News of VJT & Partners
New GDPR challenges in Hungarian employment
The Hungarian GDPR implementation package – amending 86 sectoral laws – has brought important changes in the workplace environment. Many of the new rules may present hardships for employers, as changes will be forced upon deeply rooted traditions. The stakes are high as the employee has got a powerful tool in his hand, both in front of the data protection authority and the labour court. Companies therefore are highly advised to check their data processing practices in the employment context.
VJT & Partners has collected the key legislative changes in the employment context.
From now on, during the onboarding process employers may only ask the employee to show his/her documents (e.g. ID, driving licence, address card, tax card and qualification documents) and the employee may not make copies of these neither electronically nor in paper form. This is hard to put into practice, when the labour authority examines the lawfulness of onboarding process, but the employee cannot show the necessary onboarding documents to the labour authority (i.e. he/she lost them). Thus, a solution must be worked out which properly answers both privacy and labour inspection challenges.
No criminal background checks
The employer may ask from the employee to show his/her criminal convictions information, only under very limited circumstances, such as when the employer has a relevant financial interest to protect (such as works concerning money management, surveillance or key IT system administration). The financial interest must be backed up with the ”legitimate interest test” (showing that the employer’s interest to see the employee’s criminal conviction record is greater than the employee’s personality rights).
Stricter conditions for employee monitoring
Even before the GDPR implementation package, it was clear that the employer may monitor the employee’s work (such as monitoring of e-mail, laptop or internet use) only if the employer provides a prior notice about this action. However, the GDPR implementation package made it clear that such notice must be made in writing and it must cover why the employer’s measures are necessary and proportionate in comparison to the limitation of the employee’s personality rights.
Biometric entry methods became forbidden
From a practical point of view, as a result of the GDPR implementation package, it became forbidden to use biometric (such as, fingerprint authentication) entry systems. Some exceptions apply, but only in a very few limited cases: for example the employer may use such entry methods if the operation of such system is to protect the employees’ physical integrity and health.
CCTV rules do not stay the same either
From now on, the employer may decide on its own about the length of time CCTV records may be held, but in accordance with the storage limitation principle. Furthermore, the employer may only make CCTV records of the private area of the company, and in public areas used as private areas (such as around the entrance of the company) the employer no longer may record picture.
In a nutshell, rules on data processing in the employment context, have become significantly stricter and the expectations have also risen. Companies are advised to reconsider their current practices, policies and other documentations in this area. Endre Várady, head of VJT & Partners’ data protection team is here to assist in creating lawful and tailor-made processes.
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A Hungarian software offers GDPR compliance solutions
Hungarian Watch Autumn 2018
GDPR is and will remain a hot topic for every business in the EU. VJT & Partners closely worked with the consulting software developer company Simplexxy to develop the “Data Hawk” (“Adatsólyom” in Hungarian) software. Based on its installed know-how, Data Hawk screens the data processing of the companies and makes proposals on an automated basis, without any human intervention. This revolutionary law-tech solution has never been seen before. The mid-term plan is to launch Data Hawk in other Member States also.
In this interview, János Tamás Varga, head of VJT & Partners – the law firm responsible for the content of the software – shared his experience about Data Hawk.
Could you please briefly introduce Data Hawk?
Data Hawk is a stand-alone software that provides significant help especially for small- and medium-sized Hungarian enterprises and non-profit organizations in preparing for GDPR. An online questionnaire that can be used to assess GDPR compliance readiness of businesses and get an action plan on exactly what needs to be done to meet GDPR requirements. Its main motto: “You do not have to understand GDPR. It is enough to know your own business”.
Where did the idea of the Data Hawk come from?
As a lawyer in the field of data protection, when I was in the process of adopting GDPR regulations, I realised that small- and medium-sized enterprises would certainly not be able to meet the requirements of GDPR without external assistance. Paying huge penalties would mean the end of many businesses. The idea came to me to develop a stand-alone and easy-to-use online software that comes with a full GDPR screening, yet which reaches the quality of typical GDPR audits. The one filling out the questionnaire does not have to stand in line for the advice of a privacy expert, he simply answers the questions online and Data Hawk makes proposals on an automated basis, without any human intervention.
Which areas can we examine with the Data Hawk?
Data Hawk examines dozens of areas that are problematic in terms of data protection, including the most important employment and marketing areas. There are several hundred questions in the software, and the user can choose among several predefined answers to each question. Of course, not all questions need to be answered: our questionnaire leads you - the user, according to your responses, only to those questions that are relevant to your business.
Was it a big work to create such a compliance tool?
I would call it gigantic. We processed hundreds of pages on GDPR regulation and the Hungarian and European data protection practice, and then transferred the whole material into questions and responses to make it clear to everyone. Questions, answers, suggestions are all written in clear and plain language, explained in layman’s terms. We also help the user with examples to clarify more complex issues.
What is special about Data Hawk?
Data Hawk is a new milestone in the legal-tech area, a high-quality legal service that only a limited number of large and multinational companies could have afforded is now equally available to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
How much time does it take to use Data Hawk?
