Hungary adopts new regulations on occupational Safety and Health fines and administration


The Hungarian parliament recently adopted amendments to certain government regulations on occupational matters, and new government regulations on the detailed rules for the amount and imposition of occupational safety and health (OSH) fines, which entered into force on 1 March 2024. The amendments to the government regulations were necessary to ensure consistency between the legislation.

The following article summarises these changes.

1. Government Decree No 24/2024 (II.14.) amending certain Government Decrees on employment

Amendment to Government Decree No. 320/2014 (XII.13.) on the designation of the government employment agency, occupational safety and health administration, and on the performance of the regulatory and other duties of these bodies: The amendment changes the Minister's responsibilities for the management of labour protection at the national economic level. As of 1 March 2024, the Minister will no longer be responsible for the operation of the OSH information system, but will be responsible for the registration of persons with OSH professional qualifications and for their further training. (For information on the Database of OSH professionals, see below).

Amendment of Government Decree 115/2021 (10.III.) on the activities of the Employment Supervisory Authority: the amendment of the Government Decree creates coherence with the new regulation of the Act on the General Rules for the Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals and strengthens the sanctions for the unauthorised employment of third-country nationals. The scope of the specific labour fine is thus extended to cover failure to notify the termination of the legal status of third-country nationals. The amount of the specific labour fine will be based on the minimum wage and may be up to ten or twenty times the minimum wage, depending on whether the fine is imposed for unauthorised employment of third-country nationals, cross-border provision of services or failure to notify the termination or cessation of the employment relationship of third-country nationals. The amount of the specific labour fine will also depend on the number of employees, the repetitive nature of the infringement and the nature of the employer.

The amendment also changes the amount of the discretionary labour fine. The employment supervisory authority, acting under its discretionary powers, may impose a labour fine of a minimum amount of HUF 150,000 instead of HUF 30,000. The upper limit of the amount of the fine is HUF 20 million for medium-sized companies and HUF 25 million for companies with more than 249 employees.

2. Government Decree No 25/2024 (II.14.) on the amount and detailed rules for the imposition of occuptional safety and health fines and on the rules for the registration and further training of persons authorised to carry out occupational safety and health activities

Instead of Act XCIII of 1993 on Labour Protection, this new government decree regulates the amount  of OSH fines and the detailed rules for their imposition. An OSH fine may range from HUF 100,000 to HUF 100 million and will be determined by the basic amounts and multipliers set out in this Decree, as well as aggravating and mitigating factors. The basic amount of a fine will be HUF 100,000 per employee at serious risk. The value of the multipliers depends on the number of infringements, the length of time the serious risk to the employee has been proven to be present, the nature of the work accident and the type of employer. The application of aggravating and mitigating factors will be at the discretion of the OSH authority. The maximum amount will be 20% of the fine.

In addition to the regulations related to OSH fines, this Decree also regulates the Database of OSH Professionals, which will be created to help employers find a suitable OSH professional for their needs. Registration in the database will be voluntary, and the information and data will be displayed at the discretion of the OSH professional.

The article was co-authored by Viktor Kovacs.

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