ROMANIA: Legislative news on labour relation

Labour Code amendment. New measures under Covid-19

I. Labour Code amendment

Law 53/2003 – Labour Code, has been amended recently amended pursuant to the Emergency Ordinance No. 117/2021 (“GEO 117/2021”), as follows:

· Allowing a part-time employee to work beyond the working hours provided in individual employment agreements is deemed undeclared work. Overtime carried-out in exceptional circumstances, i.e. in cases of force majeure or other urgent work to prevent accidents or to eliminate their consequences shall not be deemed undeclared work.

· Under-declared work has been defined as paying a net salary higher than that actually recorded and reported in the payroll and the monthly statement of social security contributions, income tax and the nominal register of insured persons submitted to the tax authorities.

· Pursuant to the new amendments, overtime work will be compensated with paid time off within 90 days following the overtime, instead of 60 days as per the previous regulation.

Furthermore, as of October 20, 2021, new fines will be applicable to employers, as follows:

· The acceptance at work of one or more individuals without conclusion of an individual employment agreement will be sanctioned with a fine of Ron 20,000 for each person thereby identified, without exceeding the cumulative amount of Ron 200,000 lei;

· Paying a net salary higher than that actually shown in the salary related statements and in the monthly statement of social contributions, income tax and the nominal record of insured persons, submitted to the tax authorities, will be sanctioned with a fine of Ron 8,000 to Ron 10,000 for each employee identified in this situation, without exceeding the total amount of 100,000 lei;

· Delayed payment by the employer of the salary with more than one month from the salary payment date as provided in the individual employment agreement, in the applicable collective labour agreement or in the internal regulation, as the case may be, will be sanctioned with a fine ranging from Ron 5,000 to Ron 10,000 for each person to whom the salary has not been paid, unless the employer is subject to Law no. 85/2014 concerning insolvency prevention and insolvency procedures, as subsequently amended and supplemented.


II. New measures under Covid-19

Ø Paid days off for supervision of children

Pursuant to the Emergency Ordinance 110/2021 on paid days off for parents and other categories of individuals in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread (“GEO 110/2021”), one of the parents may benefit upon request from paid days off for the supervision and care of the child in case of limitation/suspension of teaching activities involving the physical presence of children in educational establishments and of conducting courses online or in another alternative arrangement, for the entire period during which the limitation/suspension of activity is decided1 and until the end of the 2021-2022 school year, not including the holidays.

The allowance the parent employee benefits of will be of 75% of the basic salary corresponding to one working day, but not more than 75% of the average gross earnings used as the basis for the state social security budget. The allowance is gross amount being subject to taxation and related contributions.

Parents eligible for paid days off are:

· parents of children under 12;

· parents with dependent children or disabled adult included in a certain form of education;

· parent or legal representative of the severely disabled child not attending school, who has opted for the allowance provided for by Law No. 448/2006, only if the activity of the day service is limited or suspended through the authorities’ decision;

· parents of children up to the age of 18 enrolled in educational establishments, where the children are in a-risk group or live with a person who is in an at-risk group;

· parents who have a severely disabled adult dependent, under certain conditions.

Paid days off will not be granted to parents who:

· are on leave for raising the child;

· are the personal assistant of one of their dependent children;

· are on holiday/leave without payment;

· have a suspended employment relationship due to technical unemployment;

· do not earn income from wages and salaries;

· carry-out work in a workplace suitable for teleworking or work from home

Furthermore, in order for the parent employee to be entitled to paid days off, the other parent is not allowed to benefit from days off.

Days off will be granted by the employer upon the employee request, accompanied by specific supporting documents.

As a rule, the employer is obliged to grant the days off as requested. By exception, days off will be granted only with the employer’s approval in case the employer runs business in any fields listed by GEO 110/2021 such as: telecommunications, social assistance, rail transport.

Likewise, the employer’s approval is required in the national defense system, public order and national security system, as well as for days off to be granted to employees of public health units, except for single-parent families, in this latter case, the employer being obliged to grant the days off.

