Anti-Discrimination Laws in Hungary

1. Brief Description of Anti-Discrimination Laws

The main Anti-Discrimination Laws in Hungary are the Constitution of Hungary and Act CXXV of 2003 on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities (the “Equal Protection Act”). In addition the regulations of the European Union have major influence on the Hungarian Anti-Discrimination Laws. The Constitution of Hungary declares the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, skin color or religion. The Equal Protection Act declares the types of discrimination and describes the available remedies.

2. Extent of Protection

The Equal Protection Act prohibits the following forms of discrimination: direct negative discrimination, indirect negative discrimination, harassment, unlawful segregation, retribution, and any orders on committing such acts of discrimination. The principle of equal treatment may not be breached by behavior, measure, condition, omission, instruction or practice based on a characteristic related to any of the grounds, such as age, social origin, sexual identity, mother tongue, state of health, disability and so on. The Hungarian Labour Code sets forth the principle of equal treatment regarding the employment relationship, especially in connection with the remuneration of work.

3. Protections Against Harassment

If the employee becomes a victim of harassment he may turn to his employer to take measures against the offender. If the employer does not take the proper measures, he will be responsible for the harassment, too. In addition the employee may turn to the Equal Treatment Authority or directly to the court.

4. Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

According to the Hungarian Labour Code in the case of employment of persons with disabilities appropriate steps shall be taken to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided. The employer shall change the conditions, equipment, and the environment to enable the employee to effectively perform the job.

5. Remedies

In case of infringements of anti-discrimination laws the employee has a wide range of remedies. He may turn to the court or the Equal Treatment Authority.

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