July 2018 – New legislation in Romania governing internships will come into force on 18 August 2018. Among its provisions, the new law (Law No. 176/2018) sets out rules governing internships and includes a financial incentive for companies that hire young people after the end of an internship.

Potential financial benefit

Under the new law, companies that hire former interns within 60 days after the end of an internship and maintain the labour relationship for at least 24 months will receive a bonus of RON 4,586 (approximately EUR 1,000) per individual.

Internship conditions and regime

The new law enables individuals who have reached the age of 16 (or 15 with their parents' or legal representatives' approval) to perform activities as part of an internship program by concluding an internship agreement with a company or any other legal entity.

One stipulation of the new law is that the intern must perform work activities under the direct coordination of a mentor. The mentor must meet certain conditions, such as: (i) be an employee of the company or legal entity; (ii) have at least one year of experience in the same field of activity as the internship, (iii) have no disciplinary record. An individual mentor can supervise a maximum of three interns. The mentoring activity must be included in the job description and working schedule of the mentor.

The maximum number of internship agreements a legal entity can conclude depends on the aggregate number of employees of the entity (e.g., a maximum of two internship agreements if the entity has a total of 20 employees).

The duration and scope of an internship may not exceed 720 hours within six consecutive months. The working limit for an intern is a maximum of 40 hours/week (30 hours/week and six hours/day for interns under the age of 18). The new law expressly prohibits interns to perform overtime activity.

The intern has the right to an internship remuneration of at least 50% of the legal minimum gross salary, granted proportionally based on the number of hours worked.

An internship may be performed only if an internship agreement is concluded between both parties. Legal entities that fail to conclude an internship agreement can be fined from RON 10,000 to RON 20,000 (approx. EUR 2,130 to EUR 4,260). It is prohibited to conclude an internship agreement to avoid the conclusion of an employment agreement. In such case, the internship agreement is null and void.

Registration with the labour authorities

Similar to the employee registry held by labour authorities, the internship agreement is subject to registration. The legal entity is obliged to submit information about the internship to the register of internship agreements before the internship begins. Internship registers will be established at each territorial labour agency. Any amendment regarding the identification data of the legal entity or an internship agreement must be submitted to the register within three business days after the change occurred.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.