1. Amendments to the Romanian Labour Code
Government Emergency Ordinance no. 117/2021 introduces several amendments and supplements to Law No 53/2003 – the Romanian Labour Code:
- Undeclared work in connection with a part-time individual employment agreement refers now to the non-observance of the working duration1 provided in such agreement, apart from exceptional cases when part-time employees perform overtime (e.g., in case of force majeure).
This undeclared work is sanctioned with an administrative fine from RON 10,000–RON 15,000 (approx. EUR 2,000–EUR 3,000) per employee, without exceeding the cumulative amount of RON 200,000 (approx. EUR 40,000).
- Under-declared work is defined as granting, in fact, a net salary higher than the salary stated in the tax/payroll documents submitted to the competent authorities.
Granting a net salary higher than the salary stated in the tax/payroll documents submitted to the competent authorities may trigger an administrative fine between RON 8,000–RON 10,000 (approx. EUR 1,600–EUR 2,000) per employee, without exceeding the cumulative amount of RON 100,000 (approx. EUR 20,000). The legal provisions on tax evasion should also be considered.
- The period in which an employer can compensate an employee for overtime work has been increased from 60 calendar days to 90 calendar days.
- Exceeding the due date of a salary payment by more than one month may trigger an administrative fine between RON 5,000–RON 10,000 (approx. EUR 1,000–EUR 2,000) per employee, unless the employer is subject to Law no. 85/2014 regulating insolvency prevention and insolvency proceedings.
2. Salary rights
As of 1 January 2022, the gross minimum monthly basic wage in Romania will increase from RON 2,300 (approx. EUR 460) to RON 2,550 (approx. EUR 510).
Romania's legal framework2 no longer provides a different salary scale for personnel employed in posts for which higher education.
3. Covid-19 related measures
Given the increased number of Covid-19 cases, several measures impacting both employers and employees have been reiterated/reintroduced, such as: (i) the obligation for employers to grant employees paid days off under certain conditions and (ii) allowances in case of technical unemployment caused by Covid-19.
Paid days off for parents
Government Emergency Ordinance no. 110/2021 introduced the obligation of the employer to grant employees paid days off throughout the period in which the physical presence of children3 in educational activities is limited/suspended, if certain conditions are met (e.g., the activity of the employee cannot be performed via telework; the other parent does not receive paid days off). These rules apply during the state of alert (currently in force), but no later than the end of the 2021–2022 school year (not including holidays).
The allowance paid under the above conditions is 75% of the basic salary corresponding to one working day, but not more than 75% of the average gross income per day used for the state social security budget (RON 5,380; approx. EUR 1,076) and may be reimbursed from the state budget.
Technical unemployment allowance
Government Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2021 provides that during the suspension of an individual employment agreement due to the effects caused by Covid-19, according to Article 52 para. (1) lit. c) of the Romanian Labour Code (i.e., for technical unemployment), until 31 December 2021 employees benefit from an allowance that is 75% of their basic salary corresponding to one working day, but not more than 75% of the average gross income per day used for the state social security budget (RON 5,380; approx. EUR 1,076).
This allowance is not subject to taxation or to compulsory social security contributions and will be borne from the unemployment insurance budget.
4. Draft enactment amending the Social Dialogue Law no. 62/2011 and the Romanian Labour Code
The purpose of this draft enactment is to establish a single time period for challenging unilateral decisions of an employer (i.e., 45 calendar days from the date on which the employee concerned became aware of the decision).
Currently, the Romanian Labour Code provides for a 30-calendar-day term for challenging a disciplinary dismissal decision, while Law no. 62/2011 provides for a 45-calendar-day term for challenging unilateral measures of an employer related to the execution, modification, suspension or termination of individual employment agreements.
Given the many interpretations arising from the related case law over the last years, the harmonisation of the above-mentioned provisions is highly sought by employment law practitioners.
The draft enactment is to be promulgated by the President and published in the Romanian Official Gazette.
1. The previous version of the Labour Code referred to "the working schedule provided in the part-time individual employment agreement."
2. Government Decision no. 1071/2021 on the gross minimum basic wage per country guaranteed in payment.
3. The child must be up to 12 years old or a dependent child/adult with disabilities who are in education or who are enrolled in pre-university education, including early pre-school education.
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.