Employment and working conditions of migrant workers —Hungary

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 20 December 2007



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Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Migrants are defined by citizenship; looking at data on work permits or evidences on illegal migrants, the picture is similar. men are typically employed in craft and related occupations, women in various personal services and unskilled occupations. Employment of men is most common in construction. Demand for foreign labour is due to the shortage of particular occupations and the wage difference, especially in illegal employment. Evidence on wages is limited, however. Some difference is evident across the sending countries: There is a Chinese community in Hungary involved in petty trade partly as self-employed, while Romanian (ethnic Hungarian) men are involved in construction (both skilled and unskilled). Ethnic Hungarian women from Romania are more involved in personal service provision (cleaning private houses or working as a maid, taking care of elderly family members etc.). More recently Slovakian skilled labourers in industry turned to be significant on a daily commuting basis. Most of these activities are mixed, legal or illegal work colours the picture. Quality of work and employment of migrants is not a much discussed issue in Hungary, share of foreign labour has remained rather low until recently.

This Report intends to investigate the employment and working conditions of migrant workers, that is of persons who migrate from one country to another for any reasons and work as employees or self-employed in the country of destination. Clearly, migrants workers include both EU citizens and non-EU citizens moving from their country of origin to one of the countries covered by this study. In other words, you should consider both migration across EU member states, Bulgaria, Romania and Norway and (im)migration from outside this area. The general objective is to compare the employment and working conditions of non-nationals and nationals

Please stick as much as possible to the definition above. However, if this definition does not reflect an interest or the debate on migrants’ working conditions in your country, consider whether using a narrower (eg only non-EU citizens) or broader definition (eg also migrants who acquired your country’s nationality and “second generations”) would provide insights on the employment and working conditions of migrants workers or on the closely related issue of workplace discriminations based on ethnicity. In the latter case, you should report data and information on these narrower or broader groups, stating clearly the definition of migrants you are using and providing indications on how the employment and working conditions of such groups can approximate those of migrants workers as defined above.

This study aims to analyse quality of work and employment of migrants in the European Union, Bulgaria, Romania and Norway. In particular, it will cover:

  • The distribution of migrant workers, by gender, across sectors and occupations, with a view to identify possible concentrations and their reasons, such as skill shortages filled by migrants (like in healthcare), or difficulties in filling positions in some jobs with lower skilled roles.

  • The contractual relations of migrants

  • An assessment of working conditions of migrants.

  • Entry job positions, training and career opportunities.

Answers to this questionnaires should refer to data sources other than those already integrated in Eurostat data sets. Of course, this information will be included in the final report, but the authors will access these data sets directly, with a view to concentrate your efforts on less accessible sources. In practice, you should not refer to Population and Labour Force statistics provided by your national statistical service, as long as they are already included in the Eurostat data sets. This means that questions 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4 should be answered only if sources other that those already integrated in the Eurostat data sets are available and significant.

Before responding to this questionnaire, you may want to check at the following Eurostat web pages the presence and scope of your country’s data which are already available:

Population and social conditions, under:

  • Population and International migration and asylum;

  • Labour market.

General and regional statistics, under:

  • Regions and Migration statistics.

As a consequence, your answers should refer to any specific research or studies carried out by public or private bodies, selecting the most authoritative and relevant ones in terms of significance and/or coverage. Please, consider both quantitative and qualitative studies in order to cover the different issues addressed by the questionnaire. Qualitative data may replace or complement quantitative data. You will list such sources in Section 1. We are looking for national information on migrants’ working conditions based on validated sources. You will provide this information under Section 2. Please, keep into account that the questionnaire is quite open and leaves ample space for specific national input, with a view to provide a picture as complete as possible of the employment and working conditions of migrants workers and of the national debates on such issue in the countries covered by the present study. Section 3 gives room to illustrate national contexts and provide further information and comments on sources and on the presence/lack of data.

Of course, any information or analyses carried out by national statistical offices on Population or Labour Force data-sets which integrate or complement standard data should be covered (for instance, ad-hoc analyses on the labour market conditions of migrants workers recently released by a national statistical office should be included).

Please provide clear and complete references of data sources.

