Hungary to cap non-EU workers; impact unclear

23 Jul 15

HUNGARY

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Hungary has taken steps to ensure that the total number of non-EU nationals working in the country does not exceed the monthly average of job openings.

What does the change mean? Hungary issued a decree on the matter July 18, but there are still a number of questions about how the decree will be implemented. It is possible that the monthly average of job openings will exceed the number of non-EU nationals. If the number of non-EU nationals legally working in Hungary does not increase significantly, the quota may not have much impact.

  • Implementation time frame: The decree took effect July 18.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing non-EU nationals in Hungary.
  • Business impact: The impact on business remains to be seen; it is not yet clear whether a cap on non-EU nationals will affect employers’ ability to recruit.
  • Next steps: Data on the monthly averages of open jobs (measured by workforce requests) and the number of non-EU nationals working in Hungary will be published in August.

Background: The decree is part of a broader effort in Hungary to limit the impact that immigration is having on the country.

The goal of the decree is to ensure that the total number of non-EU nationals working in the country does not exceed the monthly average of open jobs. Job openings will be measured by counting published workforce requests. Openings for government jobs and “workforce requests aimed at the employment of third-country nationals” will not be counted.

Questions remain both as to how, exactly, the figures will be counted – including what it means for a job request to be “aimed at the employment of third-country nationals” – and what policy measures might be taken once the figures are tallied.

BAL Analysis: While the Hungarian government has sent a signal that it is interested in stricter regulation of the number of non-EU nationals working in the country, there are still questions about how the cap on non-EU workers will be set. If the cap is high enough, it may not have an impact on business recruiting. BAL will monitor the implementation of the decree and alert clients to significant developments.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Hungary. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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