A bank holiday is a day when the majority of people working in employment is not required to work. For people working on normal working hours (Monday through Friday), Saturdays and Sundays are rest days. Above that, there are 11 bank holidays and a few extra rest days in Hungary in 2019.
In 2019, many bank holidays will be on a Wednesday, in the middle of the week, while Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will all be work days. 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. As a result, depending on which day of the week bank holidays are, the previous or the following day is granted a rest day by the government to make a long weekend for everyone. In that case, a Saturday is declared a work day instead, to keep the number of work days over the year the same.
Please note: while only the above listed are bank holidays in Hungary, you should keep in mind that around the end of the year there are two “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:
Please keep this in mind when planning work load in December 2019, since your Hungarian employees will probably want to leave early to spend time with their nearest and dearest, or they might want to take these days off.
The Hungary-based employees of your Hungarian company are regularly not going to work on bank holidays. Of course, you might still need them to work on these days – maybe because you are in a business that gives continuous service, like a restaurant. In that case, you will have to pay your employees increased wages (see our article on overtime payment).
Working Saturdays count as full work days. Regarding work schedules, public transportation timetables and shop opening hours, they are considered “Fridays” (while the calendar Friday the day before is considered a “Thursday”). So if your “9 to 5” employees usually leave early (e.g. around 2 p.m.) on the last weekdays, i.e. on regular Fridays, they will stay full time on this calendar Friday, and leave early on the working Saturday.
On working Saturdays, most employers are more lenient with employees. At many companies, working home office is encouraged, or work-related, but non-working events are organized, such as a competence training or a team-building activity.
At the same time, the employer may decide to waive their right to have employees working on these days. Alternatively, employers may also take these Saturdays as holidays from their own paid holidays, as if these were regular work days.
When in doubt, you can always consult your accountant or payroll advisor, who calculates the payrolls for you and your employees, and keeps tab on holidays, rest days, and working Saturdays. They will be able to help you calculate the budget if you need your employees work overtime, and have to pay wage supplements to them.
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