Cost-saving measures

The New Hungarian Labour Code Enters into Force

By Boglárka Kricskovics-Béli of CLV Partners (the Hungary member of Ius Laboris)

ChangesII.jpgThe new Hungarian Labour Code promises a fundamental overhaul of that country's labour law. Intended to improve competitiveness and increase employment in the face of the current economic crisis, the revised Labour Code introduces new forms of employment, and significantly changes employment rules from hiring to termination.

The new Code recognizes atypical or flexible forms of employment, and expressly allows employees to work for different employers in the same position simultaneously.

Different salaries may be paid to employees of the same employer who work in different regions.

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Obesity's Impact on Workforce Productivity & Healthcare Costs

Concern over obesity in America has grown to such an extent that the campaign to combat it now rivals the anti-smoking war that has been waged for the last decade. In much the same way that epidemiological studies linking smoking to health concerns spurred the campaign against smoking, new studies on the cost of obesity are fueling action against the obesity epidemic. The cost of the obesity epidemic is twofold: (1) it leads to a number of recognized health problems for individuals; and (2) it poses a heavy financial burden on society. Employers, in particular, are directly affected by the crisis because obesity is dramatically raising the cost of health care, decreasing employees' productivity while at work, and causing increases in absenteeism. To learn more about this issue and its implications for employers, please continuing reading at Littler's Healthcare Employment Counsel blog.  

Certain Anti-Crisis Measures Have Been Extended

The Act of 1 January 2011, published on 7 February in the Belgian Official Gazette, extends two of the five anti-crisis measures that were introduced in 2009.

Measures that have been renewed for a period of two months ending on 31 March 2011, and are extended again until 31 May 2011:

  • temporary and collective schemes to completely or partially suspend the employment contracts of white-collar workers (economic unemployment of white-collar workers);
  • grant of a crisis-related premium to dismissed blue-collar workers: Any blue-collar worker whose contract is terminated by the employer during the period of validity of this measure (excluding dismissals during the trial period, for serious reason, with a view to retirement or early retirement, in mutual agreement, due to the expiry of a fixed-term contract, or in case of collective dismissal) are entitled to a crisis-related premium of EUR 1,666 borne by the National Employment Office and/or the employer.

The following measures ceased to have effect on 1 February 2011:

  • temporary and collective reduction in working time, with or without introduction of the four-day week;
  • the "restructuring card" (with respect to workers dismissed following a bankruptcy) and targeted reduction in social security contributions paid by the employer;
  • the system of temporary and individual reduction in working time to cope with the crisis (crisis-related time credit).

Most Large Employers Will Make Changes to Their Health Care Plans, Study Finds

A survey report (pdf) of 72 large employers finds that most anticipate an increase in health health insurance2.JPGcare costs in 2011 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Affordable Care Act"), and are making changes to their plan designs in order to comply with the new health care law and its regulations. The Affordable Care Act will require health care plans to comply with a number of new standards as of September 23, 2010. To learn more about the survey report and how employers will ensure compliance with the Affordable Care Act and manage costs, please continue reading at Littler's Healthcare Employment Counsel blog.


Photo credit:  MBPHOTO, INC.

Employment Newsnotes (Issue 47, Summer 2009)

Employment Newsnotes (PDF) is a quarterly publication by Lewis Silkin covering recent UK employment law developments in an accessible, succinct and entertaining way. The latest issue includes articles on:

  • Employee expenses claims: how employers can devise a clear and effective policy
  • Preparing for swine flu: employment law issues
  • New Government proposals on medical sickness certificates
  • Cost-saving alternatives to redundancy
  • Forthcoming legislation prohibiting trade union blacklisting
  • Recovering overpayments of wages
  • Age discrimination: UK mandatory retirement regime to be reviewed in 2010
  • 'Dual discrimination' measures included in Equality Bill