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Measures to support workers and employers: updated

In Emergency Ordinance 211/04.12.2020, it was decided to extend the period of application of the social protection measures adopted in the context of the spread of coronavirus.

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In Emergency Order 211/04.12.2020, published in Official Journal No./07.12.2020, it was decided to extend the period of application of certain social protection measures adopted in the context of the spread of coronavirus, also the Emergency Order 132/2020 on measures to support workers and employers, to stimulate employment growth.

In view of the evolution of the epidemiological situation in Romania as a result of the spread of the SAR-Cov-2 virus, the increase in the number of diseases and the permanent completion of the areas of activity where restrictions are introduced, provision should be made for social protection measures for workers, employers and other professionals in a situation where the alert status will continue beyond 31 December 2020.

In the single article of the Government Emergency Ordinance No 120/2020 on the introduction of support measures for workers and employers in the current epidemiological context, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, No. 1/24.07.2020, paragraph 3 is amended as follows:

The measure referred to in paragraph 1 shall apply for the entire period of suspension of activity, but not later than 30 June 2021.

Government Emergency Ordinance 132/2020 on measures to support workers and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation and to stimulate employment growth, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, n./10.08.2020, with the following supplements, shall be amended as follows:

Paragraphs 1, 2 and 9 of Article 1 are amended as follows:

(1) In derogation from the provisions of Article 8(1) and Article 112(1) of Law 53/2003 – Labour Code, republished, as amended and supplemented thereafter, in the event of temporary reduction of activity caused by the creation of a state of emergency/alert, according to the law, employers may reduce the working time of workers to a maximum of 80 % of the monthly period calculated, with information and consultation of the trade union, workers’ representatives or workers’ representatives, as appropriate, before the employee’s decision is communicated.

(2) The reduction in working time under the conditions referred to in paragraph 1 shall be determined by the decision of the employer, for a period of at least five working days, on a monthly basis, with an obligation for the employer to fix the working time for the whole month.

(9) During the period of application of the measure referred to in paragraph 1, the employment of personnel in the pursuit of activities identical or similar to those carried out by workers whose working time has been reduced shall be prohibited, and subcontracting of activities carried out by employees whose working hours have been reduced. This prohibition shall apply strictly to jobs in which workers are actually employed, situated in the area insured by their employer, to which the measure provided for in paragraph 1 applies.

In Article 7, paragraph 2 is amended as follows:

(2) The allowance referred to in Article 1 (4) shall not be cumulated for the same staff member if the periods of enjoyment overlap with the measure referred to in Article 5 with the active support measures granted under Articles I and III of Government Emergency Ordinance 92/2020 to establish active support measures for workers and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation, 76/2002, as amended and supplemented.

In conclusion, with these legislative changes:

  • employers can reduce working time by more than 80% (previously 50%);
  • the reduction in working time shall be fixed by the decision of the employer for a period of at least five working days per month;
  • the employer is obliged to fix the working time for the whole month;
  • during the period of application of the measure, it is prohibited to employ staff to carry out activities identical or similar to those carried out by employees whose working hours have been reduced, and subcontracting activities carried out by employees whose working hours have been reduced.