Mate Szabo, Hungary’s ombudsman for fundamental rights, has launched an investigation into recent complaints by people participating in public work schemes, the ombudsman’s office told MTI in a statement on Sunday.
The investigation will focus on details of employment and dismissal of public workers, wages and working conditions in municipal public work schemes, the statement said.
According to the document, “respecting the fundamental rights of public workers cannot be dependent solely on the goodwill of local governments”. Those rights must be guaranteed by law and enforced by the authorities, the statement added.
People in public work schemes are typically in a very vulnerable position, and it is important how the rights to human dignity, equal opportunities, fair treatment, and legal remedy are enforced, said the statement.
Public work is a component of the government’s employment policy, and it “cannot be a purpose in itself”; it must ensure assistance to participants in entering or returning to the primary labour market, the statement said. It is important, therefore, to make sure that “guarantees for the legitimate operations of public work schemes are in place”, the document added.
The Interior Ministry supports the ombudsman’s investigation, as it will “dispel misconceptions around public work programmes”, chief advisor to the minister Attila Samu told MTI later on Sunday.