Every employee at your Hungarian company must have a job description. This is a separate document that details their actual tasks, which you must give your employees within 15 days after they start.
Is the job description part of the labor contract?
The labor contract is the main document that defines the relationship between employer and employee. It must be signed by both of them, and it can be modified only based on mutual agreement. (Learn more about the labor contract here.) The labor contract must name the position the employee fills, but it does not have to list all the tasks that go with the position: that is what the job description is for.
The Labor Code stipulates that once an employee starts working for your Hungarian company, they must receive written information about their tasks within 15 days. For this purpose, the employer normally provides a job description. In contrast to the labor contract, this document is not an agreement but a notice, and as such, the employer can modify it anytime on their own, without the consent of the employee – provided it still matches the position indicated in the labor contract.
Of course, it is best if the employee understands what their tasks will be before they sign the labor contract. In this sense, the job description is a formality that clarifies these tasks in a written form. This protects the rights of both the employer and the employee, and helps clear up disputes before they can escalate. In case a labor lawsuit is inevitable, the job description is always closely examined alongside the labor contract.
Essential elements of the job description
The function of the job description is to define the employee’s tasks at your Hungarian company. In line with this, it must include:
- The name of the employer (your company)
- The name of the employee
- The position or job title of the employee
- The FEOR code of the job (FEOR is the Hungarian standard classification of occupations, click here for the list)
- The tasks the employee is expected to perform in their position
- The date the job description comes into effect
Additional elements of the job description
Beside the information above, the Hungarian job description can also contain additional details about the position, such as:
- The place of the position within the organization: the employee’s direct supervisor and direct subordinates (listing only other positions, not names).
- Substitution: who can substitute the employee while they are away, and who they substitute for while that colleague is away. Please note: this is a tricky question since technically requires employees to do a job other than their own, so it might not hold in case of a dispute; make sure to consult your HR specialist if you want to include information about substitution.
- Job requirements, including necessary qualifications, skills, or even some qualities.
- Place of work
- Finishing the list of tasks by saying “and any other task the employer gives them”: while this sentence may cover additional details not listed, it does not exactly cover tasks that are not relevant to the job title and the tasks actually listed, and it will not hold up in court.
Changes to the job description
Since the job description is not an agreement but a notice given by the employer, the employer can modify it as they see fit, as long as the tasks are still reasonably covered by the job title indicated in the labor contract, and they still do not exceed the employee’s working time. In case there are too many changes to the job description, the labor contract must be updated too.
It often happens that the tasks of an employee change gradually over time, while their job description does not get updated. In such cases, the employee mas also indicate that they want their job description updated – possibly alongside a salary raise, or even a promotion (both of which require an update to the labor contract).
If you have employees who are Hungarian residents based on their employment at your Hungarian company, such changes to the job description or the labor contract are considered small, and do not warrant a new work permit application. If you are planning a major change in their position, e.g. one that involves a change in the relevant FEOR code, the work permit must be renewed with the new FEOR code, and the employee can start working in their new position only once the new work permit has been granted.
Other uses of the job description
A well-defined and precise job description can support not only daily operation, but also recruitment. When the company grows and new colleagues are needed in the same position, it will be easier to write the job advertisement, or headhunters can use this document to promote the position to promising candidates.
Operate your Hungarian company with help from the experts
As you can see, the job description in Hungary is an essential document of the employment relationship. It lists all the tasks the employer can rightfully expect the employee to perform, and as such, it protects the rights of both the employer and the employee. As a result, it is crucial to have it updated every time there is a change to the duties of the employee.
Our team at Helpers Hungary provides comprehensive assistance with paperwork related to bringing foreign talent to Hungary, from work permit application to ongoing HR support. This includes providing templates for labor contracts and assistance with creating and updating job descriptions, complete with legal advisory as necessary.