The COVID-19 pandemic and the physical distancing measures force many employers to introduce telework (working from home) on a large scale. In order to respond the current challenges, in September 2020 the Hungarian Government set the objective to reform the regulations on teleworking. The purpose of the new rules is to allow more employers to introduce telework and also to make the regulation more flexible.
The new provisions will abolish the current distinction between ‘telework’ and ‘home office’, i.e. the provisions on telework will uniformly apply if the employee works wholly or partly in a place other than the employer’s site. The parties should stipulate in the employment contract that the employee works under the framework of telework. However, this does not affect the employer’s possibility to unilaterally instruct the employee to work from home for a limited period of time (i.e. it may not exceed a total of 44 working days or 352 working hours per year).
In parallel, the tax rules relating to teleworking will also be modified. In particular, the employers may provide to the employees a tax-free lump sum compensation for the utility fees increased due to the teleworking, the amount of which might be HUF 16,100 per month.
By Eszter Ila-Horvath, Attorney at Law, KCG Partners Law Firm