1. Sources of information on migrant workers

Introductory comments on the definition of migrants and content and coverage of downloadable data from the Eurostat web-page

The categories suggested by the introductory paragraph to the questionnaire to consult at the Eurostat web page are categories by citizenship. It corresponds with the most frequently used definition for migration, i.e. the definition based on citizenship, and it has also been used in Hungary. According to most recent efforts of the OECD, however, migration definition should be revised; the share of migrants by place of birth would differ considerably from the share of foreign citizens. While the previous for Hungary is 3.2, the latter was 1.4 in 2004 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1786/311311808382).

Various data are collected by the Eurostat concerning citizenship but only few of them are good enough to be used for any further analysis of migrant labour, in case of Hungary at least. Before preparing the present paper I checked all the suggested pages in detail since the recommendation was not using data referring to data sources already integrated in Eurostat data sets but using data sources other than those already integrated. Still, it is worth understanding the content and coverage of information you intend to use consulting the Eurostat webpage as well as the time series indicated.

The reasons vary:

  • information indicated (data included) on the webpage refers to a kind of definition, that is, a peculiar group of foreigners and discussing the definition is important to use the same sort of definition and data;

  • data series of the web page is often outdated or poor, although some of the data corresponds with some relevant information concerning foreign population;

  • Hungary has been a member state of the EU since 2004, that is the member of the EU-25, there is a page however, non-EU-25 member countries where, somewhat misleadingly, previous data collection on previous accession countries is also available

  • no data on the web page gives information on labour migrants or the foreign employee population in Hungary.

As for the web page data sources, I list below the pages checked and the data available

Data source overview*
Table Layout
Data source Data available
Population and social conditions, under: Population and International migration and asylum;
Acquisition of citizenship refers to the only year of 2001
Active population by broad group of citizenship, age group and sex (from 1980 on) latest data goes back to 2001, foreign citizens
Workers by citizenship, broad age group and sex no data
Population by sex and citizenship Information is limited but corresponds to the foreign register data that is most commonly used as a migration statistics in Hungary data refer to 1998-2005
Immigration by sex, age group and citizenship Data are outdated, limited for 1997-2000
Immigration by sex, age group and citizenship Data is outdated and only for 1999
Labour market.
No data by citizenship or any other category that corresponds to the migrant definition
General and regional statistics, under: Regions and Migration statistics.
Immigration by sex and age groups - Non-EU25 Countries Data are outdated, for 1992-2000 , by regions
Emigration by sex and age groups - Non-EU25 Countries Data are outdated for 1992-2000 , by regions
Immigration by sex and age group Hungary is not covered, up to 2000 Hungary was not a member state

* Data highlighted are relevant data which are available on the web page for the questions and/or time frame of the present questionnaire

The statistics on migrants based on foreign register offers only limited information on labour market activity of foreign citizens (data included in the resident permit). This data are given on the Eurostat webpage and based on foreign register, that is, a statistics based on administrative data source and covers those foreign citizens who stay in the country legally and over a year.. Data are collected on foreigners for the purpose of the foreign register data. Consequently, there is some information on their education (poor quality data source) and no information on the present activity in the destination country. Some information can be given on the activity of foreigners in their sending countries, however. As a consequence, there is no information on the share of active foreign labour among total labour. Data refer to the total number of foreigners.

Availability of alternative sources and their use:

Statistics on foreign employment based on work permits are more detailed and cover foreign citizens employed in Hungary. This data source has also the limit of administrative data, however. Most of those included into the register are registered for less than a year, consequently mostly – but not fully – complementary to those included into the statistics on migrants based on foreign register

Labour Force Survey (LFS). Size and share of migrants is moderate, around 1-2 per cent of the relevant population, in Hungary. According to LFS data and due to the limited share and very strong regional concentration of migrant labour in the capital of Hungary, that is in Budapest and its surrounding, data on migrant labour in the LFS is very scarce and more detailed analysis is only possible using this limited data supply.

Census data are more detailed on labour market activity of foreign citizens but recent census data refer to February 2001 and the population covered by the census does not include considerable share of migrant labour.

Are there studies or analyses in your country which cover the employment and working conditions of migrant workers?If so, please specify for each of these sources:

a) The type: 1) specific chapters in general working conditions’ surveys; 2) ad-hoc surveys on migrants’ working conditions; 3) case studies - ie studies of specific situations, such as on certain nationalities, local areas and the like - on migrants’ working conditions, 4) other relevant reports on migrants’ working conditions which have been regularly or recently published.

