Teleworking Regulations During the State of Emergency
On November 11, 2020, the Hungarian Government issued Government Decree No. 487/2020 (XI. 11.) on the application of telework regulations during the State of Emergency, which amends the provisions of Act I of 2012 on the Labor Code § 197, § 86/A of Act XCIII of 1993 on Labor Safety, and Act CXVII of 1995 on Personal Income Tax. The amendments allow a more flexible application of the regulation. Pursuant to § 1 (2) of the decree, in case employees are teleworking, employers must provide a notice to all employees indicating the conditions which are necessary to execute their tasks and accordingly, employees must designate a teleworking location that meets the described conditions. As a result, employers can verify that these conditions are met after issuing their instructions through a quasi “home-inspection”, however special rules apply. If parties do not deviate in an agreement, the employer will determine the type of the inspection. If the inspection takes place on and in real property that is inhabited by the employee, the shortest period of time between the notification of the inspection and commencement of the inspection must be determined under the Section 197 (4) of Act I of 2012 on the Labor Code. To ensure that an employee’s right to privacy is respected, the regulation ensures that any inspection performed by the employer cannot bring unreasonable hardship on either the employee, or any other person on the shared property. It is forbidden to perform an inspection without a prior notification or outside of normal working hours. The inspection can take the form of either an in-person inspection by the employer, or the employer can ask the employee for photos of their working conditions to verify that it is suitable for the proper execution of their duties. During the State of Emergency, an employee can account for their expenses as a result of teleworking as long as these expenses do not exceed 10% (ten percent) of the mandatory minimum wage per month (in year 2020 this amount is HUF 16,100, roughly USD 53) if the private indicidual does not account for other work related expenses such as internet fee or other expenses deriving from the maintenance of the place of telework. These expenses are reimbursed by the employer.