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-2020-27/1213 – Updated – measures in Hungary
|Country||Hungary , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 July 2020 – 31 July 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
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||01 October 2020 (updated 15 June 2022)|
Under the government decree 275/2020. (VI. 12.) healthcare workers received a one-off bonus of HUF 500,000 (€1,300) in the summer rewarding them for their extra effort demonstrated in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic during the months of March to June. The funding for the measure came out of Hungary's newly set-up COVID-19 Defence Fund, see related 710 in the COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database
The one-off bonus of HUF 500,000, pre-tax, which compares to the average monthly gross salary of HUF 367,800 or €1,009 registered in Hungary in 2019. Employers must apply to receive the bonus on behalf of their employees to the National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK) starting June 10, 2020. Eligibility is specified in a 5-page information leaflet issued by NEAK. The employers whose employees are eligible are: Hospitals, one-day clinics, laboratory service providers, dialysis centres, patient transport services, National Ambulance and Blood Transport Services.
In addition, a wide-range of healthcare professions were specified as recipients of the award: from GPs and paediatricians and dentists, to school nurses and hospice workers and medical students involved in COVID-19 defence activities. The bonus is also given to part-time workers, and employees on leave, sick- or maternity leave. The recipient must have had a contractual relationship with the employer on 1 April 2020. Applications were to be received by 19 June 2020.
As HUF 101 billion (€277 million) was earmarked for the one-off bonuses which is sufficient for to reward 170,000 workers, including administrative assistants, business and technical support staff. The healthcare trade union FESZ reported that only about 120,000 workers are expected to receive the bonus and that many would not get it despite promises that all workers in the sector were eligible.
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Since there was broad agreement even outside the sector, nationally, that healthcare workers must be rewarded for their extra efforts, there was not much involvement necessary from social players in the design and implementation of this measure. It was met with approval on all sides, with the caveat that it should not weaken the prolonged fight for better wages in the healthcare sector.
While welcoming the measure, the healthcare union FESZ warned in a press report that the one-off bonus does not solve the huge healthcare pay crisis. In another related report, the public workers' union and the social workers' union (MKKSZ and SZÁDSZ) said they were "outraged" that social workers were not getting rewarded, when they were just as high risk to COVID-19 as healthcare peers. 'This is another sign of discrimination against social services providers,' they said. Social worker unions held a demonstration on 2 July 2020 (National Health Day) where they asked supporters to 'skip lunch' to show that a whole profession is missing out on the reward which they deserve.
The chairman of the Chamber of Pharmacists also said in a report that he resented that their profession did not get the reward.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities||Q86 Human health activities|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Health associate professionals|
Eurofound (2020), Healthcare workers’ reward for COVID-19 work, measure HU-2020-27/1213 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/HU-2020-27_1213.html
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