Data or qualitative information on migrants are not collected in any particular survey on work condition. There are sporadic anecdotic case studies or informal information on the poor working conditions of particular groups of foreign workers, mostly illegal workers, as well as news on accidents happened to foreigners (at construction work). LFS intends to have an ad hoc module on working conditions which has not been carried out before.

Labour inspectorates have some information on those illegal workers who were recognised as illegal workers in the course of control by the inspectorate at the job. Poor labour conditions and safety measures are reported but no systematic data collection vs. registration. More detailed data collection is not possible. Some serious accidents have also drawn attention to the bad work circumstances of foreigners – mostly illegally employed construction workers.

Discrimination has been the subject of some research; the discrimination of considerable native roma population outnumbers migrant population and foreign labourers and suppresses the relevance to focus onto the issue.

b) the authors of such studies or analyses (national statistical office - only if distinct from regular surveys which are included in Eurostat data sets, like Labour Force Surveys -, labour inspectorates, bodies responsible for health and safety at the workplace, social security bodies, other public bodies, employers, trade unions and NGOs, universities or research institutes);

No such author or source can be mentioned

c) the definition of migrant worker they use. Are migrant workers who acquired citizenship or “second generations” included in such definition?;

The definition of migrants and any data-collection in Hungary are based on citizenship. No data on second generations is available. People born abroad (migrant workers) who acquire citizenship are mostly not registered as migrants. Separate statistics are available but no research on their particular labour circumstances

d) at which level these studies are carried out (national, sector, regional, other); and

No such level can be mentioned

e) present briefly the methodology and structure of such studies or analyses, including the scope and focus of the questions on migrant workers.

According to the above mentioned there is no methodology to present

f) If available, please provide links to relevant websites.

2. Information on migrant workers

Please present the results of the above mentioned studies and analyses. The questions below provide indications on the aspects we would like you to cover in your answers, if relevant and significant information are available. If the variables used in your sources do not match precisely the ones indicated below, use those available, providing a brief description if needed.

Questions 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4 should be answered only if sources other that those already integrated in the Eurostat data sets are available and significant (see the introductory section for the Eurostat web pages which should be consulted).

In each case, state clearly the source and, if available, provide relevant links.

Moreover, indicate whether data include illegal migration and, whenever possible, distinguish between legal and illegal migrants.

2.1 Migrant population (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

a) Total number (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

Official data on migrants based on foreign register includes no data on educational level. The same data are indicated in Eurostat web page (and published in the Hungarian Demographic Yearbook of the Central Statistical Office). More information is collected while people are registered but this administrative data are neither sophisticated nor comprehensive enough to publish them in comprehensive statistics. Data has been collected, developed and published as a special issue by Central Statistical Office (Hárs, Á,- Sárosi, A, - Tóth , P.P. ‘Time Series of the International Migration, 1990–2000, Budapest, 2003’ under research project ‘The causes and consequences of immigration to Hungary, NKFP–5/0084/2002’). This information is somewhat outdated, however, consequently it can hardly be used for the purpose of the present publication.

There is fairly detailed data on the labour market and demographic characteristics of foreign citizens covered by Census 2001. This data, however, covers only a very limited part of all foreigners – around 37,000 in contrast to the 115,809 foreign citizens included in foreign register in 2001 as a basis of statistics on foreigners (cp. Eurostat wab-page). The other important data source would be the Labour Force Survey, a survey of a large sample and relevant information, covers about the same small amount of foreign citizens (38,000 foreign citizensin 2001).

We also know that a considerable part of foreigners are not employed or involved in any activity. A share of 30-40 percent of the total foreign population is likely not working since they were unpaid family members or they are on pension in their home country already. In addition, a considerable share of foreign population in Hungary are students at various level (see table below).

Inactive foreign citizens in foreign register, 1st Jan. of the year

  2001 2004 2005 2001 2004 2005
  Persons %
unpaid family members, on pension
  1. 292

  1. 139

  1. 690

14.6 15.3
students 20 115 12 956 18 562 18.5 12.5 15.2
total (without unknown) 108 607 103 699 122 205 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: Unpublished data given by the CSO, calculation from the foreign register data source - Give each time date of publication of the source indicated (to be applied as well to all the following tables) – Unpublished data were kindly given from the CSO,

b) As a percentage of total population (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

No different data as included in the web page

2.2 Illegal immigration (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

1. Please provide all data/estimates available concerning:

a) Total number.

