In Romania, hiring a disabled person is quite difficult. After 1990, social and financial support for people with disabilities increased, but job opportunities declined due to the disappearance of most of the “invalid cooperatives”, which were sheltered jobs.
This has led to the creation of so-called protected structures, autonomous economic entities whose main objective is the professional integration of people facing serious difficulties in the labour market, and which are carried out in sheltered laboratories or by means of vocational training and qualifications.
In Romania, this type of enterprise has been defined by invalidity legislation, namely Law 448/2006. In Romania, Law 448/2006 provides that companies must be subject to a social security scheme.
The legislation obliges companies with more than 50 employees to employ up to 4% of disabled people. If they did not have such a share of employees, the companies in question had to pay tax to the State, or they could choose to purchase services or goods from the authorised protected units, in the same amount as they would otherwise have owed to the state budget.
Unfortunately, this was the first facility deleted by OUG 60/2017. According to this law, the government has cancelled the possibility of companies to purchase goods or services from protected units instead of paying state tax. Of course, by deleting this provision, protected establishments, some of which have employees with severely disabled people, have simply been exposed to competition with other open market companies, most of which are in financial difficulties, As a result, some of the disabled employees lost their jobs.
Recently, the vote of Law 145/2020 began to correct the situation. Therefore, the novelty of the provisions of Law 145/2020 refers to the very clear definition of the protected units and the activity carried out by them in the following way:
- UPA – is the body governed by public or private law under its management, with at least 3 persons with disabilities employed, representing at least 30% of the total number of employees, and their cumulative working time represents at least 50% of all employees’ total working time.
- in Article 78, paragraph 3 is amended as follows: “Public authorities and public institutions, public or private legal persons, which do not recruit persons with disabilities under the conditions set out in paragraph 2, may opt for one of the following obligations:
(a) pay monthly to the state budget an amount corresponding to the minimum gross basic wage per guaranteed country, multiplied by the number of jobs that disabled people have not occupied;
b) pay monthly to the State budget at least 50 % of the minimum gross basic salary per guaranteed country, multiplied by the number of jobs where disabled persons have not been employed, and the amount of the difference up to the amount specified in (a) for the purchase, in partnership, of products or services produced through the activities of disabled persons employed in recognised protected establishments.In conclusion, in the future, companies with more than 50 employees due to the disability fund contribution may choose that 50% of the amount due to the state should be used for the purchase of products from the protected units.”
In conclusion, in the future, companies with more than 50 employees due to the disability fund contribution may choose that 50% of the amount due to the state should be used for the purchase of products from the protected units.”
The law was approved by the Parliament and published in the Official Gazette no. 767/21/08.2020.