You can go through the questionnaire within 2-3 hours. This is realistic because in the case of a small business, the user of the questionnaire knows much more about all the ins and outs of a company than in the case of a large company where the full picture can only be grasped with the involvement of several different departments. On the other hand, Data Hawk speeds the auditing work of large companies. When we make GDPR compliance audit projects for large companies, we always ask them to use Datahawk as a first step, as it is much faster and easier to find and solve the problematic areas.
After using the questionnaire, Data Hawk processes the answers and gives an evaluation report. What can we learn from this assessment?
The evaluation includes a specific task list, accurate, personalized tasks about what to do to meet GDPR requirements. Most of these tasks can be done by the company’s owner and staff. Of course, there are also more complex tasks where an expert’s help is inevitable. But in this case, the expert gets the Data Hawk report (containing legal gaps) which makes the whole process more affordable and faster.
Can you tell about such a diversified product that it is ready?
Data Hawk is ready, but our plan is to continuously improve and update it to emerging needs. We are also paying attention to our customer feedback, and on that basis we will further improve the software. We also have the mid-term plan to launch this product in other Member States as businesses struggle there with similar GDPR compliance problems.
For further information about how Data Hawk can help your business in GDPR compliance, please contact:
VJT & Partners
János Tamás Varga, managing partner
VJT & Partners contributes to the Dual Citizenship Report
As a top tier specialised law firm in Hungary, VJT & Partners is pleased to have been selected to contribute to the Dual Citizenship Report.
The Dual Citizenship Report is a definitive guide to Dual Citizenship based on the legislation different in the numerous countries throughout the European Region through a collaboration of over 30+ European Law firms.
The report was compiled and edited by our Maltese partners, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates and can be found on the https://www.dualcitizenshipreport.org/, which offers the report on an interactive platform, making it more widely accessible.
Our firm has contributed to the Hungary chapter, where we outlined the most recent developments in the legislation on the different ways of acquiring citizenship in our jurisdiction as well as the possibility of holding dual citizenship.
We are pleased to form part of this comprehensive legal analysis and we look forward to further contributions and updates.
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VJT & Partners Highly Recommended by Chambers Europe 2017
VJT & Partners is recognised for its prominent Corporate/M&A, Employment and TMT legal advice.
Leading Hungarian commercial law firm VJT & Partners has again been recommended in Chambers Europe 2017’s Hungarian chapter for its Corporate/M&A, Employment and TMT practices.
In addition, Managing Partner János Tamás Varga is recommended as a Ranked Lawyer in all three practices, with partner Zoltán Csernus recognised as a Ranked Lawyer for both Corporate /M&A and Employment law.
Chambers Europe 2017 recommends VJT & Partners for its Corporate/M&A advice in Tier 4 with János Tamás Varga ranked in Band 2 for individual lawyers and Zoltán Csernus in Band 5.
The commentary notes that the team is again noted for its "growing presence in the Hungarian commercial market" and for being "experienced in multi-jurisdictional mandates, frequently acting alongside major international firms on the Hungarian aspects of cross-border investments and corporate restructuring cases".
Clients comment that the team has "an exceptional understanding of business, a pragmatic and precise approach, and they give valuable input to the pure commercial points." Another comments that the "junior lawyers support the seniors’ work very efficiently and can manage even the shortest deadlines".
In addition, János Tamás Varga is singled out as continuing "to grow in stature in the Hungarian corporate market, following exceptional praise for his wide-ranging expertise". He is also recognised as "pragmatic, thinks rationally, and sees the bigger picture," as "very professional, open-minded and understands business needs" and "extremely commercial".
Zoltán Csernus is noted for his "clear guidance and instructions," and that he takes "care of things swiftly and without error, regardless of how complicated the issues were".
Within the Employment section, the team is ranked in Tier 2 with both János Tamás Varga and Zoltán Csernus ranked in Band 3.
The team "receives enthusiastic praise from clients for its high level of employment-specific knowledge". Clients comment that the team has "a superb level of employment law expertise, combined with a very client-centred and professional approach". Other clients agree, saying: "They have a deep knowledge of labour law, provide prompt and detailed answers, and have flexibility and availability," as well as offering "excellent value for money".
Zoltán Csernus is described by clients "extremely knowledgeable, and very responsive and approachable," with a "deep understanding of clients’ legal and commercial needs," with János Tamás Varga described by a client as "very client-centred with brilliant organising skills," and by the guide as "highly skilled in handling employment-related litigation".
Within TMT the firm is ranked in Tier 2, with János Tamás Varga ranked in Band 2.
The practice is noted for its "high-profile transactions in the telecoms and technology sectors," its "impressive client roster" and its advice "on both the supplier and consumer sides…on data protection and advertising issues". Its work with "major international law firms on cross-border cases" is also highlighted. Clients say the team has "truly experienced specialists for all types of IT, internet and data protection matters. They are the best technology team in the market with wide international reach," and "they are always ready to work out truly tailor-made solutions for every single matter. They are especially strong at data protection, privacy issues and all types of internet-related matters".
