EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Hungary: Young people and temporary employment in Europe

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 08 December 2013



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Young people in Hungary are in a difficult situation as they have to think about their career early on, otherwise they can easily get into precarious positions in the labour market. The difficulties faced in the labour market are not peculiar to young people: they are also experienced by other age groups. However, many changes introduced by the current government affect mainly the opportunities of young people both in the educational system and on the labour market. The government claims that such changes, such as the introduction of a dual system in secondary education, lowering the compulsory educational age or the quota system and new higher education system, are aimed at improving their opportunities. These actions are highly controversial for the public and the affected groups (students, schools and companies) and they are criticised as being ad hoc, short term, badly prepared and driven by the budgetary austerity policies.

Introduction

Youth unemployment has been a persistent problem in many parts of Europe for years. Over the past 3-4 years, however, since the onset of the financial crisis and the economic recession which followed, it has become an even greater and more widespread problem and one which, given the on-going depressed state of the European economies, is likely to remain for some time to come. The latest monthly figures (for September 2012) show the unemployment rate of those aged 15-24 averaging 22.8% in the EU – just over 1 percentage point higher than at the time a year earlier. In Spain, the figure was over 54% and in Greece, 57%, in both cases, much higher than a year earlier. In the worst affected countries, therefore, as in most Member States, there is very little sign of any easing of the youth unemployment problem. There are, however, a few exceptions. In Germany, in particular, youth unemployment has declined since the global recession hit in 2009 and now stands at only 8%, well below the level it was before the recession. In Norway too, the rate is only 8%, though this is slightly above the level in 2007 before the crisis. Germany, apart, there are two other countries in the EU with youth unemployment below 10% according to the latest monthly figures - the Netherlands (9.4%) and Austria (9.9%). As in Norway, in both cases, the rate is above the pre-crisis level.

Moreover, young people who do manage to find jobs often have to settle for a temporary one, defined as one with a fixed-term contract of employment. According to the European Labour Force Survey (LFS), in 2011, just under 43% of employees under 25 were in temporary jobs in the EU and well over half in Germany (56%), France (55%), Portugal, (57%), Sweden (57%), Spain (63%), Poland (66%) and Slovenia (75%). (In Norway, the figure was much lower than in most EU countries, at around 24%.) While around 40% of the young people concerned on average were in temporary jobs because they had a fixed-term training contract and another 9% were on probationary contracts, a substantial proportion (37% on average) were in temporary jobs because they were unable to find permanent ones. In the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Portugal, this figure was over 75% and in Spain and Slovakia, well over 80%.

Among young people making the transition from education or initial vocational training into employment, the proportion who takes up temporary rather than permanent jobs is much higher than for the age group as a whole. In 2011, 57% of those aged 15-24 in employment who were in education the previous year were in temporary jobs in the EU and 86-87% in Spain, Portugal and Poland. For those moving from unemployment into employment, the proportion who takes up temporary jobs is even higher on average in the EU (61%) as well as in Spain (90%).

The fact that a relatively large proportion of young people in employment are in temporary jobs may be a reason why they have been hit disproportionately hard by the crisis. In the economic downturn in 2009, many of the people who lost their jobs first were on fixed-term contracts since not renewing these contracts represented the easiest way for employers to reduce their work forces. In 2009, therefore, there was some decline across Europe in the proportion of young people in work employed in temporary jobs (see the Tables attached to the questionnaire). Since then, there has been some tendency for the proportion to increase again, in part perhaps because employers are reluctant to take on people on permanent - or standard – contracts given the uncertainty about future economic prospects.

Given the above, it is understandable that there is growing public interest, and some concern, over the nature of the jobs that young people are taking up. This concern is mirrored at EU-level where a ‘flexicurity’ approach to labour market policy has increasingly been advocated, which, in practice, means that while flexibility is an important objective, it needs to be accompanied by protection of workers’ interests if it is not to lead to a growth of precarious employment in low quality jobs. Accordingly, there is a need to obtain a better understanding of the terms and conditions applying to temporary jobs, the extent to which they are a stepping stone to permanent jobs and a working career in line with a person’s qualifications and capabilities, the access to social protection which comes with them and the measures in place to encourage employers to convert them into more stable jobs. These issues form the focus of the present study.

Definition of temporary jobs

The interest in the study is in all young people employed in temporary jobs of whatever kind, in the sense of all jobs that they are not subject to a standard contract of employment which is normally one of indeterminate length, or at least one for which no specific length is specified. Such temporary jobs can be for a period of training (i.e. traineeships or apprenticeships) or probation, intended to enable employers to check the suitability or aptitude of people for the jobs concerned. They might also be to replace someone on maternity leave or on a training programme or they might relate to a specific project of fixed duration.

