Hungary’s highest court unifies court practice on records of working time
Employers have to keep records of working time. These must be updated on a daily basis and must enable identifying the start and end time of regular and overtime work and stand-by duty. The aim of this obligation is to prove that the rules concerning working time and rest periods are observed in case of inspection by the labour authority or a claim by an employee.
Since the home office has become pervasive and when work is carried out in different places, it is not always clear how to meet the requirement of being updated.
Hungary’s Curia reacted to the above in its Uniformity decision No. 1/2022 dated 27 June 2022. This declares that the Labour Code does not expressly oblige employers to keep records of timesheets at the workplace but at the same time records must be kept updated objectively and authoritatively so these requirements must be possible to supervise.
What does this mean in real life?
Firstly, time sheets definitely need not be kept at the actual workplace, so that this task can be centralized by employers.
Secondly, it is not obligatory to record the start of regular working time in real time, so it is sufficient to record the start and end times together at the end of the day.
Nevertheless, these examples are meant to be legitimate only as long as the employer can ensure the objectivity and credibility of time sheets by these methods. If the chosen techniques cannot properly ensure the right of supervision of time sheets even for the authority or the employee, the terms of recording the working time must be modified.
Based on court practice also confirmed by Hungary’s Curia, employers must identify one by one, in line with the specific conditions of their own work, how they can meet the requirements concerning timesheets.
From now on employers may establish stricter regulation in by-laws compared to the expectations of the Labour Code and the Curia but in that case the stricter rules will prevail during an inspection by the authority or a legal dispute.
Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code
Uniformity decision No. 1/2022 of the Curia of Hungary (Jpe.IV.60.014/2022/9.) on interpretation of the regulation concerning recording of working time based on the Labour Code