August is the last month for Hungarian students to enjoy tax-free employment

For an additional month, young people eligible for the Student Summer Work Program can work for their income tax-free. This season, more than 25,000 young people have so far worked in local government, tourism and catering, or agriculture with a state contribution of more than 2.7 billion HUF (6.8 million euros), said Zsolt Kutnyánszky, Secretary of State for Industry and the Labor Market. of the Ministry of Technology and Industry (TIM), in a press release on Thursday.

The Student Summer Work Program is open to full-time students between the ages of 16 and 25 who are not currently employed and do not have a corporate contract. Local authorities and businesses in the agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors can apply for support to hire them.

In most cases, municipalities are looking for administrative assistants to replace their permanent staff during the summer holidays. Municipalities will be reimbursed in full for up to six hours of work per day for a maximum period of two months.

There is also a significant demand in the tourism and catering sector where students are expected to help in hotels, restaurants and ice cream parlors during the peak tourist season.

So far, about 5,000 applications have been submitted for employment in this sector, which accounts for almost 20% of total demand. The maximum number of working hours in companies is eight hours a day, and the scheme covers three-quarters of wages, according to the press release.

As far as wages are concerned, student workers are in a much better financial position than last year. In 2021, the minimum wage for one hour was 963 forints, of which 819 forints remained after deducting personal income tax. However, the minimum wage has since been increased and those under 25 do not have to pay personal income tax. As a result, the minimum wage is now 1,150 forints (2.9 euros) per hour and working students receive the full amount in their pockets.

Student expectations are also around this amount. According to a survey by Meló-Diák, the largest school cooperative in Hungary, an average working student expects between 1,300 and 1,500 forints per hour. The highest salaries are in Budapest, where the average salary for one hour of student work is 1,600 forints.

This means that in the Hungarian capital, working students can earn up to 256,000 forints (650 euros) in a month if they work eight hours a day and do not have to pay personal income tax. physical.

Compared to the minimum wage, which amounts to 200,000 forints (133,000 forints after tax deduction), working students fare significantly better if they decide to enter the labor market.

Most applications were received in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Baranya and Szabolcs-Szatmár Bereg counties. District offices are consistently placing students in jobs and offering wage subsidies to employers, according to the latest figures.

Since the launch of the program in 2013, the government has already supported 264,000 young people with nearly 27 billion forints (68 million euros). The initiative was again very popular this year, so the Ministry of Technology and Industry increased the initial budget by one and a half times to almost 3 billion HUF.

Feature photo: MTI/Balázs Attila

Laura T. Thrasher