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Govʼt decree makes ʼhome officeʼ easier for businesses

A decree published in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny allows employers to unilaterally instruct their staff to work from home, Hungarian news agency MTI reports.

The decree allows employers to draw up work schedules in a manner "diverging" from rules in the Labor Code requiring changes to schedules "in the event of unforeseeable circumstances" to be made at least 96 hours before they come into effect.

The decree also gives employers the freedom to take steps to check up on the health of their employees.

Provisions in collective contracts that counter the provisions of the decree may not be exercised as long as the decree is in force.

The decree also codifies a number of other measures announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday that aim to ease the impact on businesses and households of efforts to contain the coronavirus. These include a moratorium until the end of the year on payments of principal, interest, and fees on all retail and corporate loans.

The decree stipulates that those payment moratoriums may be extended beyond the December 31, 2020 deadline by government decree.