No reliable information/estimation on the size of illegal immigration - In the following answer you speak about a "majority of illegal migrants" – In the following answer I speak about the geographic vs. ethnic origin of the illegal migrants. Due to the nature of the illegal migration there are no statistical data on illegal migration. There is no research or official estimations either. According to everyday evidences and “experts estimations” based eg. on labour inspectorates’ sporadic information (see below) it is obvious that there is a presence of informal labour in construction, in agriculture and at domestic services (domestic servant, maid, nursing children or taking care of elderly people). No data on size, but evidence on the presence

A special form of informal labour market, the “peak of the iceberg” of the informal market in a way, is the open air day-labour market. Almost every major Hungarian city has at least one open-air informal market of goods and labour. The open-air labour markets analysed between 1995 and 2004 have the following characteristics: most of the transactions of the informal labour market-place take place before 10 a.m., the peak hours are before 7 a.m, the informal labour market-place is seasonal with the peak months in the spring and summer, it is concentrated to Budapest and its vicinity, the typical jobs are casual unskilled job in construction, and the typical employee is a male from Romania who has low wage,as to migrant workers, there is a substantial amount of ethnic Hungarians from Transylvania among the employees, the dominant groups are “Hungarian Hungarians” and ethnic Romanians from Romania, and, finally compared to the ethnic Hungarians, those with Romanian or Roma ethnic background has a significant wage disadvantage on the informal labour market-place. (Sik, E. (2006) Emberpiac a Moszkva-téren – szűkülő változatlanság 1994 és 2004 között. (Men-market on the Moszkva square – narrowing steadiness from 1994-2004) Közgazdsági Szemle (53) No.3 pp :253-270):

b) Nationality.

The overwhelming majority of illegal migrants – see comment above corresponding to the share of legal ones – are ethnic Hungarians from Romania, and to a lesser extent ethnic Hungarians from other surrounding countries like Yugoslavia, Slovakia.

c) Distribution by sectors.

Those who are employed illegally work mostly in construction, seasonal work in agriculture, personal service like cleaning or taking care of the elderly, etc.

d) Distribution by occupations.

Unskilled non-agricultural and agricultural, skilled labour (various construction occupation)

Please briefly illustrate the methodology used to collect/generate such data/estimates.

Since 1990, when immigration started to increase, case studies and everyday experiences have been uncovering the structure of illegal immigration; no successful and reliable estimation on the size of migration, however.

2.3 Migrant active population (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

a) Total number (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

No data on the employment of foreign population, estimation by gender, age, nationality or educational level is hardly possible

A rough estimation using LFS row data we has been carried out in order to have a picture on those covered by the LFS (with some limitations since LFS concerning migrant labour due to the sample bias, e.g. LFS do cover only a limited and very low share of foreigners). The citizenship is differentiated by EU vs. Non EU European citizens, the latter includes the largest Hungarian migrant populations of ethnic Hungarians from the surrounding countries.

Foreign and total population (age 15-64) by ISCED categories

Age 15-64 Total poplation Foreign EU citizens Foreign Non-EU citizens
ISCED categories men women total men women total men women total
Primary or less 861 414 1 082 945 1 944 359 199 504 703 2 713 5 023 7 736
lower secondary 1 154 650 626 660 1 781 310 524 393 917 4 727 4 208 8 935
upper& post secondary 871 348 1 227 334 2 098 682 722 1 048 1 770 8 205 8 592 16 797
tertiary 430 222 542 686 972 908 1 749 1 175 2 924 2 663 2 649 5 312
? 10 737 6 713 17 450 59   59 215   215
Total 3 328 371 3 486 338 6 814 709 3 253 3 120 6 373 18 523 20 472 38 995

Source: calculated from the LFS data

Foreign and total population (age 15-64) by ISCEDcategories
percentages
Age 15-64 Total population Foreign EU citizens Foreign Non-EU citizens
ISCED categories men women total men women total men women total
Primary or less 25.9 31.1 28.5 6.1 16.2 11.0 14.6 24.5 19.8
lower secondary 34.7 18.0 26.1 16.1 12.6 14.4 25.5 20.6 22.9
upper& post secondary 26.2 35.2 30.8 22.2 33.6 27.8 44.3 42.0 43.1
tertiary 12.9 15.6 14.3 53.8 37.7 45.9 14.4 12.9 13.6
? 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.8   0.9 1.2   0.6
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: calculated from the LFS data

b) As a percentage of active population (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

Cp. data above

c) Employed (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

Due to the low number of foreigners it is hard to give more detailed data according to all categories required. Employment of total foreign population by main groups of nationality is given below.

