Wage supplements and overtime in Hungary

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Wage supplements and overtime in Hungary

When you operate a Hungarian company, planning your budget should include planning for payroll costs. Depending on your business model, you might need to apply wage supplements from time to time, so it is worth getting familiar with them.

Full-time jobs in Hungary

A full-time job in Hungary means working 40 hours each week. Regular working hours are Monday to Friday, 8 hours a day, usually somewhere around 8 am to 4 pm or 9 am to 5 pm. Of course, in some cases this schedule is not the best for running a successful business, e.g. in the case of shops, restaurants, or businesses related to logistics. In these cases, you can have your employees work in shifts, or use working time banking, for example (more on these below).

Whichever business model you choose, the 40 hours / week is the baseline. Moreover, you have to agree on regular working hours with your employees. Anything outside that will require a wage supplement. Below you can learn about the most typical examples.


Overtime is anything above the weekly 40 hours. Employees may be ordered to do overtime, but then required rest periods still need to be considered. Employees cannot be ordered to work more than 250 hours overtime each year (although this can be bumped up to 300 if your employees have a collective agreement, or even to 400 with “voluntary overtime”).

Overtime is paid not at the same hourly rate as regular work, but with an 50% surcharge. However, this applies only to regular working days. On rest days and state holidays, employees are entitled to an 50% wage supplement and extra time off, OR 100% wage supplement.

Working on Sundays

Since in Hungary, every Sunday is considered a state holiday, employees must receive a 50% wage supplement for working on Sundays, even if it is not overtime. If the Sunday in question is the employee’s rest day, they get a 100% wage supplement.

Working at night

If an employee who is not working in shifts works at least 1 hour between 10 pm and 6 am, that is considered night work. In such cases, they are entitled to a 15% wage supplement.

Working in shifts

If the scheduled starting time for work differs on at least one third of the working days and there is at least a four-hour difference between the earliest and the latest starting time, we talk about shift work. In such cases, employees working between 6 pm and 6 am are entitled to a 30% wage supplement.


Standby time means that an employee remains available for work above their regular working hours, for at most 4 hours each time. It requires a 20% wage supplement even if no actual work is performed during standby time, AND an additional wage supplement if work is required, depending on when the work is performed (on a working day, at night, or on a holiday, as indicated above). Read more here.

Working time banking

Since in some jobs, working 8 hours on 5 consecutive days is not realistic (e.g. for truck drivers), working time banking (also referred to as “allocated cumulative working time”) allows for 16×40 hours of work to be distributed over 16 weeks. However, rest periods and wage supplements must be observed in this case as well. Read more here.

Extra work needs extra compensation

Any work that is done above or out of regular working hours must be compensated. In these cases, wage supplements must be applied to the regular hourly rate of your employee. Make sure you discuss this topic with your accountant when planning the budget for your Hungarian operation, and with your employees when you negotiate their working hours.

Helpers Finance offers accounting and bookkeeping services to small and medium-sized companies operating in Hungary, including services related to payroll administration and HR support. We would be happy to support your Hungarian operation and decision making too with precise reports and accurate calculations.