All such jobs and others which are of fixed duration should be covered, whether they are part-time or full-time and irrespective of whether they are specifically for young people (such as perhaps in the case of traineeships or apprenticeships) or for people of all ages which young people happen to be doing. In some cases, it should be noted, it is relevant to include, in addition, to temporary employees, the ‘bogus’ self-employed – i.e. those people who have self-employment status but who are contracted to work for a single employer and who are effectively similar to employees who have a fixed-term contract of employment. (The cases in question relate to instances where employers use self-employment contracts as a means of employing young people without bearing the costs, and obligations, of a standard contract of employment.)

Outline of study

The study is divided in three sections. The first is concerned with the main types of job in which young people who are employed under temporary contracts work and the reasons why employers choose to use temporary contracts of employment instead of standard ones when they take on young people, as well as with the link, if any, with labour market conditions (i.e. with the extent to which the crisis has led to an increase in temporary employment). The starting point is the data summarised above, derived from the LFS, which indicate the relative number of young people employed on temporary contracts in the different European countries and the way that this has changed over the recent past (these data, as noted, are set out in the tables attached to the questionnaire). Correspondents are asked to check these data against any national data on temporary employment and to indicate where these show a different picture from the LFS data, perhaps because a different definition is adopted of temporary jobs.

Any description or commentary on national statistics should, however, remain brief, since the main task of the first section, is to review and summarise relevant sources of information on the different kinds of temporary contract under which young people are employed in each of the countries, the circumstances and areas (the types of job and the sectors of activity) in which they tend to be used and the main reasons why employers adopt them.

The second section is concerned with the access to social benefits which temporary jobs provide, distinguishing between the various kinds of benefit, and with the extent to which entitlement to benefit differs for young people employed in temporary jobs from that for those employed under standard contracts of employment. It should be emphasised that the concern is not only with the formal regulations which apply, which in many if not most countries do not make a formal distinction between temporary jobs and others, but also with de facto entitlement which stems from the nature of temporary employment. In particular, young people in temporary jobs may have difficulty in complying with the need to have a continuous period in employment, or a continuous record of paying social contributions, in order to be eligible for unemployment benefit.

The third section is concerned with the measures in place to regulate the use of temporary contracts of employment (such as specifying the number of times they can be renewed), with the attitudes of government and the social partners towards their use and with the incentives which exist to encourage the wider use of standard contracts of employment and the conversion of temporary jobs into permanent ones. A particular point of interest is the extent to which regulations and attitudes as regards temporary jobs have changed over the crisis period as the number of jobs available for young people to take up has diminished and as expanding these has become a policy priority.

A final point to note is that while it is customary to define youth employment (and unemployment) in terms of those aged 15-24, it is also the case that many of those aged 25-29 are also employed in temporary jobs, as indicated in the attached tables. Correspondents are therefore asked to extend the coverage of the study to this age group where relevant. It is recognised that in some countries the statistics available may not relate precisely to the age groups specified here, in which case correspondents should report on the age groups nearest to these.

Questionnaire

1. Importance of temporary employment for young people

1.1. Do the figures shown in the attached tables (on the number of temporary employed as a % of total employees based on Eurostat LFS data) give a reliable indication of the scale of temporary employment among the young in your country and the way that it has changed over recent years? Are there young people employed in temporary jobs who do not show up in the Eurostat figures? Are there national statistics which show a different picture from the Eurostat data? If so, please indicate what they show and give the source of the data.

These data on the number of temporary employed in Hungarian must be reliable as far as official data collection and analyses can be. Especially the trends can be derived from these data. National data are slightly different from that of EUROSTAT, but the trends are exactly the same. (2000-2011, KSH)

However, the fact of the increasing rate of temporary contract can be explained in two very different, even contradictory ways in Hungary.

On one side it is a good trend as young people get employed legally, even if it is on a temporary contract. Regarding the ‘tradition’

  • that the family covers all expenses during the children’s studies and until they get a job (only 20.9% of the 15-29 years old young people participating on daytime education has worked in the year when questioned, 2010, KSH, Budapest),
  • that there was no dual system of education (it is just being introduced in 2012) where young people could gain work experience and their life, and
  • that young people got mainly employed in the informal economy,
  • it is really a step forward. This trend shows that young people get work experience and get covered by legal allowances at least for a period of time.

