In the first two parts of the series – Get a job in Hungary I. and Get a job in Hungary II. – we set our focus on how to enter and feel at home on the labor market. Now we continue with how to keep your job, keep it in a way you like it and what to do if you lose it. Maybe you think that you are unprotected and helpless against the will of your employer but be assured: if you are familiar with your rights (and even have professionals at your disposal) employment is a place where you can feel safe.
For all employees: your most important rights
The Act I of 2012 on the Labor Code regulates the ways a working contract may end or be terminated, either by the employee or the employer. The first case – where the contract terminates by force of law – falls outside of our topic of interest as there is little we can do about it. (Think of events such as the expiration of the fixed term, the termination of the company, etc.)
The second case is where the working contract is terminated by one or both of the parties. The Labor Code contains three options in which the employment relationship may be terminated. All of these are only valid in a written form.
Termination may be carried out
- by mutual consent;
- by dismissal with notice;
- by dismissal without notice.
It is self-explanatory that mutual consent is not an option if you are not ready to terminate the agreement, but it can be a useful tool to make your exit more pleasant for everybody – especially on financial terms.
Dismissal with notice may only be exercised if its requirements are met. While the employee has the right to terminate the contract usually with a thirty-day notice, the employer needs to be more careful. Employers are required to justify their dismissals and the justification has to be real, reasonable and clear. Furthermore an employee may be dismissed only for reasons in connection with his/her behavior or ability regarding the employment relationship or for reasons connected with the employer’s operations such as reorganization or closing a branch office.
Protection against dismissal with notice is in place for certain situations such as pregnancy, maternity leave, unpaid leave when caring for a child, etc. Dismissal with notice comes with a termination period minimum of thirty days (half of which you are exempt from your work-related duties) and in some cases, severance pay according to the duration of the employment.
Dismissal without notice has even stricter rules; parties are only entitled to exercise the right for termination without notice within fifteen days if the other party willfully or by gross negligence commits a grave violation of any substantive obligations arising from the employment relationship or engages in conduct that would render the employment relationship impossible.
Keep in mind that in all circumstances you have the right to consult your person in trust – family member, lawyer, etc. – and you must not be forced into a snap decision between termination by mutual consent or by dismissal. In case an infringement has taken place, you have thirty days to file a suit to the court with jurisdiction at the place of the employer’s seat or branch office where you have carried out your work. If you feel that you have been treated unjustly or you would just like to measure up your options, we are at your full disposal.