Government of Hungary to require supermarket chains to hire more employees

October 29, 2015

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The government of Hungary intends to propose legislation requiring that shops and supermarkets over 400 square meters make at least one employee available to shoppers for every 70 sqm, reports pro-government Magyar Idők (Hungarian Times).

György Vámos, general secretary of the National Trade Association (OKSZ), questions whether such legislation is compliant with European Union law, saying there is no precedent within the EU.

Although he is not familiar with the exact provisions of the proposed legislation, Vámos says the added cost to retailers of hiring additional staff would likely result in lower salaries and less investment.  “It has to come from somewhere.”

Supermarket chains and the retailing sector in general are already having a hard time hiring qualified individuals as more and more working-age Hungarians refuse to take menial jobs paying minimum wage or slightly more.

It appears that supermarkets owned and operated by Hungarian-owned CBA would not be affected by the new legislation as the vast majority of their shops are smaller than 400 sqm.