At this point it must be mentioned that between 1998 and 2011 the compulsory educational age was 18 (since 2011 it got abate to 16) and the first vocational training or tertiary education was paid by the state. Parallel to this the prestige of secondary education decreased, and the requirement of having higher education at the labour market increased. As a consequence the participation in tertiary education has been increasing significantly. (In 1998 39,000 people graduated in tertiary education, in 2011 their number was 50,000, KSH, Budapest)

Now, in 2012 changes in vocational and tertiary education and in the Labour Code are being introduced, of which the consequences are not to judge or to foreseen yet. Representative impact studies on that have not been published or do not exist. The aim of all of these changes was to suit school system’s output to the requirement of the labour market and to increase youth active participation, responsibility in their education and career.

On the other side, it is a trend which advances into an insecure career path, into a dependent status which favours the employers in flexibility. If work load increases, employer can get cheap and flexible young employees, and it is easier not to prolong a contract then to terminate it.

Even though the average employment rate of the 15-24 years old young people has always been under the EU27 average, and the gap has just increased, the average employment rate of the Hungarians graduated in tertiary education has always been higher than the EU27 average – in 2000 that was 78.5% (18.3 percentage point more than the EU27 average), in 2009 61.4% (3.1 percentage point more than the EU27 average) and in the 1Q of 2012 is was 56.3% (0.3 percentage point more than the EU27 average). That means even the ones with higher education have less chance to get an employment than before.

Due to the unfavourable labour market opportunities, insecure market prospects and few working experience most of the youth –willing to work - get employed (94.8%, mainly women, and the ones with the lowest education). 3.1% of 15-19 years old people run their own businesses, 1.5% worked as a working member of associated enterprises, and 0.5% worked in family enterprises.

9.6% of overall employees had a temporary work contract in 2010 in Hungary. Employers tend to use this form of employment in the case of new hires and in cases where there are no much bargaining opportunities. Thus young people are highly likely employed on temporary work contract: 45.2% of 15-19 years old, 23.7% of 20-24 years old and 13.5% of 25-29 years old employees (17.2% of 15-29 years old employees) had temporary work contract in 2010 (KSH, Budapest).

1.2. Is there any evidence that other forms of employment are used as a substitute for temporary contracts, such as bogus self-employment where young people are contracted to provide services to a single work provider in a continuous manner so acting de facto as employees? If so, please give the source of the evidence and indicate the scale of the phenomenon in terms of the number of people concerned.

Half of the 15-29 years old young people have had some kind of work experience in 4Q2010, but most of them has had only occasional, ad hoc employment or employment during their vacation but no longer than three months. Only one quarter of these young people has had a job for longer than one year (KSH, Budapest).

Part time jobs are gaining a more significant share than temporary contract in overall employment. In 2008 179,200 part-time jobbers were registered in the Central Statistical office, their number increased to 220,000 in 2010. Unfortunately, there is no data available in the share of young part time jobbers, and any data about the terms and conditions of these employment relationships.

Young people (<30 years) are more likely to accept pocket money (17%) then the elder generations, (10%) (I.J. Tóth, 2009). Accepting pocket money also depends on the educational level, young employees with low education accept more likely pocket money (22%), and less the ones with higher degrees (6%). But in the case of own-account payment, however, the situation is exactly the opposite. The regional differences are also significant, in the eastern regions the grey or black employment is much more demonstrable than in the western regions of the country (2009, I.J. Tóth)

There are also cases where mainly (but not only) young people ask acquaintances who have a business to invoice for the work done instead of them. Often, the one giving the invoice keeps the amount for taxes and the net amount comes to the young person. Obviously, there are no statistics about the occurrence of such cases.

1.3. Please list (and give summary details, i.e. purpose and duration of the contract) the most common contract types or contractual arrangements under which young people are employed on a temporary basis (such as for traineeships, apprenticeships, probationary periods, replacement of workers on leave or projects of a fixed duration). What is the relative importance of each type of contract or arrangement in terms of the number of young people employed under them?

