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EXTENSION OF TECHNICAL UNEMPLOYMENT AND OTHER MEASURES INTRODUCED BY THE OUG 70/2020

Emergency Ordinance No. 70/2020 was published in the Official Gazette of Tuesday (May 14, 2020). It brings many changes, the most important of which concern the tax code and the resolution of technical unemployment, as a measure to help companies affected by the crisis caused by SAR-Cov-2.

The following is a summary of the main provisions contained in OUG 70/2020, in some important categories:

I. Extension of social protection measures

The legislative act concerns several measures caused by the current epidemiological situation in Romania, including:

  • the period for granting the technical unemployment allowance shall be extended until 31st of May 2020;

  • the period for granting technical unemployment benefit will be extended beyond that date for certain sectors of activity where the current restrictions remain;

  • the technical unemployment benefits of employed persons shall be fixed at 75% of the basic salary corresponding to their place of employment, the allowance payable to the unemployment insurance budget;

  • this allowance may not exceed 75 % of the average gross remuneration provided for in the State Social Security Act 2020 (No. 6/2020), i.e. 4,071,75 Ron.

By way of derogation from the provisions of Law 76/2002 on unemployment insurance:

  • the period during which employment relationships are suspended during the emergency and the state of alert established by law, it shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining the contribution period of at least 12 months in the 24 months preceding the date of registration of the claim for unemployment benefit;

  • the emergency period and alert period during which individual employment contracts are suspended in accordance with Article 52 (1)(b), (c) and (d); (2) in accordance with Law 53/2003, for which employers are not obliged to pay their employment insurance contribution, constitute equivalent training in the unemployment insurance system;

For the determination and calculation of the unemployment benefit referred to in Law 76/2002, the allowance referred to in Article XI (1) of the Government Emergency Ordinance 30/2020, as amended and completed, shall be used.

The number of paid leave for one of the parents is also set by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Private sector employers, central and local public authorities and institutions, irrespective of the method of financing and subordination, as well as autonomous recommendations, national companies, national companies and companies in which the share capital is wholly or principally owned by the state or an administrative-territorial unit, with more than 50 employees, are required to establish individualised work schedules without the employee’s agreement so that employees can ensure that there is an interval of one hour at the beginning and end of their working hours, within three hours.

The individualised work programme and the way it is divided into days shall be laid down in the document supplementing the individual employment contract or in the administrative act issued by the head of the institution or public authority, as appropriate.

 

II. Health measures

  • medical services, home care, medicines, medical equipment and medical devices, technologies and care devices shall be granted and validated without the need to use the national health card or replacement documents;

  • medical consultations in primary medical care and in the clinical ambulance, including certain related services required for medical action, provided in the basic service package, or in the minimum health service package, can also be supplied remotely using any means of communication.

III. Measures concerning the activities of the National Trade Register Office

  • for a period of six months from the date of cessation of the state of emergency, the register of trade shall be made primarily by electronic means and correspondence, in accordance with the law;

  • the work with the public at the institution’s desks is carried out during a four-hour work programme, divided into two hourly intervals, and during the period between these the places concerned by the work with the public are disinfected;

All details on how the ORC will work in the next 6 months can be found here

IV. Insolvency measures

  • during the alert, the insolvent debtor may apply to the court for the application of the provisions of Law 85/2014 on the prevention of insolvency and insolvency proceedings, as amended and completed, but is not required to submit the application;

  • the application shall be accompanied by proof of the intention to open insolvency proceedings with the competent tax authority.

V. Fiscal measures

  • supplies to legally constituted associations and foundations of medicinal products, protective equipment, other medical devices or equipment and medical supplies which may be used for the prevention, limitation, treatment and control of COVID-19 shall be exempt from value added tax with a right of deduction, as defined in Annex 2 to the Emergency Ordinance, by 1 September 2020 at the latest:

    • the exemption shall apply only on condition that the assets acquired by the associations/foundations are used by them to fight COVID-19 or are donated to other entities that use them to fight COVID-19;

      tThe supplier shall justify the exemption from VAT by his declaration of his responsibility for the destination of the goods, provided by the beneficiary association/foundation at the latest at the time of delivery.

  • For the taxable income of Romania from residents and non-residents arising from activities which deal with the organisation of cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational or entertainment events or from actual participation in such activities:

    • the tax is calculated, it is deducted on the day of the payment of revenue and is declared and paid to the budget of the State within the 25th of the month following the month in which the event occurred;

    • the tax is calculated, withheld, declared and paid to the budget of the state in itself, at the exchange rate of the foreign exchange market, communicated by the National Bank of Romania on the day of payment of the income to non-residents;

    • these provisions shall apply when cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, cultural, educational or entertainment events are reprogrammed by the end of 2021 as a result of the epidemiological situation with the coronavirus SAR-Cov-2. 

VI. Suspension of repayment of instalments, interest and fees:

In order to benefit from the suspension of repayment of instalments, interest and commissions, in accordance with OUG 37/2020:

  • the debtors shall send a request to the creditors by e-mail, at the coordinates specified in the credit agreement or through another distance communication channel offered by the creditor, by 15th of June 2020;

  • The emergency certificate required to benefit from the suspension of repayment of instalments must be established, on the basis of self-declarations by the debtors, a reduction in income or income of at least 25% in March, April or May 2020 with reference to the average of January and February 2020 or partial or total interruption of the activity as a result of decisions issued by the competent public authorities during the state of emergency decreed.

VII. Measures relating to road passenger and student transport in counties

Carriers must ensure that pupils and other categories of persons benefiting from specific transport services are transported free of charge, subject to the following penalties:

  • terminate public service delegation contracts for passenger transport by road, on scheduled flights at county level; or

  • withdrawal of the route licence in the case of cross-county transport. 

VIII. Measures in the economic field

  • the deadline within which the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Trade may issue certificates of emergency situations on request is extended until 15th of June 2020, to Economic Operators whose activity is concerned in the context of the SAR pandemic-Cov-2 during the state of emergency;

  • the emergency certificate issued by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment states, on the basis of the self-declaration, that the economic operator had a decrease in revenues of at least 25% in March, April or May 2020 with reference to the average for January and February 2020 or to the partial or total cessation of activity as a result of decisions taken by the competent public authorities during the established state of emergency;

  • during the alert state, electricity and natural gas transmission and distribution operators shall ensure continuity in the provision of services and, if a reason for disconnection occurs, postpone the execution of that operation until the cessation of the alert status;

  • during the alert state, water operators, canals and sanitation facilities shall ensure continuity in the provision of the relevant services and, in the event of a disconnection failure, postpone the execution of that operation until the cessation of the alert status.

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