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Bank holidays in Hungary in 2020

november 4, 2019

If you run a business in Hungary, you should get familiar with bank holidays, which are days when most people are not required to work. The default work days are Monday through Friday, while Saturdays and Sundays are rest days. Apart from these latter, there are 12 more bank holidays and a few extra rest days each year.

Hungarian bank holidays and rest days in 2020

  • 1 January 2020 (Wednesday): New Year’s Day
  • 15 March (Sunday): commemoration of the revolution in 1848
  • 10 April – 13 April (Friday – Monday): Good Friday through Easter Monday
  • 1 May (Friday): Labor Day
  • 31 May – 1 June (Sunday and Monday): Pentecost
  • 20 August (Thursday): St. Stephen’s Day or the Day of the New Bread
  • 21 August (Friday): rest day to make a 4 days long weekend 20 – 23 August
  • 23 October (Friday): commemoration of the revolution in 1956
  • 1 November (Sunday): All Hallows’ Day
  • 24 December (Thursday): rest day to make 4 days long Christmas holiday 24 – 27 December
  • 25 – 26 December (Friday – Saturday): 1st and 2nd day of Christmas
  • 1 January 2021 (Saturday): New Year’s Day

In 2020, many bank holidays fall on weekends, which means no change for your Hungarian company if you and your employees work on a Monday through Friday basis. However, please note that Sundays that are bank holidays are different from regular Sundays. On bank holiday Sundays, shops are typically closed, and if you need employees to work, different wage supplements will apply.

Since in Hungary people prefer to have long weekends to having one rest day during the week, if a bank holiday falls on e.g. a Thursday, the following day will also become a rest day to create a 4-day long weekend. In exchange for the extra rest day, a Saturday is declared a work day to keep the yearly number of work days the same.

Working Saturdays in Hungary in 2020

  • 29 August (for the long weekend 20 – 23 August)
  • 12 December (for a long Christmas holiday of 24 – 27 December)

Special days that are not bank holidays

Although only the above listed days are bank holidays and rest days in Hungary, please keep in mind that there are also some “short” days, when most employees are allowed to leave early, shops close around noon, and even public transport switches to night mode around 4 p.m. These are:

  • 24 December (Thursday): Christmas Eve (which is also a rest day, but shops are open)
  • 31 December (Thursday): New Year’s Eve

When planning the work load for your Hungarian company in December 2020, you should keep these short days in mind too. There is a chance your Hungarian employees will want to leave early to spend time with their families, or they might want to take these days off.

Business on bank holidays in Hungary

Employees that work for your Hungarian company in Hungary will probably not work on bank holidays. If you need them to work on these days, e.g. if you are in a business that gives continuous service, like a restaurant or an IT provider, you will have to play wage supplement, of which you can learn more from our article on overtime payment.

Business on exchanged Saturdays in Hungary

Working Saturdays are full work days. They are considered as “Fridays” as for work schedules, public transportation timetables and shop opening hours (while the calendar Friday the day before is considered as a “Thursday”). If your “nine to five” employees usually leave early (e.g. around 2 p.m.) on the last day of each week, meaning regular Fridays, they will stay full time on this calendar Friday, and leave early on the working Saturday that follows.

Many employers are more lenient with their employees on working Saturdays. This can manifest in various things, e.g. encouraging working from home, or organizing work-related, but non-working events, such as competence trainings or team-building activities.

Employers might also waive their right to have employees working on these days. On the other hand, employees can also take these Saturdays off, same as regular work days.

Want to learn more? Consult your accountant

If you want to make sure which days are regular work days, rest days, or bank holidays, and when to pay how much wage supplement to your employees, you can always consult your accountant or your payroll specialist. They can calculate for you the budget for having employees working overtime, and help you make informed business decisions.

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Labor Law and Employment in Hungary
Employment and labor law in Hungary

While you have great freedom in what tasks to assign to your employees, you should get familiar with the most important aspects of the labor law before making your first hire at your Hungarian company.

Bank holidays in Hungary in 2019

In 2019, many bank holidays will be on a Wednesday, in the middle of the week. At the same time, if the holiday falls on any other day, Hungarian people usually prefer to have long weekends in exchange for a Saturday that would otherwise be a rest day.