  • Fixed-term employment (Labour Code, 2012. 83/192 Határozott idejű munkaviszony)
    • It is normally used for project work, replacement of an employee during incapacitation
    • The period of fixed-term employment shall be determined according to the calendar or by other appropriate means. The date of termination of the employment relationship may not depend solely on the party’s will, if the duration of the employment relationship is not determined by the calendar. In the latter case the employer is required to inform the employee of the expected duration of employment.
    • The duration of a fixed-term employment relationship may not exceed five years, including the duration of an extended relationship and that of another fixed-term employment relationship concluded within six months of the termination of the previous fixed-term employment relationship.
  • Simplified employment and occasional work relationships (Labour Code, 2012. 89/201 Egyszerűsített és alkalmi foglalkoztatás)
    • Employers and employees covered by this Act may enter into simplified employment or occasional work relationships mainly agriculture and touristic jobs. Any employment contract for simplified employment or occasional work shall be considered null and void if the parties are engaged under an employment relationship at the time it was concluded.
    • An existing employment contract may not be modified by the parties to conclude a simplified employment or occasional work relationship.
    • The number of such employment relationship depends of the company’s statistical headcount.
    • 0 employees – 1 simplified employment or occasional work relationships
    • 1-5 employees – 2 simplified employment or occasional work relationships
    • 6-20 employees – 4 simplified employment or occasional work relationships
    • 21< employees – 20% simplified employment or occasional work relationships
    • No written employment contract is required in the case of simplified employment or occasional work relationships. However, the Labour Code includes a template for such contract in case the parties are willing to sign one.
    • The employment relationship shall be considered concluded upon fulfilment of the notification requirement specified by law.
    • In an occasional work relationship the employer may set the working time based on an irregular work schedule regardless of any working time banking arrangement or payroll period arrangement.
  • Part time employment (Labour Code, 2012. Részmunkaidős foglalkoztatás)
    • In general part time job means a 4-6 hours long working day based on a work contract. Payments and allowances are normally calculated according to the pro-rata-temporise principle, also with the pension payment must one carefully calculate in case of choosing this time of employment.
    • Leave days are that of a full time employee.
    • Consultants and freelance worker make the most of the part time jobbers. Further on, women are likely to use it, as during the three years maternity leave, on the mothers demand, the employer must change the full time employment contract to a part time one.
  • Call for work (Labour Code, 2012. 84/193 Munkavégzés behívás alapján)
    • Working for call enable the flexible and effective use of working time based on a specified work contract. Part-time workers employed under employment contract in jobs for up to six hours a day shall work at times deemed necessary to best accommodate the function of their jobs. In this case the duration of working time banking may not exceed four months.
    • The employer shall inform the employee of the time of working at least three days in advance.
  • Job sharing (Labour Code, 2012. 85/194 Munkakör megosztás)
    • The employer may conclude an employment contract with several workers for carrying out the functions of a job jointly. Where any one of the employees to the contract is unavailable, another worker to the contract shall fill in and perform the functions of the job as ordered.
    • The scheduling of work shall be governed by the provisions on flexible working arrangements.
    • Wages shall be distributed among the employees equally, unless there is an agreement to provide otherwise.
    • The employment relationship shall cease to exist when the number of employees is reduced to one. In this case, the employer shall be liable to pay the worker affected absentee pay covering a period that would otherwise be due in the event of dismissal by the employer; furthermore, the rules on severance pay shall also apply.
    • While in other EU countries such employees tend to share the week days among each other (Monday-Wednesday works the one; Tuesday, Thursday the other, and Friday is scheduled from A week to B week), in Hungary such employees are likely to share working hours in each day (4-6 hours each day).
  • Outworkers (Labour Code, 2012. 88/198 Bedolgozói munkaviszony)
    • Outworkers may be employed in jobs that can be performed independently, and that is remunerated exclusively on the basis of the work done.
    • The employment contract shall define the work performed by the employee, the place where work is carried out and the method and extent of covering expenses. The employee shall be reimbursed for the expenses actually incurred in connection with the work, or – if the expenses actually incurred cannot be determined – a fixed flat-rate sum shall be paid to the employee.
    • Unless otherwise agreed, the employer’s right of instruction is limited to the specifying of the technique, work processes and means to be used by the employee.
    • In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the employer shall determine the type of inspection and the shortest period of time between the notification and commencement of the inspection if conducted in a property designated as the place of work. The inspection may not bring unreasonable hardship on the employee or on any other person who is also using the property designated as the place of work.
    • The employee’s working arrangements shall be flexible.
  • Temporary agency work (Labour Code, 2012. 94/214 Munkaerő-kölcsönzés)
    • The Labour Code clears in a detailed chapter the regulations concerning temporary agency employment relationship. However, the basic working and employment conditions of temporary agency workers shall be, for the duration of their assignment, at least those available to the workers employed by the user enterprise under employment relationship.
    • Agency temporary contracts are getting used in a greater volume mainly in case of new hires at large multinational enterprises, presumably among young people. There are no data available about the 15-29 years old employees. But the national employment data show a significant increase in agency work contracts (munkaerő-kölcsönző, -közvetítő irodával kötött szerződés). In 2006 there were 17,900 (0.5% of all employment contracts) agency work contracts and 3413,500 direct contracts with the employer. It increased year by year and reached 33,700 (1% of all employment contracts) in 2011. (KSH, Budapest)
  • Compulsory professional practice at schools:
    • In Hungary the compulsory professional practice is part of the educational programme; it is not defined as a labour relation, or job. In most of the cases (60-70%) students do not get paid during these compulsory professional practice programmes either.
    • 21.6% of daytime students have got a job via school or student cooperatives (iskola-, diákszövetkezet) and 32.2% have got a job in different ways (KSH, 2011, Budapest).

