The competent ministries supported a recommendation made by the Ombudsman - a constructive and quick amendment in the interest of the public workers' social security

Following a recommendation by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and as a result of cooperation between the three competent ministries, a regulatory deficiency, related to the public workers' fundamental rights, has been eliminated with exemplary speed. The Ombudsman is confident that similarly quick results may be reached in other cases, related to the protection of other vulnerable groups, as well.

          In a comprehensive report concluding his investigations launched upon a complaint, Ombudsman László Székely has requested the Minister of Human Resources to complement and clarify the relevant legal regulations in order to make the time spent as a public worker part of the period spent in cooperation with the labor authority, the latter being a precondition for receiving social benefits. It was not so under the previous regulation, which led to a situation when the social benefit eligibility period would be prolonged with the period spent as a public worker; therefore, existentially vulnerable people, living in dire circumstances anyway, would not receive, through no fault of their own, social benefits for months.

The responses clearly show that both the Ministry of Human Capacities and the Ministry of Interior, also requested to cooperate, agree with the report's conclusions. Based on the above, as of September 1, 2015, the text of the relevant government decree has been modified: those periods, when the registration of jobseekers is suspended as a result of their participating in trainings and public works programs organized and supported by the employment authority, shall be considered as periods spent in preventive cooperation with labor authorities.

Another stakeholder, the Minister for National Economy has informed the Commissioner that, prompted by the report, the Ministry for National Economy and the Ministry of Interior set up a joint task force in order to prepare a methodological guide. Later on, the task force will prepare a draft amendment in connection with the job-matching process, taking into consideration the special situation of public workers, and enforcing, as effectively as possible, the principle of equal opportunity in laying down the basic principles of this process.

The minister has also informed the Commissioner on his agreement with the latter's conclusion, according to which public works programs shall be considered as a temporary solution, the final objective being the jobseekers' re-introduction to the primary labor market. They are considering the possibility of extending tax reliefs to those employers who undertake to hire people who participated in public works programs.

As a result of the government decree's amendment and with a view to the initiatives indicated in the responses he has received, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights sees it guaranteed that the anomalies uncovered in his earlier report on the rights of social workers to social security will be remedied.