János Tamás Varga is singled out by clients for combining "unparalleled technology industry expertise with superb organisational and communication skills".
VJT & Partners Managing Partner János Tamás Varga comments: "These results position the team as firmly embedded in the top tier of law firms in Hungary, alongside the leading international firms. We continue to work hard to ensure we provide exactly what our clients need and to ensure that our advice is accessible and always commercial."
Further information can be accessed here.
VJT & Partners recognised among the leading law firms in Hungary by EMEA Legal 500
Prestigious independent legal directory EMEA Legal 500, 2017 again includes VJT & Partners among the leading commercial law firms in Hungary.
The EMEA Legal 500, published in April 2017 has recognised VJT & Partners as a top-tier firm for Employment for the sixth year running and as very highly recommended in a further four practice areas.
The guide comments that the ‘leading’ employment group at the firm has ‘deep knowledge’, provides ‘prompt and detailed answers’ and offers ‘flexibility and availability’. It is recognised as "having a standalone labour department which is active across the whole spectrum of employment matters, with complementary expertise in immigration law."
Practice head Zoltán Csernus is acknowledged as a ‘go-to lawyer’, with both Managing Partner János Tamás Varga and Zoltán Csernus included in the list of elite ‘Leading Individuals’ for employment.
Three of VJT & Partners’ other practices continue to be recommended in the second tier: Commercial, Corporate and M&A, Dispute Resolution and TMT, while the firm’s Real Estate and Construction practice is in the fourth tier.
All of VJT & Partners’ partners are recommended in The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2017 editorial.
The guide also makes the following comments:
Commercial, corporate and M&A: "Clients of VJT & Partners are full of praise for the ‘very reliable team’ of ‘true professionals’, who are ‘organised, expedient, accurate and flexible’. Corporate and M&A work form a cornerstone of the firm, which has a clear focus and specialism in cross-border work. András Lovretity has ‘an intricate understanding of the client’s business’. János Tamás Varga, Zoltán Csernus and Gábor Hacsi are also highly recommended."
Dispute Resolution: "VJT & Partners’ ‘dedicated, efficient and hardworking’ team excels at employment litigation, with insurance cases being another key focus area. Practice head Zoltán Csernus is ‘very confident and active at court hearings’."
TMT: "The ‘approachable, fast and efficient’ team at VJT & Partners is noted for its ‘tailor-made solutions’. It is ‘especially strong in data protection, privacy issues and internet-related matters’, and has been advising Google on right-to-be-forgotten matters. Gábor Hacsi and János Tamás Varga are well regarded."
Real estate and construction: "‘Very skilled real estate lawyer’ Gábor Hacsi heads the practice at VJT & Partners alongside János Tamás Varga, who ‘always sees the big picture’. András Lovretity, who joined the firm from an in-house counsel position in the aviation sector, is ‘very experienced in real estate matters’."
The Legal 500 series of legal directories provides an in-depth assessment of law firms based on intensive independent research of firms and their clients.
János Tamás Varga, Managing Partner of VJT & Partners, commented: "Being ranked alongside our international and domestic peers at such a high level is testament to the hard work and dedication the whole team puts into offering the highest level of legal advice. I am delighted with this recognition, both personally and for the firm as a whole, but recognise that there is always more we can do."
Further information can be accessed here.
VJT & Partners Highly Recommended in Chambers Global 2017 for Corporate/M&A
Leading Hungarian commercial law firm VJT & Partners has been highly ranked in Chambers Global 2017 for its work in Corporate/M&A. In addition, both Managing Partner János Tamás Varga and corporate partner Zoltán Csernus have been individually recommended as Ranked Lawyers for their expertise in corporate M&A work.
Within the Hungarian section, Chambers Global 2017 ranks VJT & Partners for corporate/M&A in Band 4, positioning the firm as an elite corporate law firm in Hungary. In addition, János Tamás Varga has been ranked in Band 2, and Zoltán Csernus in Band 5, for individual lawyers in Corporate/M&A in Hungary.
Chambers Global commented that János Tamás Varga "continues to grow in stature in the Hungarian corporate market, following exceptional praise for his wide-ranging expertise". Chambers cites clients who comment that Dr. Varga is "pragmatic, thinks rationally and sees the bigger picture", while also noting that "he is very professional, open-minded and understands business needs".
Zoltán Csernus has been ranked for the first time as a recommended individual in corporate/M&A in Chambers Global 2017. He is recommended for his "clear guidance and instructions", with clients recommending him for "taking care of things swiftly and without error, regardless of how complicated the issues were". His knowledge base spans distribution, supply, agency, purchase and franchising agreements.
VJT & Partners provides market-leading corporate M&A advice to a wide range of companies operating across multiple industries. Its work in this area is widely recognised as commensurate with that of major international law firms’ Hungarian offerings.
Further information can be accessed here.
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