Despite some older researches about the appearance of the temporary agency work contracts there are no other reliable information and statistics about the wide spreading of each form of employment in the group of young people.

1.4. Please indicate the main reasons for the emergence and development of the different types of temporary contract which you have listed in response to question 1.3. To what extent are they linked to particular conditions in the labour market or employment protection legislation/regulation in your country? What is the main attraction of such contracts to employers? What effect has the crisis had on the use of such contracts?

  • Flexibility for employers, especially after the introduction of new Labour Code (HU1211011I).
  • Labour market needs, flexibility favours especially in the times of crisis.
  • Needs for special sectors.
  • Protection for workers (better than black work), social security system - bringing money into the system of social security.
  • Whitening illegal employment.

These aims are in accordance with the current legislation in Hungary. According to numerous analyses the new Labour Code tends to facilitate atypical and flexible employment relationships.

1.5. To what extent are temporary contracts a ‘stepping stone’ to ‘permanent’ jobs (or those with standard contracts of employment of undefined duration)? Are apprentices and trainees typically taken on by the companies or other organisations concerned on standard permanent contracts once they complete their training? Has the situation changed over the crisis period? Please summarise any relevant studies which have been carried out in your country or other evidence at the national level which exists and give the reference to them.

There is no information about this.

The government’s and the Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists’ representatives said at a tripartite seminar on youth employment on 11 January 2013, as a vague conclusion on the below detailed ’first job guarantee’ labour market programme, that employers seem to be interested in employing the young, skilled and talented participants of the programme. The most attractive aspect in their employment is their flexibility and ability to learn quickly and efficiently. Exact results, however, of the programme, carried out between 1 September and 31 December, are obviously not available yet.

2. Access to social benefits

2.1. Does entitlement of young people to (contributory) unemployment insurance benefits and (non-contributory) unemployment assistance (i.e. benefits, usually means-tested, which provide a minimum level of income) differ if they are employed on temporary contracts as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate briefly the differences in eligibility conditions and any differences between types of temporary contract (including those working as self-employed for a single employer). Have there been any changes over the period of the crisis?

Equal treatment applies in these contracts concerning wages and allowances and benefits and working time for young people (aged between 18 and 29).

Actually not, minimum wages are set by the law for everyone, and the benefits and assistances do not differ in case of temporary contract to the permanent ones. These depend on the social contributions paid by the employer.

The law only distinguish employees younger than 18 years old and emphasizes the importance of their equal treatment (where they are mentioned women, and disabled people as vulnerable groups of employees). Such young workers may not be ordered to work at night and may not be ordered to work overtime. The daily working time of young workers is limited at eight hours, and the number of working hours performed under different employment relationships shall be added up.

As regards young workers:

a) the maximum duration of working time banking is one week;

b) if the scheduled daily working time is over four and a half hours or six hours, the break-time provided shall be at least thirty minutes or forty-five minutes, respectively;

c) the daily rest period allocated shall be at least twelve hours.

Young workers shall be entitled to five extra days of vacation time each year. The last time such benefit applies shall be the year when the young workers reach eighteen years of age.

2.2. Does entitlement of young people to sickness benefits and maternity benefits differ if they are employed on temporary contracts as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate briefly the differences in eligibility conditions and any differences between types of temporary contract (including those working as self-employed for a single employer). Have there been any changes over the period of the crisis?

The principle of equal treatment applies for young people. As long as social contributions are paid by the employer there are no differenes in entitlements. The only differences are the terms and conditions of termination.

2.3. Are there any differences in the entitlement of young people to old-age pensions between those employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate what these are. Have conditions of eligibility to pensions changed over the period of the crisis (including through pension reforms introduced as part of a long-term strategy to improve the financial sustainability of the system)?

The principle of equal treatment applies for young people. As long as social contributions are paid by the employer there are no differenes in entitlements. The only differences are the terms and conditions of termination.

2.4. Are there any differences in entitlement of young people to health care between those employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate what these are. Have conditions of eligibility to health care changed over the period of the crisis?

