The Hungarian Government’s economic protection measures adopted on 10 April, 2020

The most recent Hungarian Government’s economic protection measures, adopted on 10 April, 2020, are as follows:

1. The Government has extended again the scope of business activities upon which tax allowances are granted. Accordingly, the enterprises pursuing any of the following activities as the main business activity are relieved of the payment of the social contribution, the vocational contribution, the rehabilitation contribution advance and they shall pay a reduced amount of health insurance contribution (maximum HUF 7,710) after employees, sole entrepreneurs and corporate bodies. These business activities are the following:
• plant propagation (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 01.30)
• growing of other non-perennial crops (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 01.19)
• growing of other perennial crops (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 01.29)
• wholesale of powers and plants (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 46.22)
• retail sale of flowers, plants, seeds, fertilisers, pet animals and pet food in special (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 47.76)
• hunting, trapping and related service activities (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 01.70)
• distilling, rectifying and blending of spirits (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 11.01)
• manufacture of wine from grape (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 11.02)
• manufacture of beer (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 11.05)
• growing of grapes (TEÁOR/NACE and TESZOR 01.21).

2. Some measures are to settle practical procedural issues; for example, with regard to the virus, special provisions are set concerning the meetings of the supreme bodies of partnerships and enterprises. Henceforth, such meetings may be held by electronic means of communication if the entity’s articles of association don’t allow to hold such electronic meeting otherwise. Furthermore, decisions may be adopted on some questions, even without holding a formal meeting.

3. State subsidy may be requested to support the salary of employees working in the research and development sector, provided that the conditions set in the Government Decree are met.

4. According to the Government Decree, the employer may unilaterally determine the maximum duration of the working time banking of the employee to be twenty-four (24) months, even if the collective agreement provides otherwise. However, the employer may not deviate from the provisions of Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code (hereinafter referred to as the Labour Code) concerning the daily and weekly working hours, the weekly rest day and the working time scheduling provisions set forth in Section 99 of the Labour Code.

5. The employer may be entitled to a state subsidy to pay the wages and salaries of employees employed in reduced working time due to the COVID-19 virus.
The employer and the employee may turn with a joint request to the competent county / municipal government office (by using the application form available on the website of Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat [National Employment Agency]) for the provision of a state subsidy in respect of the stand-down time (to be agreed upon by the employer and the employee to serve as time spent on individual development) if the employee is employed in reduced working time due to the emergency situation. The subsidy may be requested only for employees who are employed under an employment contract as regulated in Section 53 of the Labour Code and who are not employed within the frameworks of temporary agency work.
The maximum duration of this subsidy is three months. The amount of the subsidy is 70% of 30%, 40% or 50% of the monthly absentee pay (to be determined as of the day of the announcement of the emergency situation) as due proportionately for the stand-down working time, reduced by the personal income tax advance and the contributions payable after the salary. The maximum amount of the absentee pay, reduced by the payable taxes and contributions that may be taken into consideration when determining the monthly amount of the subsidy may not exceed twice the compulsory minimal wage, reduced by the payable taxes and contributions, as of the date of the submission of the application.
As a condition to the receipt of the subsidy, the employee undertakes to work in the reduced working time (involving the receipt of a proportionately less salary), furthermore, that if he/she establishes an additional employment relationship during the employment being the basis of the application, it will not hinder him/her in returning to working in the normal working hours once the term of the subsidy expires. Additionally, the employee shall undertake to be available for the employer also in the individual development time.

As a condition to the receipt of the subsidy, the employer undertakes to maintain the same number of staff for the entire term of the subsidy and one additional month; furthermore, to refrain from ordering overtime work during the term of the subsidy, and to notify the government office of any change concerning the conditions of the subsidy and the reduced working hours within two working days of the occurrence thereof, in line with the employer’s notification and cooperation obligation. In addition, the salary paid by the employer to the employee, together with the amount of the subsidy, shall be equal to the absentee pay due to the employee during the term of the subsidy; furthermore, the employer shall pay a salary for the individual development time. (If the employer has more than one business site, concerning the compliance with the obligation to maintain the same number of staff, each business site shall be taken into consideration jointly.)
Further conditions of the application and the detailed provisions concerning the termination of the subsidy are included in the Government Decree (which can be read in Hungarian here: http://www.kozlonyok.hu/nkonline/MKPDF/hiteles/MK20071.pdf ).

6. The enterprises may receive state subsidy in accordance with the C(2020) 1863 Communication of the European Commission. These subsidies are the so-called ‘temporary restructuring support’, which are non-repayable aids to be provided in the form of credit and capital support.

7. The maximum amount of the students’ loan provided for unrestricted use is increased to HUF 150,000 per study month.

Furthermore, the Decree of the Minister of Agriculture allows for enterprises interested in the agricultural sector (the main activities of which are either primarily agricultural production, aquaculture, processing and trading of agricultural products, forestry, hunting, trapping) to apply for de minimis aid.