In these latter cases, if the employer does not approve the request for days off, the parent employee shall be entitled to an increase of 75% of the basic salary corresponding to one working day, but not more than 75% of the average gross salary used to determine the state social insurance budget.

For the reimbursement of the days off related allowance paid to employees, the employers will submit an application to the county employment agencies, respectively to Bucharest employment agencies, accompanied by specific supporting documents within maximum 30 days as of the date of payment of the allowance related contributions and taxes. The amounts shall be paid within a maximum of 30 working days from the date of submitting the documents.

Pursuant to the 2021 procedure for the reimbursement of the allowance for each free day granted as per Article 1 of Government Emergency Ordinance No. 110/2021 on granting paid days off to parents and other categories of individuals in the context of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the supporting documents, such as and their model, procedure that will enter into force on 15.10.2021, the supporting documents are represented by:

· the list of employees who have been granted days off and the related allowance paid to the employees.

· copies of the payment statements and timesheets evidencing the allowance granted for each day off;

· an affidavit issued by the employer’s legal representative certifying that the list of employees includes only employees who meet the conditions provided by GEO 110/2021;

· evidence of payment of tax and social security contributions, health insurance contributions and the insurance contribution for work related to the allowance for each day off;

Mention should be made that the employer’s failure to grant the days off as requested by the employees in accordance with GEO 110/2021 is deemed contravention and is sanctioned with a fine ranging from Ron 1,000 to Ron 2,000 for each employee for whom the employer refused to grant the days off, without exceeding the cumulative amount of Ron 20,000.


Ø Technical unemployment and the related allowance

By way of Emergency Ordinance 111/2021 for the establishment of social protection measures for employees and other professional categories in the context of the prohibition, suspension or limitation of economic activities due to the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (“GEO 111/2021”), the following has been regulated:

As of October 4, 2021 until December 31, 2021, during the period of technical unemployment implemented due to Covid-192, employees will be entitled to an allowance of 75% of the basic salary corresponding to the job position occupied which will be supported from the unemployment insurance budget, not exceeding 75% of average gross salary3 ( “Allowance”).

Employees of employers whose activity has been suspended as a result of the epidemiological investigation carried out by the county public health directorates, respectively of the municipality of Bucharest, also benefit from the Allowance provided for above, except for employees on sick leave who receive the related social security allowance.

In order to be granted the amounts needed for the payment of the Allowance, employers shall submit an application to the county and municipal employment agencies, accompanied by an affidavit and a list of the employees who will benefit from the Allowance.

The documents must be submitted in the current month for the payment of the previous month related Allowance, the payment by the employment agencies to the employers being made within 15 days from the date of submitting the relevant documents.

The payment of the Allowance by the employers to the employees shall be made within 3 working days as of the receipt by the employers of the Allowance related amounts.

Note should be made that the Allowance is subject to taxation and compulsory social security contributions.

The following are not entitled to receive the Allowance:

· public institutions and authorities;

· employers who, at the date of requesting the payment of such amounts, are subject to bankruptcy, dissolution, liquidation or whose activities have been suspended due to other reasons than those related to Covid-19 pandemic;

Mention should be also made that employers may benefit for the same period, for different employees, from the above mentioned Allowance as well as from the allowance due for reduction of the working schedule (Kurzarbeit) as regulated by GEO 132/2020. At the same time, for different periods, employers may benefit for the same employees from both the above mentioned Allowance as well as the allowance for reduced working schedule (Kurzarbeit), regulated by GEO 132/2020.


Ø New measures applicable in Bucharest in terms of working schedule organisation

Pursuant to CMBSU Resolution No. 67 of 9.10.2021, as of October 10, 2021, 00:00, for a period of 14 days, employers having more than 50 employees who cannot carry-out teleworking or home working are obliged to organize the working schedule so that staff to be divided into groups whose work begins/ends at least one hour apart, in order to avoid congestion of public transport.

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