Employment of foreign and total population (age 15-64) persons
Table Layout
  Total population Foreign EU citizens Foreign Non-EU citizens
  men women total men women total men women total
non-employed 1 227 124 1 708 939 2 936 063 1 095 1 180 2 275 4 122 9 739 13 861
employed 2 101 246 1 777 399 3 878 645 2 157 1 938 4 095 14 401 10 732 25 133
Total 3 328 370 3 486 338 6 814 708 3 252 3 118 6 370 18 523 20 471 38 994

Source: calculated from the LFS data

Employment of foreign and total population (age 15-64) Percentages
Table Layout
  Total population Foreign EU citizens Foreign Non-EU citizens
  men women Total men women Total men women Total
non-employed 36.9 49.0 43.1 33.7 37.8 35.7 22.3 47.6 35.5
employed 63.1 51.0 56.9 66.3 62.2 64.3 77.7 52.4 64.5
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: calculated from the LFS data

Looking more into the details of the employment of the 15-64 age population by educational level we found different evidence than employability. Considerable share of the employment age population (age 15-64) is non-employed due to the fact that a high share of migrants are students, mostly ethnic Hungarians from the neighbouring countries (cp. table).

Employment of foreign citizens by the level of education and main groups of citizenship
Table Layout
  Foreign EU citizens Foreign Non-EU citizens
  non-employed emp-loyed Total non-employed emp-loyed total
  % persons % persons
Primary or less 67.5 32.5 100.0 702 68.9 31.1 100.0 7 736
lower secondary 48.9 51.1 100.0 916 24.4 75.6 100.0 8 935
Upper & post secondary 69.6 30.4 100.0 1 769 30.2 69.8 100.0 16 797
tertiary 4.1 95.9 100.0 2 924 23.9 76.1 100.0 5 311
?   100.0 100.0 59   100.0 100.0 215
Total 35.7 64.3 100.0 6 370 35.5 64.5 100.0 38 994

Source: calculated from the LFS data

d) As a percentage of total employment (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

Cp. data above

e) Specific rates of: participation, employment, unemployment (by gender, age, nationality, education level).

Cp. data above

f) Do the abovementioned indicators vary significantly according with the nationality of migrant workers (for instance, a certain nationality is significantly more or less represented in active population or unemployment? If such variations exist, which are the reasons put forward to explain them?

Definite difference between EU and non EU citizens can be recognised.

2.4 The distribution of migrant workers across sectors and occupations (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

a) Are migrant workers over- or under-represented in specific sectors or occupations? If so, specify which sectors and occupations. Please distinguish whenever relevant or possible between men and women.

Migrant workers are overrepresented in particular branches and peculiar occupations. Some difference is evident when looking at the small share of foreign population included into the LFS. While EU citizens are employed at highly educated professions, non-EU citizens work in various manual jobs, women can be found more in service and unskilled jobs, while men are in craft and related occupations.

Foreign and total population (age 15-64) by occupations persons
Table Layout
Age group 15-64 total population EU Non EU Europe
  men women Total men women Total men women Total
1 Lawyers, managers 268 775 140 411 409 186 355 0 355 1 873 580 2 453
2 Professionals 222 578 336 878 559 456 1 367 717 2 084 1 335 1 581 2 916
3 Technicians 221 236 469 246 690 482 162 476 638 1 232 1 301 2 533
4 Clerks 19 576 299 781 319 357 0 493 493   999 999
5 Service, shop workers 315 664 488 948 804 612 16 217 233 2 693 4 177 6 870
6. Skilled agricult. 98 512 44 419 142 931 0 129 129 546 655 1 201
7 Craft and related 792 702 180 084 972 786 471 102 573 5 505 2 381 7 886
8 Plant and machine operators 402 708 207 256 609 964       1 186 1 408 2 594
9 Elementary occupations 212 734 271 105 483 839 0 41 41 1 135 1 649 2 784
Total 2 554 485 2 438 128 4 992 613 2 371 2 175 4 546 15 505 14 731 30 236

