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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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-2022-48/3226 – measures in Hungary

Measures assisting the tourism-catering sector

A turizmus-vendéglátás ágazatot segítő intézkedése

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 21 November 2022 – 25 November 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Working time flexibility
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 08 June 2023 (updated 19 June 2023)

Background information

Under government decree 468/2022, the government adopted measures to assist the tourism-catering industry as they suffer from the impacts of the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices. The government also adopted the Tourism Action Plan to roll out ideas for helping the ailing sectors. The plan includes easing administrative burdens and encouraging the use of the employee bonus SZÉP card, where amounts transferred by employers can be spent on accommodation, food and recreation (See case Employee bonus scheme SZÉP card limit rise

Content of measure

Under the measures, the 24-month working time banking period can be arranged one-sidedly by the employer without a signed collective agreement (or if the collective agreement specifies a shorter period, the employer may overrule that). The legislation affects the following sectors: hotels and similar accommodation; holiday and other short-stay accommodation; camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks and trailer parks; other accommodation; restaurants and mobile food service activities; event catering activities; beverage serving activities; other amusement and recreation activities and physical well-being activities.

For everyone else, the rules of the Labour Code, Section 94 apply: the working time banking period can only be raised to 36 months by collective agreement (otherwise only to 6 months). As part of the legislation, companies in the tourism-catering industry are exempt from tourism development tax (4% of revenues) from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023.

Use of measure

The total number of companies operating in the targeted sectors in 2021 (latest data) is as follows: 5,549 in hotels and accommodation, 24,109 in restaurants and beverage serving, 10,700 in other specified services. Altogether around 40,358 companies were exempt from the tourism tax in the six months that this measure was in place.

The targeted sectors had 88,848 employees in December 2022, which makes up nearly 3% of the overall workforce, according to the payroll statistics. These employees are now exposed to the possibility of the employer unilaterally imposing a 24-month working time banking arrangement on them. It is unknown how many companies are taking advantage of this possibility.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
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: N/A



Views and reactions

The Hungarian Association of Spas (Magyar Fürdőszövetség) welcomed the measures, but said they are not going far enough. 71% of guest nights spent in Hungary are in a town where there is a spa, so preventing spas from having to close is important, the Association said. They added that such closures could have a domino effect on related sectors. Spas do not benefit from the 4% tourism tax relief, as they pay 27% VAT and SZÉP card costs do not grow when people cut recreational spending. The Association proposed to lower the VAT to 9% for spa services (for tourism) and to set up a wage support measure is adopted to compensate for high energy costs.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities
      S - Other Service Activities S96 Other personal service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 17 November 2022: Why were spas left out of the tourism helping measures? (
  • 22 November 2022: Govt decree 468/2022 on measures assisting tourism-catering (


Eurofound (2023), Measures assisting the tourism-catering sector, measure HU-2022-48/3226 (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.