Budapest, April 11 (MTI) – Parliament’s legislative committee on Monday approved the government’s proposal to revoke the law regulating Sunday working restrictions, but lawmakers engaged in a fierce debate over the issue of supplementary weekend pay.
The motion passed with an overwhelming majority with only the committee’s two Christian Democrat members abstaining from the vote.
Antal Rogán, the prime minister’s cabinet chief, said earlier in the day that by revoking the law, working and payment conditions prior to its introduction on March 14, 2015, would be restored, including the rules governing supplementary weekend pay.
Several opposition committee members proposed amendments to the government’s motion with a view to increasing the Sunday bonus rate to 100 percent from the 50 percent rate that was in place prior to the enactment of the law.
The members of the ruling party said a referendum on the subject could only be avoided if the original law is restored, as it would have had to be if the binding referendum initiated by the Socialist Party were to have forced parliament to scrap the law.
The Socialist Party last week succeeded in getting its referendum question approved seeking to restore Sunday shopping.
Rogán said earlier that the cabinet concluded it would be “irresponsible” to spend billions on a referendum on this particular issue when there were more burning questions such as the one on European Union migration quotas.
Gergely Gulyás, the head of the legislative committee for ruling Fidesz, and Fidesz MP Róbert Répássy said at the meeting that if citizens had voted to scrap the Sunday shopping law in a referendum, the amendments proposed by the opposition parties to raise the bonus rate to 100 percent would have been incompatible with that result. The government will enter into talks with trade unions on raising the bonus rate, they said.
The committee’s Socialist deputy head, Gergely Barandy, said the bonus rates could be changed as they are regulated by the labour code.