Source: calculated from the LFS data

Foreign and total population (age 15-64) by occupations Percentage
Table Layout
  total population EU Non EU Europe
  men women Total men women Total men women Total
1 Lawyers, managers 10.5 5.8 8.2 15.0   7.8 12.1 3.9 8.1
2 Professionals 8.7 13.8 11.2 57.7 33.0 45.8 8.6 10.7 9.6
3 Technicians 8.7 19.2 13.8 6.8 21.9 14.0 7.9 8.8 8.4
4 Clerks 0.8 12.3 6.4   22.7 10.8   6.8 3.3
5 Service, shop workers 12.4 20.1 16.1 0.7 10.0 5.1 17.4 28.4 22.7
6. Skilled agricult. 3.9 1.8 2.9   5.9 2.8 3.5 4.4 4.0
7 Craft and related 31.0 7.4 19.5 19.9 4.7 12.6 35.5 16.2 26.1
8 Plant and machine operators 15.8 8.5 12.2       7.6 9.6 8.6
9 Elementary occupations 8.3 11.1 9.7   1.9 0.9 7.3 11.2 9.2
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: calculated from the LFS data

When looking at data on work permits or evidences on illegal migrants, the picture is similar; men are typically employed in craft and related occupations, women in various personal services and unskilled occupations. The employment of men is most common in construction. Demand for foreign labour is due to the shortage of particular occupations and the wage difference, especially in illegal employment. Evidence on wages is limited, however.

b) What are the possible reasons of such over- or under-representation? Are specific skill shortages filled by migrants? Are there specific policies devised to attract migrant workers in certain sectors or occupations? Please distinguish whenever relevant or possible between men and women.

When looking at data on work permits or evidences on illegal migrants, the picture is similar; men are typically employed in craft and related occupations, women in various personal services and unskilled occupations. The employment of men is most common in construction. Demand for foreign labour is due to the shortage of particular occupations and the wage difference, especially in illegal employment. Evidence on wages is limited, however. A research on the migration expectation of the most sending countries proved that reservation wages of potential migrants, that is the minimal amount they expect to get when taking a job in Hungary is around or above the Hungarian minimum wage even in low quality job. That is, expect wages are likely not much below the native wages.

c) Does the presence in the different sectors or occupations vary significantly according with the nationality of the migrant workers (for instance, a certain nationality is significantly more or less represented in cleaning, health, or in managerial position or in elementary occupations? If such variations exist, which are the reasons put forward to explain them?

Some difference is evident across the sending countries: There is a Chinese community in Hungary involved in petty trade partly as self-employed, while Romanian (ethnic Hungarian) men are involved in construction (both skilled and unskilled). Ethnic Hungarian women from Romania are more involved in personal service provision (cleaning private houses or working as a maid, taking care of elderly family members etc.). More recently Slovakian skilled labourers in industry turned to be significant on a daily commuting basis. Most of these activities are mixed, legal or illegal work colours the picture.

According to work permit statistics we can illustrate differences in employment by citizenship. 90 percentages of the total work permits (67 thousands in 2005) were given to citizens of only 5 countries: Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Yugoslavia and China. The role and weight of various sending countries is different, as indicated in table below. Far the largest labour migrants source country is Romania, the second largest in the last 3 years Slovakia, and the third one Ukraine (Some statistics on work permit see: http://www.afsz.hu/engine.aspx?page=stat_kulf_munkavall_mo-on).

The number of work permit by main sending countries*
Table Layout
Sending countries 2003 2004 2005 1st half of 2006
Romania 27609 35221 30898 31102
Slovakia 5686 11402 15116 16141
Ukraine 7621 8823 7562 7942
Yugoslavia 937 1082 1298 1421
China 899 894 1089 1140
Others 5899 6297 6822 7390
Total

Source: calculated from the work permit data From work permits for third country nationals, registration for the New EU8-members and EU15 nationals.

Foreigners working at various branches are represented in the next table. Romanian labourers outnumber others. Most people work in construction and in the industry sector but in all the other branches as well. 26 percent of Slovaks are involved in industry but the service work is also important. Ukrainians are employed in construction. Work permits are given to Chinese citizens mostly for trade activity, in addition to self employed Chinese in Hungary (cp. table below)

Foreign labour by branches, 2005
Table Layout
Country of origin Total Agri-culture Industry Const-ruction Trade Other service Public admin. Others
persons breakdown, percentage
Romania 33875 9 20 35 17 6 5 7
Slovakia 15116 1 58 3 2 26 3 7
Ukraine 8258 4 14 55 10 7 5 6
Yugoslavia 1543 11 32 14 15 7 14 7
China 1216 0 7 0 83 2 2 5
Together 60008 6 29 29 14 11 5 7

Source: calculated from the work permit data

2.5 The contractual relations of migrants (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

a) Extent of undeclared employment (men, women). As a reference, please provide the same indicators for nationals.

