To prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Hungarian Government has introduced new restrictions. This article provides details of their implications for employers.
The new restrictions (in Decree no. 484/2020. (XI. 10.)) apply from 11 November 2020 (Wednesday) 00:00 for the whole of Hungary, effective until 11 December 2020. These restrictions may be prolonged if necessary.
The new government measures continue to ensure workers can commute to and from work. Based on the new provisions on commuting and education, as well as the rules introduced last week (free parking, increasing the frequency of public transport at peak times) it can concluded that the government intends to ensure the functioning of the economy, and to allow commuting where working from home is not an option. A sample of the certificate to be issued by the employers enabling the employees to go to work can be found on the Government website.
The current rules concerning wearing masks, social distancing and border crossing remain in effect, while wearing masks is now obligatory in public spaces designated by the local councils in cities exceeding 10,000 inhabitants.
Curfew withan exemption regarding going to work
A curfew has been introduced between 20:00 and 05:00, during which there are limited exceptions. Only people going from their homes (place of residence) to work and back home from work (and those falling under other limited exceptions) can be in public spaces. These individuals must hold a specific certificate. The certificate shall be issued by the employer with the content as defined by the Government. The sample of the certificate can be downloaded from the following website.
Rules regarding education
Nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools remain open for those under 14 years of age. Online education has been introduced from grade 9 in middle schools and colleges/universities, and dormitories are closed.
General ban on events
All events are banned. This also applies to all professional events held in person (conferences, workshops, etc.).
Restrictions ontrade and catering
Restaurants are closed and only takeaway and home delivery are allowed, however, factory canteens may remain open. Shops, stores and other services except for pharmacies and petrol stations must close at 19:00, after which only those working there may stay on site. Hotels may only accommodate guests arriving on business, economic or education purposes.
In the event of violation of the rules applicable to events or institutions, shops and facilities, the police may close the area, premises or institution (except for educational institutions) for a period of one day to one year and impose a fine of HUF 100,000 to HUF 1,000,000.
Economic protection measures
In order to protect jobs, the Government has also introduced economic protection measures (Decree no. 485/2020. (XI. 10.)), as follows.
For November 2020 restaurants and the leisure facilities listed in the Decree shall not need to pay social contributions and vocational training contributions. Small entrepreneurs within the scope of activity listed in the Decree do not need to count personal payments to their small business tax base relating to employees who would have been dismissed due to the state of emergency, provided that these employees are not dismissed and receive their salaries.
Provision for hotels
The state will reimburse 80% of the price (net income) of bookings booked for within the next 30 days and received by the hotels registered in the National Tourism Data Providing Centre (Nemzeti Turisztikai Adatszolgáltató Központ) until 8 November 2020, provided that the hotel employees are not dismissed and receive their salaries.
50% of the wages for November 2020 of the employees of restaurants and leisure facilities listed in the Decree will be reimbursed by the state in the form of a subsidy, provided that the employees are not dismissed and receive their salaries.
Those entitled to the above tax allowances and wage subsidies (in view of theur actual main activity) are listed in s5 of the Government Decree no. 485/2020. (XI. 10.). The 'actual main activity' is the activity which generated the most revenue, which must be at least 30% of the revenue in the previous six months.
There are still many open questions regarding the implementation of the governmental measures described above. These include the procedure for applying for wage subsidies and the conditions for working from home, which have still not been regulated.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.