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Opposition parties slammed the easing of labour regulations, saying that the relevant government decree issued on Friday imposed further burdens on workers who are anyway hit hardest by the crisis.
Klára Dobrev, an MEP of the Democratic Coalition (DK), called on the government to scrap the decree, which she said allowed employers a two-year period when they could order employees to work overtime to make up for the days off taken during the novel coronavirus epidemic. The regulation, she said, strips workers of overtime payments for those hours, and potentially forces them to work on six days a week. The “government’s base move” forces the most vulnerable to bear the burdens of the economic damage caused by the pandemic, Dobrev said, adding that the decree amounted to a “slave law”.
Speaking at the plenary session of parliament, Jobbik’s Tibor Nunkovics said the decree “steals money from employees’ pockets” by stripping them of overtime payments.
Tamás Schanda, a state secretary of the innovation and technology ministry, said in response in parliament that the more flexible labour regulations are meant to protect jobs. The opposition, he noted, had refused a joint fight against the epidemic’s health and economic consequences. The priority is to ensure Hungarians have jobs and can earn a living, he said.