Due to the nature of undeclared employment there is no reliable information neither on native nor on foreign undeclared employment.

b) Employment status: self-employed with employees, self-employed without employees, employee (men, women). As a reference, please provide the same indicators for nationals.

Based on LFS data (for 2005) we can see some data on the employment status of those foreigners included into LFS, compared with Hungarians data. According to data foreigners are more likely employed with a kind of partnership, or are member of partnership like nationals who are at a higher rate employees. Self-employment is about the same importance for foreigners and nationals. Men are much more interested in being member of partnership, women are more likely employee with a kind of partnership.

Foreign labour by employment status of foreigners and natives 2005
Table Layout
  Total EU Non EU
  Men women Total Men women Total Men women Total
Employee 76.9 85.1 80.9 76.6 60.0 69.0 64.6 73.2 68.8
Employee with partnership 6.5 5.8 6.2 4.9 8.2 6.4 5.3 14.3 9.7
Casual work 1.2 0.5 0.9       3.7 3.4 3.6
Member of partnership, 4.4 2.3 3.4 14.9 6.1 10.9 16.8 4.4 10.8
Self-employed 10.6 5.7 8.3 3.7 19.2 10.8 9.6 3.9 6.8
Unpaid family worker 0.3 0.6 0.4   6.5 3.0   0.8 0.4
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
N 2606856 2456417 5063273 2590 2174 4764 15607 14730 30337

Source: calculated from the LFS data

c) Type of contract: open-ended, fixed-term, temporary agency work (men, women). As a reference, please provide the same indicators for nationals.

Over 92 percent of employment contracts is open ended in Hungary, over 93 percent for women. As for foreigners, included into LFS about 85 percentage of the contracts are open ended and fixed terms are for 6-12 month. Share of temporary agencies are unknown in foreign employment, It is reported however to increase. Work permits are given mostly for a year, however and are mostly to be renewed, consequently a big share of foreigners work under fixed term contracts

d) Duration of contracts in case of temporary employment (average) (men, women). As a reference, please provide the same indicators for nationals.

No data with regard to foreigners

e) Retention: employment with the same employer after 12 months (men, women). As a reference, please provide the same indicators for nationals.

Work permits can be renewed after 12 months but we can not differentiate between new a contract or a renewed contract. No data is available on the retention of fixed term contracts for nationals either.

f) Working hours: full-time, part-time, (men, women). As a reference, please provide the same indicators for nationals.

In Hungary, full time employment is common and its share is rather high. There is no data on the working time of foreign workers.

g) Diffusion of “second jobs” (men, women) and the professional status in the further job(s) (men, women).

No proper data on second job is availbale, although in Hungary it is well known that people are tend to have more jobs

h) Do the abovementioned dimensions vary significantly according with the nationality of the migrant workers (for instance, a certain nationality is significantly more or less represented in undeclared, work, self-employment, temporary employment and so on? If such variations exist, which are the reasons put forward to explain them?

No data

2.6 Working conditions of migrants (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

Please distinguish per nationality whenever relevant.

a) Wage levels, compared with national workers;

No data is available on this, not even for nationals, wage data being sensitive.

b) The incidence of low-paid jobs (that is, according to the OECD definition, jobs which pay less than two-third of the median wage), compared with national workers.

See above. Reservation wage has been asked in the LFS but no reliable answer.

a) Working hours, compared with national workers:

- average hours usually worked per week, including overtime;

- average hours of overtime work per week;

- diffusion of long working hours (more than 10 hours a day);

- diffusion of work at unsocial hours (night, weekend);

- diffusion of work on shifts;

- for migrant workers having more than one job, average hours worked per week in such further jobs.

No data available.

d) Exposure to risks and accidents at work:

- work accident rates for migrant workers and, as a reference, for nationals;

- sectors and occupations where risks of accidents for migrant workers are higher;

- working conditions (vibration, noise, high/low temperatures etc.) in the three sectors where migrant workers are mostly present in your country.

