Opposition parties dubbed the amendment, which increased annual overtime to 400 hours from a previous 250, the “slave law” and claimed it curtailed employees’ rights.
In a statement on the Presidential Office website, President Áder said his staff examined the law from three aspects and found it appropriate in every respect.
First, it said, the amendment does not go against the constitution, thus constitutional objections can be ruled out. Second, his staff also compared the new overtime limit with that of other European Union member states and found that several EU countries – such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and the Czech Republic had equal or higher overtime limits.
Thirdly, it also looked at whether the amendment has any adverse effects on the rights of the country’s 4.4 million workforce. The conclusion was that the amendment did not restrict employee rights as employers could only request overtime upon the previous written consent of the employee and that they could withdraw at any time.
Employers are not allowed to sanction workers for not agreeing to overtime and all overtime payments will remain subject to previous regulations.
Title image: President János Áder (MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry)