The Hungarian government recently passed significant employment legislation to introduce parental and carer’s leave entitlements, double the number of paternity leave days and introduce a right to request flexible work arrangements. The legislation brings Hungary into alignment with the European Union Directive No. 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and carers. The amendments to the Hungarian Labor Code provisions entered into effect on 1 January 2023.

Key details

Paternity leave

Male employees, previously entitled to five working days of leave, are now entitled to 10 working days of employer-paid paternity leave upon the birth or the adoption of a child. The father may claim paternity leave within two months of birth or adoption; leave may be divided into two installments. Employees are paid their full salary during the first five working days and 40% of their salary during the remaining five working days.

Parental leave

Each employed parent with at least one year of service is now entitled to 44 working days of employer-paid parental leave until the child reaches the age of three. During parental leave, employees are entitled to 10% of their salary. This payment may be offset by other social security benefits available to parents, such as the childcare allowance.

Carer’s leave

Employees may request unpaid carer’s leave for a maximum of five working days per calendar year to care for seriously ill family members and persons living in their households. Employees may divide the carer’s leave into two installments.

Flexible work arrangements

Employees with at least six months of service may request flexible work arrangements with respect to their place and hours of work, telework, and part-time work. The employee must submit a written request to the employer supporting their request and specifying a start date. The employer must provide a written response within 15 days of receiving the request. While employers were previously under no obligation to explain their refusal of flexible work requests, they must now respond in writing, clearly explaining their refusal.

Labor courts are authorized to approve an employee’s request and to modify their employment contracts accordingly where an employer either fails to either respond within the 15-day window or to provide adequate justification for the refusal.

Next steps

Employers should update their HR policies and procedures, employment contracts, leave policies, and flexible work arrangement policies, as applicable, to ensure full compliance with the new rules.