Although from 1 November, the government regulation allows companies and businesses to make it obligatory for their employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, the questions about immunity still shall be avoided at a job interview. In addition, it will not necessarily be justified to obligate teleworkers to take up the vaccine.
It will still not be allowed to ask the applicant to present the certificate of immunity at a job interview and ask about his/her immunity. At least according to the text of the Government Regulation 598/2021 (X. 28.) published in the Hungarian Gazette and the information currently available. It is important to emphasize, that the law only allows the processing of data relating to immunity in case of an employment relationship. At a job interview, no such legal relationship exists between the applicant and the company yet.
Companies still shall be very careful with such questions at a job interview, otherwise they may face legal proceedings that could result in substantial financial burdens.
According to the provisions of the published regulation, employers are eligible to make the vaccination obligatory for their employees, provided that it is not contra-indicated for health reasons. However, the employer shall take into consideration the specificities of the workplace and the job, by making vaccination obligatory. For example, in case of teleworkers, it may not be justified to obligate them to take up the vaccine.
If the employee does not take up the vaccination within the set time limit, the employer may order the employee to take unpaid leave. If the employee refuses the vaccination after one year from the ordering of the unpaid leave, the employer may terminate the employee's employment contract with immediate effect. This, however, will only be applicable if depending on the development of the epidemic situation – the vaccination can still be justified at that time.
By Ivett Bognar, Junior Associate, act Ban & Karika Attorneys at Law