Living and working conditions

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Working conditions

Kinds of employment


The parties in an employment relationship are the employer and the employee. As a rule, anyone aged 16 or over may take up employment. Unless agreed otherwise, employment is established for full-time work, for an indefinite period. Hungarian law recognises atypical forms of employment as well. Examples include staff leasing, temporary employment, part-time employment, fixed-term employment and remote work, as well as independent, home-based piecework and foster parenting. School cooperative members who are full-time students no longer perform their tasks in an employment relationship, but rather as part of an assignment governed by civil law. However, the remuneration paid for the tasks performed cannot be lower than the lowest applicable minimum wage. In vocational training, the practical training of the student is conducted on the basis of a written student contract concluded between the student and the business organisation for the purpose of practical training at the business organisation. According to the student contract, the business organisation pays a cash allowance to the student. This, together with the contributions, is recoverable by the organisation.

Remote or distance work is employment where the employee does not work within a work organisation, at the registered office or place of business of the employer, but typically at his or her own place of residence, using a computer to perform the work and send it to the employer.

A staff leasing agency signs an employment contract with the employee, while it enters into an outsourcing agreement or work contract with the actual employer. However, there is no contractual relationship between the employer and the worker.

There is also a simplified employment scheme. The simplified scheme may be used for seasonal work in agriculture and tourism, or for casual work. In this case, simplification means that only the most important rules of labour law need to be applied. It also involves less paperwork to register and de-register.

In the workfare scheme, people who are eligible for rehabilitative care or are registered as job seekers, and people who have applied for refugee or asylum status can be employed for 4, 6 or 8 working hours per day, for a period of between 1 to 11 months. The job seeker may be excluded because of the conditions set out in the workfare scheme. Bodies classified as public service employers – public authorities, local governments, NGOs and religious organisations, etc. – sign a contract with the relevant public employment service body, agreeing to employ public employees for carrying out statutory and optional local government tasks, local or community tasks or tasks stipulated by government pursuing public objectives. Such activities may not be for profit or involve positions for which a public servant, public official or government official status is obligatory. In the period from September to November 2019, the average number of people in employment was 4 517 000, i.e. 23 000 more than a year earlier. The employment rate in the 15–64 age group rose to 70.3%. While the rates improved for both genders, employment levels were higher among men than among women. Working as an au pair is an employment type (i.e. pursuing an activity involving household tasks) in which the employee helps private individuals (families) in looking after, educating and taking care of children in exchange for a compensation (remuneration, board and lodging, help with language learning etc.), but it is not deemed to be a regulated profession or a separate legal relationship.

The Labour Code is applicable to performing arts organisations, subject to the derogations set out in the Act on Specific Employment Rules Applicable to Artistic Professions (e.g. that unless agreed otherwise, a fixed-term contract lasts until the end of the season).


Seasonal work


The number of people working in agricultural seasonal work in 2019 averaged 35.5 thousand per month. While the presence of agricultural guest workers in the country was much more common in the 1990s, their numbers have declined significantly since then. From May to October, there are usually 30-50 thousand guest workers in Hungary, most of them from Romania, Ukraine, a small part from Serbia, but today there is less demand for seasonal workers than decades ago. In Hungary, fruit and vegetable production has declined so much that far less manual labor is already needed.

How to find an agricultural seasonal job?

The Ministry of Agriculture (AM) has launched an online advertising site in Hungarian called “Munkaszüret” that makes it easier for both workers and employers to find each other across the country.

Seasonal work in Simplified Employment

Simplified employment is an atypical form of employment used in many sectors, agricultural seasonal work, and tourism seasonal work since 2010. It has a number of benefits, is easy to file, and has a favorable tax burden. From 04/17/2020 the rules of application became more flexible:

For casual and seasonal work in the crop, including horticultural, forestry, animal husbandry, fishing and hunting sectors, the annual time limit provided for in the Simplified Employment Act has changed from 120 days to 180 days this year for both seasonal and casual and seasonal work. Another significant relief is that the monthly duration of casual work has increased from the previous maximum of 15 days to 20 days. (valid until 31/12/2020)

Simplified Employment Act (Act LXXV/2010)

(In Hungarian: EFO) includes:

  • seasonal agricultural and tourism work,
  • casual work,
  • employment of film industry statistics.

The Employment Relationship Starts with Notification

The legal relationship between the parties starts with the employer’s notification to the Tax Authority. The employers may fulfil the registration and change reporting obligation through:

  • Form 20T1042E electronically (via customer gate / company gate)
  • by phone via the national customer service (blue number 185)
  • from a smart phone, tablet (via the EFO app)

Tax liabilities

The amount of the public charge to be paid by the employer, if the conditions described above are met, for each calendar day of the employment relationship per employee:

· HUF 500 in case of seasonal agricultural work,

  • HUF 500 in case of seasonal tourist work,
  • HUF 1,000 in case of casual work,
  • HUF 3,000 for casual work as a film statistician.

The employer only has to pay a public charge of HUF 500 per day per employee - in the case of foreign seasonal workers, nothing if the person has a certificate certifying his / her domestic insurance.

For the employment relationship established for the purpose of simplified employment, the rules of the Labor Code - EFO. and the provisions of the separate legislation on the mandatory minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage shall apply.

According to the 2020 rules, employees in the framework of simplified employment earn below the minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage: the wage of skilled workers specified in a government decree is HUF 1,054 per hour, and that of unskilled workers is HUF 787 per hour.

Currently, daytime jobs are advertised for an hourly wage of between 800 and 1,300 HUF, and although, in principle, employees would also receive night allowances and overtime pay, legally only one day can still be earned for 14,820 HUF with simplified employment. Seasonal workers also have limited benefits: they are only entitled to a pension, accident health service and job-search benefits, but they are not entitled to sick leave, maternity leave or unpaid leave, for example.

Not EU citizen shall only be employed in present employment relationship form in the frame of seasonal agricultural work. 


  • Undeclared work is widespread in agriculture.
  • Hungarian language skills are essential.


Text last edited on: 09/2020

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