The principle of equal treatment applies for young people. As long as social contributions are paid by the employer there are no differenes in entitlements. The only differences are the terms and conditions of termination.

3. Regulation of temporary contracts and policies to support transitions into permanent contracts

3.1. Please describe briefly the regulations applying to the main types of temporary contract in your country. Do restrictions exist on the maximum duration of the different types of temporary contract for young workers or the number of times they can be renewed? Do these regulations differ by age (i.e. between young people and older workers) and/or by type of temporary contract (as mentioned in question 1.3), by occupation, or by sector of activity? Do special regulations exist for those completing apprenticeships or traineeships? Have the regulations changed over the period of the crisis – i.e. has there been a tendency for them to have been tightened or relaxed?

These regulations do not differ by age.

  • Special provisions on Fixed-term Employment (Labour Code, 2012. 83/192 Határozott idejű munkaviszony)
  1. The period of fixed-term employment shall be determined according to the calendar or by other appropriate means. The date of termination of the employment relationship may not depend solely on the party’s will, if the duration of the employment relationship is not determined by the calendar. In the latter case the employer is required to inform the employee of the expected duration of employment.
  2. The duration of a fixed-term employment relationship may not exceed five years, including the duration of an extended relationship and that of another fixed-term employment relationship concluded within six months of the termination of the previous fixed-term employment relationship.
  3. Where an employment relationship is subject to official approval, it may only be concluded for the duration specified in the authorization. If the authorization is extended, the duration of the new fixed-term employment relationship may exceed five years together with the duration of the previous employment relationship.
  4. A fixed-term employment relationship may be extended between the same parties within a period of six months, or another fixed-term employment relationship may be concluded within six months from the time of termination of the previous one on objective grounds that have no bearing on work organization, and it may not infringe upon the employee’s legitimate interest.

‘Temporary agency work’ shall mean when an employee is hired out by a temporary-work agency to a user enterprise for remunerated temporary work, provided there is an employment relationship between the worker and the temporary-work agency (placement);

’The duration of assignment may not exceed five years, including any period of extended assignment and re-assignment within a period of six months from the time of termination of his/her previous employment, irrespective of whether the assignment was made by the same or by a different temporary-work agency.’ (Hungarian Labour Code, 2012, XVI/94)

According to the principle of equal treatment:

  1. ’The basic working and employment conditions of temporary agency workers shall be, for the duration of their assignment, at least those available to the workers employed by the user enterprise under employment relationship.
  2. The basic working and employment conditions referred to in Subsection (1) shall, in particular, cover:

a) the protection of pregnant women and nursing mothers; and

b) the protection of young workers;

c) the amount and protection of wages, including other benefits;

d) the provisions on equal treatment.

  1. As regards the payment of wages and other benefits, the provisions on equal treatment shall apply as of the one hundred and eighty-fourth day of employment at the user enterprise with respect to any worker:

a) who is engaged with a temporary-work agency in an employment relationship established for an indefinite duration, and who is receiving pay in the absence of any assignment to a user enterprise;

b) who is recognized as a long-term absentee from the labour market as defined in Point 1 of Subsection (2) of Section 1 of Act CXXIII of 2004;

c) who is working within the framework of temporary agency work at a business association under the majority control of a municipal government or public benefit organization, and a registered public benefit organization.

  1. In the application of Subsection (3), as regards re-assignment to the same user enterprise Subsection (2) of Section 214 shall apply for the calculation of days of the duration of the assignment.’

(Hungarian Labour Code, 2012, XVI/97)

Termination of fixed-term contracts: Under the new code, it will be possible for employers to terminate fixed-term contracts with notice under certain conditions (Hungarian Labour Code, 2012, XVI/98)

  • Special Provisions Relating to Employment Relationships Between School Cooperatives and Their Members (Hungarian Labour Code, 2012, XVII/223 Az iskolaszövetkezet és tagjai közti munkaviszony különös szabályai)

‘A school cooperative (employer) and its full time student (employee) may enter into a fixed-term employment relationship so as to permit such student to perform work at a third party (customer) with a view to supplying services to such third party.’

’During the period of work performed by the employee, the customer shall exercise and discharge the employer’s rights and obligations relating to compliance with the provisions on:

a) occupational safety;

b) the employment of women, young workers and persons with reduced ability to work;

c) working time, rest period and the records of these.

The basic working and employment conditions of the school cooperative’s employee shall be, for the duration of work assignment at the customer, at least those available to the workers employed by the customer under employment relationship.

