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21st December, 2018

Áder signs labour bill into law



President János Áder has signed the legislation known as the “overtime bill” and the “slavery law” that has ignited protests across Hungary since it was approved by Parliament last week.

The new law, allowing employers to require workers to work 400 overtime hours a year without compensation for three years, enters into effect on January 1.

In a statement posted on his official website, Áder said the amendment does not conflict with the Basic Law, and so it cannot be objected to constitutionally.

He also said that laws in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland and the Czech Republic also permit 400 or more hours of overtime each year.

Thirdly, he argued, the bill does not reduce guarantees designed to protect Hungary’s 4.5 million employees.

Employees will not have to work additional overtime against their will, he said, collective contracts may deviate from the new regulations only for the benefit of the employee, employers can compensate employees for overtime under unchanged conditions in the future as well, and the possibilities for unions to provide greater protection to employees through collective bargaining contracts have not narrowed.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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