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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure HU-2020-16/709 Updated – measures in Hungary

Income support for employees engaged in R+D activities

K+F tevékenységet végző munkavállalók bérkiegészítése

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 April 2020 – 22 February 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 April 2020 (updated 15 June 2022)

Background information

Under government decree 103/2020 employees working in the R+D field as engineers receive an income supplement for three months during the pandemic in order to prevent job cuts in this occupational field. The income supplement is on average 40% of the gross wage and the amount is transferred from the state directly to the employee. The measure aims at preventing job losses in areas of innovation and product development due to COVID-19.

Content of measure

The employee can apply for the subsidy for a duration of three months no later than 30 days after the end of the state of emergency or 31 December 2020. The support is for new knowledge, intellectual developments, products, services or procedures and methods. The recipient employee must not receive any other employment subsidy and should be employed in an R+D position. The employer must have operated for at least 6 months and prove that the request is in connection with the economic hardship suffered due to COVID-19, together with steps taken to overcome the situation. They must agree to keep headcount level with that of a month before and to keep the employee on for at least 3 months after the subsidy ceases, with no salary cuts. The employer cannot be under insolvency procedures. The subsidy does not apply to work carried out at a new location compared with pre-COVID (including in home office).

The income supplement paid by the state is 40% of gross income, but no more than HUF 318,920 (€911) per month. The maximum support applies to gross monthly salaries of HUF 670,000 (€1,888) with all usual taxes payable.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

23 February 2021

This measure has ended.

08 February 2021

The deadline for the 2021 phase of the R+D support applications has been extended until 22 February 2021.

04 January 2021

The Ministry for Innovation and Technology announced that applications for the R+D subsidy are open again in January 2021. Applications will be received until 8 February 2021. A new element is that the support can be claimed after new hires as well.

Use of measure

The measure is typically useful for multinational companies in manufacturing sectors, but it is not sector-specific. The complexity of the criteria, for example defining what qualifies as an "R+D activity", the processing of applications was time-consuming. The ministry said in April 2020 that the measure could be used by 33,000 researchers/developers. In January 2021, when the second phase of the support was launched, the ministry said 20,660 applicants were supported in the first phase. In February 2021 the ministry said support for 5,000 more applications submitted by 400 employers were granted in the amount of HUF 4 billion (€11 million).The total number of workers supported by the scheme amounted to 37,300 in a total support amount of HUF 29 billion (€80.6 million), the ministry said.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Particular professions
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


No involvement known.

Views and reactions

There was no known involvement of social partners in this measure.

Sectors and occupations

This case is not sector-specific.

    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Science and engineering professionals


  • 10 April 2020: Government decree 103/2020
  • 15 April 2020: Support for research & development employees (
  • 04 January 2021: R&D support open again in 2021 (
  • 08 February 2021: R+D support deadline extended by two weeks


Eurofound (2020), Income support for employees engaged in R+D activities, measure HU-2020-16/709 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.