What are the effects of ending the alert on employment relationships?

The alert status was last extended for 30 days, starting February 7, 2022, and March 8, 2022 was the last day on which the restrictions set by the Government decision were valid.

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The alert status was last extended for 30 days from 7 February 2022. As expected, the state of alert was not prolonged, 8 March 2022 being the last day on which the restrictions established by the Government decision were valid. The alert state lasted for almost two years in Romania, from May 15, 2020 to March 8, 2022, during which various measures were implemented that targeted several areas, including the field of labor relations.

The termination of the alert status shall have effect both in respect of the lifting of restrictions and in respect of facilities which have been adopted during this alert period.

Effects on lifting restrictions

As a result of the termination of the alert state, the employer no longer has the obligation to organize work at home / teleworking regime (this type of organization can be established further, with the agreement of both parties), neither the obligation to organize the work schedule or the obligation to organize the work at the workplace taking into account the degree of vaccination of the employees at that job.

The mask is no longer mandatory, neither in open spaces nor in enclosed spaces, but is recommended in crowded spaces.

Effects on facilities

  • Technical unemployment – with the cessation of the alert state, the reason for which the employer’s activity was interrupted, in whole or in part, as a result of measures against the spread of SARS COV 2 virus, and the activity will be resumed. Thus, the indemnity for technical unemployment is to be settled by the state until the date of the cessation of the alert state, not until March 31, 2022 as stipulated by OUG no. 2/2022, because there is no longer the reason for suspension. The employer may suspend or discontinue the activity further, but only for economic, technological, structural or similar reasons, under the conditions expressly provided by the Labor Code, and in this situation the indemnity that will be granted to employees will no longer be settled by the state;
  • Kurzarbeit measure – in case of temporary reduction in working time, caused by the establishment of a state of emergency/alert/siege, employers have the possibility to reduce the working time of employees by no more than 80% of the daily duration and for a period of up to 3 months from the date of the end of the last period in which the state of emergency/alert/siege was established, according to Emergency Ordinance no. 132 of 2020. Thus, the allowances for reduced activity (of 75% of the gross monthly basic salary related to the hours of reduction of the working hours) will be granted another three months from the date of lifting the alert state, respectively until June 9, 2022 inclusive;
  • paid free days for parents – parents who have children or adults with disabilities enrolled in the education system can receive free days until the end of the school year 2021-2022, in case of limitation or suspension of teaching activities involving the physical presence of children in the educational units, Under the conditions specified in Emergency Ordinance no. 110 of 2021. From the moment the alert state ceases, there would normally be no reason to grant these days off, but if there were justified situations in which the courses would be conducted online, paid days off will be granted until the end of this school year.

The validity of collective labor agreements (CCM) is automatically extended by 90 days from the cessation of the alert state, according to Law no. 55/2020 which also provides that, within 45 days from the date of the cessation of the alert state, the parties have the obligation to initiate collective negotiations. The validity of the documents (driving license, identity card) is extended by 90 days from the end of the alert state.

In other words, it’s time to get back to normalcy.