Labor law newsletter 2019/1
Labor law newsletter 2019/1
On the amendments regarding working time management
Our Law Firm considers it of high importance to keep our Clients up-to-date on the relevant amendments of legislation. Having regard to that amendments affecting the everyday operation of our Clients were adopted in connection to the Labor Code, we hereby summarize the recently adopted and promulgated amendment of Act I of 2012 on the labor code (hereinafter referring to as: ‘Labor Code’).
According to the reasoning of the relevant bill, due to the economic recovery of the recent years, the positive economic processes and the continuously changing requirements of the labor market, the development of a practice is essential which ensures more flexible solutions for both the employers and employees regarding (i) the determination of working time (as the application of working time framework), and (ii) the schedule thereof (as extraordinary working time).
(i) provisions on application of working time framework
According to the provisions of the Labor Code, the employer may determine the working time in working time framework; the commencing and ending date thereof shall be defined and published in writing. In accordance with the prior provisions, the duration of the working time framework shall normally be four months or sixteen weeks at the most. However, in some special cases (in continuous-shift, shift, seasonal and stand-by jobs) this period may equal to six months or twenty-six weeks at the most.
As of 1 January, 2019, upon the provision of collective agreement, it is possible to determine working time frameworks for thirty-six months – in contrary to the previously applied twelve-month or fifty-two-week periods. Therefore, in line with the newly applied provisions, if objective or technical or work-organization related reasons are laid down, according to the collective agreement, a three-year (thirty-six-month) period of working time framework may be determined.
The present legal regulations may be considered as advantageous both for the employers and the employees. In case of the employers, the longer the working time framework is, more freedom is ensured for the schedule of the working time. Whereas, the employees may also benefit therefrom as not only the days, but the weeks and months may be irregularly allocated, therefore employers may take into consideration the potential requests of the employees.
(ii) provisions on extraordinary working time, overwork
In line with the amendment, the provisions on extraordinary working time became fundamentally different. Although in harmony with the previous regulations, the employer may only order the extraordinary working time of two hundred and fifty (according to collective agreement three hundred) hours in every calendar year, in line with the amendment, the Labor Code introduces the definition of the so-called ‘voluntarily undertaken overwork’. Upon the separate agreement of the employer and the employee, the present form of overwork allows the employers to order extraordinary working time of additional hundred and fifty (in case of collective agreement hundred) hours in every calendar year.
The given amendment is not only advantageous for the employers as they may utilize the capacity of employees for additional hundred and fifty (hundred) hours, but also for the employees as they have the opportunity to voluntarily undertake additional working time, therefore obtain higher earnings. However, regarding the agreement, we note that the employer is obligated to keep a record of such agreements and of the overwork performed thereby. The employee shall be entitled to terminate the given agreement by notice for the end of the given calendar year, due to which the employer may not be entitled to terminate the employment relationship between the parties.
In the foregoing we have summarized the most significant amendments of the Labor Code, due to which the production is expected to become plannable and predictable. Furthermore for the employees having additional capacity the overwork thus the opportunity of extra earnings – with the protection of the employees, of course - are provided. We note that although the amending provisions became effective as of 1 January, 2019, they shall only be applied for the new working time schedules.
Should you have any questions or queries regarding the information in the above newsletter or in connection with labor law, please do not hesitate to contact Germus and Partners Attorneys-at-Law, which has extensive expertise, theoretical and practical experience in the field of labor law and is able to provide you practical and client-oriented solutions.
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