labour shortage

As we already reported, Hungary struggles hard with labour shortage which affects almost every sector of the economy. In fact, the most problematic sectors are public transport and service, tourism and IT. However, there is a massive demand for skilled manual labourers and mechanics in Hungary, as well. The reason is simple: more and more work abroad for better wages. Because of the lacking workforce, employees have to work more. Therefore, according to, there are much more work accidents than the official statistics show.

The number of accidents at work is rising quickly

The most important reasons are too much overtime work, high-level fluctuation and little time for training. However, the core reason is always labour shortage.

The result is the increased number of work accidents.

However, companies do not report all of these. Thus statistics do not show the real situation.

According to a report of the Ministry for National Economy’s Department for Labour Inspection 16,172 work accidents happened until November 2017. However, this number was only 11,567 in 2013, while it increased to 14,247 in 2015. Clearly, the tendency is that the number of such accidents is growing. However, the number of fatal work accidents is growing even steeper probably because employers cannot conceal them. According to the report, in 2014 50, in 2016 60 and

in the first nine months of 2017 already 62 people lost their lives while working.

Most of the accidents happen in mechanical engineering, transport, storage and processing industry. However, most of the fatal casualties happen in construction. The contradiction can be easily explained by the fact that 40% of the workers in the construction industry are employed illegally. Thus,

accidents are not reported only if their outcome is death.

According to the Hungarian Metalworkers’ Federation (VASAS), the real number of work accidents is at least twice the number reported. Besides, this number is increasing – says Zoltán László, vice-chairman of the Federation.

Workers are exhausted and cannot concentrate that well

According to him, the main reason behind the growth is the labour shortage. This is because there is more overtime work than ever. He added that he knows about

workers who did 35 shifts in only 31 days.

As a result, even the concentration of the experienced workers decreases. To make matters worse, novices do not have enough time for learning and training. For example, previously semiskilled workers doing the metal-working had 3-4 weeks to learn the process. Currently, they have only one day and then they have to work alone. What’s more, employees often have to work with malfunctioning machines.

Thus, Zoltán László knows about companies where the number of accidents rose by 20%. However,

employees do not risk their job

even though they should deny working in such circumstances. The situation is a paradox because employers threaten workers with firing them; in spite of the fact that there is an ever-growing labour shortage everywhere in the country.

However, the decision process of the courts is very slow in cases of accidents at work. For example, a worker received 35 million forints (EUR 112,000) because of an accident instead of 500 thousand (EUR 1,600) offered previously by his employer. Nevertheless, he

had to wait 8 years for the decision.

This is why most of the workers accept the quick and instant offer of their employer. Gábor Ikanov, a lawyer, specialized in such cases says that this is why employers can conceal one-third of the work accidents.

Source:, Daily News Hungary

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