Romania: How to implement the new internship rules
The internship contract is an alternative tool by which a company provides a student or trainee the opportunity to work in the company to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in a specific field, with a view to possible employment after the internship is complete. The template documents necessary to put into practice the recent rules introduced to Romanian legislation in August 2018, have been approved and can now be used by companies active in Romania.
Law no. 176 of 17 July 2018 on internship came into force on 18 August 2018 ("Law 176/2018").
On 12 October 2018, the Order of the Minister of Labour and Social Justice no. 2004 approving the framework templates of the internship certificate, the internship contract and the request for the employment promotion premium, was published in the Official Gazette of Romania ("Order 2004/2008").
The main provisions of the internship relationship
Parties to the internship contract:
- The intern – as a rule, a natural person aged at least 16; by exception, a person who has reached the age of 15, under certain conditions.
- The host-company – a legal person as defined under public or private law.
Formalities to be fulfilled:
- The internship programme must be established by the host-company and can be promoted publicly.
- An internship contract between the intern and the host-company (with the internship description attached), must be concluded according to the template provided by the Order 2004/2018.
- The host-company can simultaneously conclude internship contracts for several interns, but not more than 5 % of the total number of employees (by exception: host-companies with up to 20 employees may have two interns).
- The internship contract (and any other amendments related to the internship contract) must be registered in the electronic register of internship contracts.
- The host-company must issue an evaluation report communicated to the intern at the end of the internship.
- An internship certificate must be issued by the host-company, according to the template provided by Order 2004/2018.
The duration of the internship contract: the contract must be concluded for a fixed period of a maximum of 720 hours during six consecutive months.
- Interns over 18 years old – up to 40 hours per week.
- Interns under the age of 18 – up to 30 hours per week, but no more than 6 hours per day.
- Overtime exceeding the maximum working time above is not allowed.
The internship allowance:
- At least 50 % of the national gross minimum base salary (currently RON 950, i.e. approx. EUR 200).
- It is granted pro rata according to the number of hours worked.
Other provisions of interest:
- The host-company is granted an employment promotion premium of RON 4,586 (approx. EUR 988) for each employee, provided that an individual employment agreement is concluded with the intern within 60 days after the internship programme is terminated, and provided that the host-company maintains the employment relationship with the intern for an uninterrupted period of at least 24 months.
- The internship contract can be terminated in several ways, for instance by unilateral termination by either party, in justified cases, based on a prior notice of at least 15 days preceding the proposed termination date.
- Fines for noncompliance with the provisions range from RON 300 to RON 20,000 (approx. EUR 65 to EUR 4,300) as stipulated by Law 176/2008.
Given that the new rules on internship currently contain certain ambiguities, it is to be determined whether internships represent a useful and efficient tool for employers.