Risks at work are common for foreign labourers and anecdotic information would also support it. However, there is no data or systematic data collection on this although the inspectorate (No, it is not systematic report. As I mentioned in the report ’ A recent report of the labour inspection [….] dedicates one paragraph t o the employment of foreign workers in Hungary’).has sporadic information on these cases.

e) Health outcomes, work-related health problems and occupational illnesses:

- occupational illness rates for migrant workers and, as a reference, for nationals;

- sectors and occupations where risks of work-related health problems for migrant workers are higher.

No data

f) Existence of information on risks, health and safety at the workplace in the national language of the migrants.If such information is present:

i) what is the basis of this presence (law, collective bargaining, firm policy, other);

ii) is it present in every sector or workplace? If no, please specify in which sectors and/or workplaces it is present;

iii) are there any specific initiatives, including training, on health and safety at the workplace devised specifically for migrant workers? If yes, please specify the initiators and content of such initiatives and whether they are implemented using the language of the migrant workers.

No information

Individual disputes at the workplace which involve migrant workers and, as a reference, nationals.

No information

2.7 Level of education and occupational position: over-qualification and under-qualification (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

Please distinguish per nationality whenever relevant.

a) The present job position of migrant workers appears to be adequate to their level of education? With reference to this aspect, what is the condition of nationals?

No information

2.8 Participation in training and possibilities for competence development (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

Please distinguish per nationality whenever relevant.

a) What is the rate of participation to training during working time of migrant workers (average over the last 12 months) and, as a reference, of nationals?

No information

Is the access to other possibilities of competence development (such as apprenticeship) of migrant workers equivalent to that of nationals?For the time being information on these issues are not collected by nationals, nor is it asked if they are native or non native.

2.9 Career development (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

Please distinguish per nationality whenever relevant.

a) Entry occupations and the pace of career development (compared with those of nationals).

No information

b) Do migrant workers have access to career advancements on an equal basis with nationals?

No information

c) Are there data/information on discrimination in careers between migrants and nationals? If yes, please provide a brief summary of the evidence.

No information

2.10 Union representation and collective bargaining (including recent trends in the 2000-2005 period)

Please distinguish per nationality whenever relevant.

a) Do migrant workers concentrate in non-union workplaces or in less-than-average unionised sectors? If yes, please provide some details.

No information on that at all.

b) Do migrant workers concentrate in workplaces or sectors where collective bargaining coverage is lower than average? If yes, please provide some details.

Yes, often.Since legal migrant workers are, according to chapter 2.4, concentrated in construction, trade and various industries (see inserted average total data on the work permits by branches) where collective bargaining is lower than average and foreign workers are not recruited, consequently they do not work for big companies, it is likely that legal foreigners mostly work in workplaces where collective bargaining coverage is below average (no data, however). Slovakian workers are employed recently in industrial companies that are covered by collective bargaining. As for illegal workers (see inserted paragraph of comments), collective bargaining is not possible, of course.

c) Union membership and presence among trade union representatives of migrant workers.

No information

2.11 Any other information on employment and working conditions of migrant workers which is relevant for your country. Please distinguish per nationality if relevant.

3. Commentary by the NC

Please provide your own comments on employment and working conditions of migrants workers in your country.

There is not much information documented on the employment and working conditions of foreign workers in Hungary. There is some sporadic knowledge however. Foreign labour is underpaid in Hungary, compared to the nationals. In some cases foreigners are also badly treated. Bad work conditions or hard work for foreigners is well known but no research will be carried out. The work conditions and working circumstances of foreign workers are considered as a marginal issue even if some bad signs are present.

A recent report of the labour inspection about the situation of work conditions dedicates one paragraph to the employment of foreign workers in Hungary. In order to control the regulation concerning equal work conditions for foreign and native workers they report on two different groups of workers. A) EU citizens are working in Hungary, to perform special tasks to start working peculiar equipments or service. Their job requires high qualification and the equipments they work with are also of high-tech. Nevertheless, 120 persons suffered accident during work, although not very serious ones. B) Non-EU citizens who are mostly employed in construction or agriculture seem to work partly without a work contract or work permit. Those employers who employ foreign labourers without proper documents are careless concerning work conditions, as well. There is no difference, however, between the work conditions of national or foreign citizens employed. In 2005, 131 accidents were reported, 5 of them were fatal, due to poor safety and bad conditions at construction sites. The report has been based on the information and experiences of work safety authorities in Hungary. (Tájékoztató jelentés a Kormány részére a nemzetgazdaság 2005. évi munkavédelmi helyzetéről)

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