3.2. Do incentives exists in your country to encourage employers to opt for standard rather than temporary contracts of employment, to convert temporary contracts into permanent ones or to make it easier for employees to move from temporary to permanent contracts? If so, please briefly describe the form that these incentives take. Do they apply equally to young people as well as to older workers? Are any incentives in place to encourage employers to take on young people who have completed an apprenticeship or traineeship on permanent contracts? Have there been any changes to incentives over the period of the crisis? Are any such changes being proposed or being actively discussed at present in your country?

  • “Supporting young, entrant job-seekers to gain work-experience”: Actually, it is a financial subsidy for an employer, who employs skilled young entrants. Employers are entitled to participate, if they guaranty the employment of the worker for at least 4 hours a day, for a 1 year period in a position which corresponds to the entrants’ professional knowledge/graduation so that she/he can get practise.

START Plus Programme: The Labour Market Fund supports employers who employ entrants with tertiary graduation and guaranties the employment for at least 2 years after the granted period. The grant is 10 percent of the employees’ gross wage in the first year, 20 percent of the employees’ gross wage in the second year of the employment, if the worker is considered as an entrant (25/30 years old).

  • In August 2012, the government announced a programme, the First Working Place Guarantee Programme for the employment of starters. The employer who employed starters between 1September and 31 December has got tax allowance on their employment. This programme aimed to facilitate the employment of 3000-3500 starters. Sándor Czomba, State Secretary for Employment Affairs, claimed the good impacts of such initiatives on long term: starters get work experience at least for four months, some of them get employed for longer at the companies, and the employers can save on expenses of new hires at least for the starting period.

These programmes’ weakness is that these do not explicitly promote transition to permanent employment of young employees and they may well be dismissed in the end of the supported period.

  • A competition shall be announced for non-profit organisations, which aims to employ young people, especially entrants. These non-profit organisations would get wage allowances for 12 months. For the competition there were HUF 5 billion (EUR 17,000) available, allowing the employment of 1,600-2700 young people.
  • Another initiative was to allow employers employing employees below 25 ages not to pay any or only 50% social contribution. This has not been decided yet.

However, the new Labour Code 192.§ has worsened the automatism of converting temporary contracts into permanent ones, as it was in the previous Labour Code (79§(6) if the employee performs his duties at least one day after the contractual period the contract became permanent). At the end of the contractual period the employment must terminate, the contract becomes invalid unless the parties agree differently in advance.

3.3. Is the employment of young people on temporary contracts an important issue of concern for the social partners? Are there strong differences in attitudes and policies between employers and trade unions towards the use of temporary contracts? Have any initiatives been taken by the social partners, either jointly or separately, to encourage the use of permanent rather than temporary contracts? Have any specific initiatives been taken in respect of young people completing apprenticeships or traineeships over the types of job they are offered when their temporary position comes to an end?

No and yes, the youth issue is permanently discussed by all social partners because young people (including young women after giving birth and maternity leave) represent a significant part of the total unemployment. However, the transition to permanent contracts is insignificant next to the general employment problems and the general youth unemployment problems and internal substantial problems of trade unions.

As more and more young people who are not aware of their rights and responsibilities are employed through agencies, trade unions (like Liga) try to get closer to the agencies. This is one of their strategic steps recently published.

Temporary employees as a share of total employees aged 15-24, 2004-2011

 

% total employees

% point change

 

2004

2007

2009

2011

2004-2007

2007-2009

2009-2011

2007-2011

EU27

37.6

41.3

40.4

42.5

3.7

-0.9

2.1

1.2

BE

28.6

31.6

33.2

34.3

3.0

1.6

1.1

2.7

BG

15.3

10.3

9.3

8.3

-5.0

-1.0

-1.0

-2.0

CZ

18.0

17.4

18.7

22.3

-0.6

1.3

3.6

4.9

DK

26.9

22.5

22.8

22.1

-4.4

0.3

-0.7

-0.4

DE

55.5

57.4

57.3

56.0

1.9

-0.1

-1.3

-1.4

EE

:

:

:

13.8

 

   

 

