In February 2017, the Hungarian Parliament decided to declare Good Friday as a public holiday. This decision increases the number of public holidays to 11 calendar days. Public holidays are now January 1, March 15, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1, Whit Monday, August 20, October 23, November 1, December 25-26.
Public holidays are provided to employees on top of annual holiday entitlement. The creation of an additional public holiday is important as work performance is generally not allowed on a public holiday day. There are, however, a few exceptional cases when employees are allowed to work. According to these rules, ordinary working time can only be scheduled on a public holiday if:
- based on its intended purpose, the employer, or the position, must operate on public holidays (eg public utilities);
- it is seasonal work;
- continuous operation is required (for satisfying public need (eg cinemas, restaurants) or due to the technology used);
- it is providing services for public need or is providing services abroad; or
- it is performed abroad.
It is important to note that these exceptions are strictly reviewed and narrowly interpreted. Breaching the rules may result in a severe labor fine and other sanctions.