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25 March 2020

Romania: Coronavirus: Impacts on employment in Romania

What actions may the employer implement unilaterally?

The employer may implement the following types of actions, upon consultation with the employees' trade union and/or representatives, as applicable:

1. Implement telework or work from home, where possible, during the emergency period.

2. Temporary lay-off:

  • individual employment agreements are suspended, however, employees remain on call, and the employer may recall them at any time;
  • compensation amounting to at least 75 % of the base salary paid by the employer from the salaries fund;
  • temporary lay-off compensation for companies affected by the pandemic will be borne directly from the unemployment insurance state budget, but no more than 75 % of the average gross salary;
  • may be implemented by (i) employers who totally or partially suspend/ interrupt their activities based on the decisions issued by the competent authorities or (ii) employers who registered a decrease the month before, with a minimum of 25 % of their incomes as compared to the first two months of the year and where employers do not have the financial capacity to pay salaries (these salaries may be accessed only by a maximum of 75 % of the employees of the company).

3. Paid days off - can be compensated with overtime performed by the employee within the following 12 months.

4. Reducing work from five to four days/week, in case of temporary reduction of the activity, due to economic, technological, structural or similar reasons, for periods exceeding 30 working days, with the corresponding salary cut. Prior consultation with the trade union/ employees' representatives, as the case may be. During this period, the salary rights are paid directly by the employer, no subsides from the state being granted.

5. Suspension of the employment agreement for quarantine - it is compensated by 75 % of the salary, which is fully borne by the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund.

6. Suspension of the employment agreement in case of force majeure - it is not compensated unless the employer decides otherwise.

What actions may the employer implement in agreement with the employee?

  1. Paid days off.
  2. Reduced or individualised / flexible working programme.
  3. Suspension of the employment agreement by mutual agreement.
  4. Any other changes of the contractual clauses agreed with the employee.

Under what conditions can employees with children be entitled to paid days off during the temporary closure of educational establishments?

The employer may grant paid days off for one of the parents of children aged up to 12 years (or up to 18 years, for children with disabilities), during the temporary closure of the educational units, under the following conditions:

  1. The compensation paid by the employer is 75 % of the salary, but no more than gross 4,071.75 lei / month (approx. EUR 800).
  2. The employer may recover the amounts paid to the employees as per the above from the Guarantee Fund for Payment of Employees' Claims, based on a procedure to be approved by Government decision.

What preventive actions of safety and health at work must the employer implement in the context of the emerging risks of infection with Covid-19 in the workplace?

  1. Carry out an analysis in order to prioritise the essential or relevant services from the non-essential ones.
  2. Informing and training workers.
  3. Providing protective equipment (masks, protective gloves, etc.).
  4. Determining the nature and level of risk for any activity susceptible to present a risk of exposure to Covid-19 and limiting this exposure.
  5. Developing a plan of actions, based on the recommendations of the occupational health doctor with whom he has a contract.
  6. The use of remote means of communication.
  7. Developing a plan to ensure the continuity of the business activity in case a significant number of workers are unable to perform their activity at the workplace organised by the employer.

What compulsory measures regarding occupational health and safety should employers take when a worker becomes infected with Covid-19?

  1. Informing the competent public health directorate, in order to initiate the procedures for carrying out the epidemiological investigation.
  2. Suspension of the employment agreement on the grounds of quarantine / isolation at home.
  3. Failure to comply with measures regarding the prevention or control of infectious diseases is considered a felony for preventing the fight against diseases, which is punishable even with imprisonment.

This article is part of our coronavirus-focused legal updates – visit our coronavirus info corner to get more info!

authors: Mara Moga-Paler and Amalia Surugiu