IE

11.2

20.5

25.0

34.2

9.3

4.5

9.2

13.7

EL

26.3

27.0

28.4

30.1

0.7

1.4

1.7

3.1

ES

64.8

62.8

55.9

61.4

-2.0

-6.9

5.5

-1.4

FR

46.7

53.5

52.4

55.1

6.8

-1.1

2.7

1.6

IT

34.4

42.3

44.4

49.9

7.9

2.1

5.5

7.6

CY

16.1

23.3

18.4

17.2

7.2

-4.9

-1.2

-6.1

LV

17.3

9.3

9.3

10.7

-8.0

0.0

1.4

1.4

LT

13.8

9.8

5.0

9.1

-4.0

-4.8

4.1

-0.7

LU

24.1

34.1

39.3

34.5

10.0

5.2

-4.8

0.4

HU/ KSH

15.1/14.5

19.1/18.4

21.4/20.5

22.9/22.1

4.0

2.3

1.5

3.8

MT

9.2

11.0

11.3

17.7

1.8

0.3

6.4

6.7

NL

37.9

45.1

46.5

47.7

7.2

1.4

1.2

2.6

AT

32.4

34.9

35.6

37.2

2.5

0.7

1.6

2.3

PL

60.6

65.7

62.0

65.6

5.1

-3.7

3.6

-0.1

PT

47.4

52.6

53.5

57.2

5.2

0.9

3.7

4.6

RO

6.6

4.6

3.7

5.8

-2.0

-0.9

2.1

1.2

SI

63.1

68.3

66.6

74.5

5.2

-1.7

7.9

6.2

SK

9.9

13.7

12.5

18.6

3.8

-1.2

6.1

4.9

FI

49.8

42.4

39.0

43.4

-7.4

-3.4

4.4

1.0

SE

53.1

57.1

53.4

57.3

4.0

-3.7

3.9

0.2

UK

11.0

13.3

11.9

13.5

2.3

-1.4

1.6

0.2

NO

31.2

28.0

25.7

24.3

-3.2

-2.3

-1.4

-3.7

Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey

         
Temporary employees as a share of total employees aged 25-29, 2004-2011

 

% total employees

% point change

 

2004

2007

2009

2011

2004-2007

2007-2009

2009-2011

2007-2011

EU27

19.5

21.1

20.2

21.4

1.6

-1.0

1.2

0.2

BE

12.4

13.1

12.5

14.6

0.7

-0.5

2.0

1.5

BG

9.0

5.3

4.4

4.2

-3.8

-0.8

-0.2

-1.0

CZ

9.8

8.1

8.4

10.8

-1.7

0.2

2.5

2.7

DK

16.5

13.9

13.8

16.4

-2.6

-0.1

2.7

2.5

DE

17.2

21.2

21.2

22.0

4.0

0.0

0.8

0.8

EE

3.0

1.8

4.2

4.2

-1.2

2.4

0.0

2.3

IE

3.4

10.1

9.5

12.7

6.7

-0.6

3.2

2.6

EL

18.4

16.1

19.9

19.0

-2.3

3.8

-1.0

2.9

ES

44.0

41.2

37.5

39.8

-2.7

-3.7

2.3

-1.5

FR

18.3

20.8

20.2

22.0

2.5

-0.6

1.8

1.2

IT

17.2

22.7

23.5

26.7

5.5

0.8

3.2

4.0

CY

19.2

17.7

16.2

18.1

-1.5

-1.5

1.9

0.4

LV

11.8

3.2

4.2

5.5

-8.6

1.0

1.4

2.3

LT

5.3

4.2

2.5

3.6

-1.1

-1.7

1.1

-0.6

LU

7.6

12.5

11.2

12.7

4.9

-1.2

1.5

0.3

HU/ KSH

8.1/7.5

8.9/8.4

11.3/10.9

11.0/10.6

0.8

2.5

-0.3

2.2

MT

1.1

5.6

5.0

6.3

4.6

-0.6

1.3

0.6

NL

16.8

22.9

24.2

25.8

6.1

1.2

1.7

2.9

AT

10.0

8.8

9.6

9.8

-1.1

0.8

0.2

1.0

PL

33.8

38.7

35.6

38.9

4.9

-3.1

3.3

0.2

PT

30.3

36.6

38.6

39.2

6.3

2.0

0.6

2.6

RO

3.4

2.1

1.2

2.1

-1.3

-0.9

0.9

0.0

SI

30.7

33.7

34.1

33.9

2.9

0.4

-0.2

0.3

SK

6.8

5.7

4.1

7.7

-1.2

-1.6

3.7

2.1

FI

28.7

24.5

25.5

26.0

-4.2

1.1

0.5

1.5

SE

24.0

27.4

24.0

25.0

3.4

-3.3

1.0

-2.4

UK

6.2

7.1

6.3

5.0

0.9

-0.8

-1.3

-2.1

Source: Eurostat, European Labour Force Survey/ KSH : http://www.ksh.hu/thm/2/indi2_4_1.html

       

Zsuzsa Rindt, Ildikó Krén, Solution4.org

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