Increasing the number of hours employees may be required to work overtime is “not possible without their consent”, according to an amendment proposal attached to a recent bill of changes to the labour code, ruling Fidesz’s Lajos Kósa said after talks with union representatives. Concerning the bill, of which he is a proponent, he said it was “aimed at dismantling administrative barriers in the labour code to allow employees to earn more through more work done on a voluntary basis”.
Under current regulations, employees could be required to work an annual 250 hours overtime, or 300 hours under a collective agreement. The bill before parliament seeks to increase that amount to 400 hours, Kósa said, noting that the European Union’s upper limit was 416 hours.
Kósa dismissed criticism by the opposition parties, who slammed the bill, saying that it would lead to “exploitation and slavery”. He stressed that the bill would leave basic principles unchanged, such as working 8 hours 5 days a week and having two days off. He also insisted that if the bill is passed into law, employers would continue to settle payments for overtime work once a year. “Any allegations that employees would only be paid for their overtime once every three years is nonsense,” Kósa said.