTURE
Ordering „Working time banking”
- The working time is defined within the framework of working time banking the beginning and ending date shall be specified in writing and shall be made public, the maximum duration of working time banking is four months or sixteen weeks (in certain scope of work this can be longer, according to collective agreement even thirty-six months), planning is important not to risk payment of extra work, ordering „Working time banking” will affect the termination of labour contract, modification of labour contract may be necessary.
- The maximum limit of the working time banking is 24 months which may be ordered by the employer (No. 104/2020 IV. 10. Gov. Decree)
- the employer may extend the before ordered working time limit as well
- the ordered working time limit based on this regulation is not affected by the withdrawal of the emergency.
Organizing Shift work
- Organizing shift work in a way to minimize the contact between your employees: in case home office is not an option due to the scope of work organize shift work, prepare and publish related policies.
We must underline and stress that the above topics are just brief summary of some issues we find crucial in the upcoming period.
Reduced working time – “Kurzarbeit”
A new option according to 105/2020. (IV. 10.) Government Decree
- Reduced working time: part-time working, the reduction has to be 50 – 70% of the previous working time, but at least four hours of working time per day;
- The aid may be awarded for the period following the submission of the application. The aid can be determined in months. The duration of the aid is three months;
- Level of aid: The maximum wage to be taken into consideration as basis of the twice the minimum wage. The aid is 50-70% of the reduced working time.
- The aid is paid to the employee in monthly payment after each month;
- The aid cannot be paid for unpaid leave. The aid is free of public dues;
- The employee can apply for the aid jointly with the employer through the “Cégkapu” (electric system of the state) and the application can be submitted to the government agency concerning to the employer’s registered office or establishment.
Further analysis may be required in certain cases depending on the decision of the companies related to their employment policies or other arisen questions.
Should you need assistance in the drafting of necessary documentation (drafting special clause to contract, drafting termination notice, preparing or reviewing internal policies, etc.), or advice on certain situation in labour law or GDPR questions, do not hesitate to contact us.