The base case of the work schedule is the standard work pattern according to which the employer shall schedule the working time of employees from Monday to Friday in equal daily working time which means that the weekly two rest days shall fall on Saturday and Sunday on each week.
If the employer intends to apply a different work pattern than the standard, working time banking may be an option and ensure the possibility of irregular work schedule instead of regular work schedule.
On the one hand, the contractual working time may be scheduled to more and even less than daily 8 hours in line with the amount of work, on the other hand, weekly rest days may fall on days other than Saturday and Sunday. Within the framework of working time banking, Saturday, Sunday and even bank holidays may be considered working days defined by work schedule.
In case of applying working time banking, the working time of full-time employees can be scheduled irregularly between daily 4 hours and 12 hours. The weekly 40 working hours (full-time) shall be completed during the whole period of working time banking in irregular weekly working time. For example, when applying a working time banking of two months, the employer can schedule the working time of employees to weekly 45 hours in the first month and to 35 hours in the second month. In such cases employees work more than the weekly 40 working hours (full-time) in the first month and still the additional working time shall not be considered overtime work. In the second month, employees work less than the weekly 40 working hours (full-time) and still shall be entitled to his or her monthly wage.
When compiling the work schedule, it must be taken into account that employees shall be entitled to weekly rest time for at least 2 days – or 48 consecutive hours – and also 11 hours consecutive rest time (daily rest time) must be ensured between the end of the daily work and the beginning of the daily work on the next day.
The longer working time banking is applied, the more flexible the working time can be scheduled by the employer.
If the amount of work decreases at the employer because of any reasons, e.g. the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, the working time which was not worked or scheduled can be fulfilled later during the working time banking. If the entity shall shut down for weeks or even for months, employees still can be compensated by scheduling only rest days during the outage and more working days with longer daily working time after the outage. With this option, monthly wage shall be paid to employees for the period of the outage, however working time may be increased without arising overtime work later.
According to the general rule the duration of the working time banking may last for 4 months or 16 weeks at most. Applying working time banking for longer period is allowed only in cases regulated by the Hungarian Labour Code.
According to the 140/2020 (IV.10.) government decree, published as a result of COVID-19, the option of working time banking of 24 months at most shall be ensured for the period of the state of emergency.
According to the decree, relevant provisions of the Hungarian Labour Code shall be applied as follows; the employer is allowed to use working time banking of 24 months at most and also extend the duration of working time banking in case it was already ordered before the decree became effective. The expected end of the state of emergency will not terminate the period of the extended working time banking but exist in the ordered period.
This document can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking on this link: Basics of the working time banking