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-2020-21/986 – Updated – measures in Hungary
|Country||Hungary , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 18 May 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
|Author||Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||13 July 2020 (updated 15 June 2022)|
The aim of the measure is to create jobs for registered job-seekers, reducing the level of unemployment (which has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic). Businesses may apply to the local branch of the National Employment Office (which acts as a state authority) for a full grant of 100% of wages for six months for employing a registered job-seeker, which is then reviewed. The candidate for the job can be stated in the application form or it can be selected (recruited) by the Employment Office. If the application is approved, the Office signs a contract with the employer which includes details and conditions about the grant. This is a de minimis subsidy, so the rules of decree 1407/2013/EU apply. (Meaning that certain sectors such as export-linked sectors, farming and fisheries are excluded).
Businesses that apply for this subsidy will receive 100% of the wages and social contributions of the employee for six months, but they must promise to keep them on for another three months at least after the grant period at their own expense. The subsidy cannot exceed HUF 200,000 (€595) per month including social taxes. The employer must choose between two options when applying for the support:
The amount earmarked for this subsidy is HUF 80 billion (€238 million).
The Ministry for Innovation and Technology announced it can help 70,000 people with the measure (calculated by expecting that most companies will apply for the maximum amount of subsidy). In May 2020, when the measure was announced, the number of those registered job-seekers in Hungary, who were in receipt of unemployment benefit or social assistance (income substitution) stood at around 160,000. In the extension of the programme launched on 15 October, some 25,000 people are expected to benefit from the measure, according to the Ministry’s estimates.
By July 2021, 19,000 job-seekers including more than 10,000 young people were supported in the workforce support scheme, a state secretary at the Ministry said. Employers applied for subsidies worth HUF 10 billion (€27.8 million) in the scheme.
The Scheme ‘Job creation wage subsidy’ was introduced on 18 May 2020 and was available until 31 August 2020. It contributed to the employment of 38,800 jobseekers, using HUF 45 billion (€125 million). Then the ‘Labour support for companies’ phase was introduced on 15 October 2020. Until mid-January 2021, the programme contributed to the employment of 31,000 jobseekers, using HUF 17 billion (€47.22 million) in funding.
The Ministry for Industry and Technology, a new ministry set up under the government formed in May 2022, said that May 2022 had been a very good month for employment with a record number of people working. More than 52,000 job-seekers were helped by the workforce support scheme by May 2022, and HUF 34 billion (€87 million) was spent in the scheme.
Employees in standard employment
|Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Public employment service
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:
There were no consultations with social partners in the autumn extension of the measure. Trade unions’ representatives said they had not even been informed about it, while employers’ organisation MGYOSZ said they were informed the day before the programme was launched. The head of the MASZSZ trade union confederation said the programme could even have the opposite effect: it could lead to layoffs rather than preventing them. It is possible that employers will let go of existing permanent staff only to replace them with new hires in the subsidised programme for five months. MGYOSZ welcomed the programme as a first step, but said they were rather expecting a renewal of the already expired short-time work scheme, which, however, is stalled.
Eurofound (2020), Wage support for job creation/workforce support programme for companies (2021), measure HU-2020-21/986 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/HU-2020-21_986.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.