On 1 January 2019, amendments to provisions of the Hungarian Labour Code dealing with overtime hours came into force.
The amendments do not impact the total amount of overtime hours an employer can ask an employee to work. The upper limit is still 250 hours per year. However, an employee can now, by written agreement with their employer, 'voluntarily' undertake to perform additional overtime hours of up to 150 hours per year. As a result, employees who express their written consent can now perform up to 400 overtime hours per year.
However, the 'voluntary' nature of such an agreement within the context of an employment relationship is questionable. This change (along with other amendments to the Code brought in in January) has led to discontent amongst both employers and employees, with several multinational companies stating they will not agree to increase the amount of overtime hours their employees work. It is possible that further amendments will be needed to the Hungarian Labour Code to tackle this.