Legal & Tax Alerts

Amendments to the Labour Code

Law No. 53/2003 on the Labour Code (the “Labour Code”) was substantially amended by the adoption of Law No. 283/2022[1] (the “Law”), which entered into force on October 22nd, 2022.

Consolidation of the scope of application of the Labour Code

The amendments include, first of all, the consolidation of the scope of application of the Labour Code. At present, the legal provisions expressly mention that the Labour Code applies in case of employees legally working for an employer established in Romania, a case which could have been inferred by means of interpretation, prior to the adoption of the Law.

Increase in the level of protection of employees against discrimination and adverse treatment

The protection of employees and employee representatives against discrimination and adverse treatment in the workplace is increased by the following amendments:

 employees will be protected against discrimination by an act of victimisation, defined as any adverse treatment following a complaint submitted to the competent bodies or following a legal action concerning the violation of legal rights;

employees, their representatives and trade union members who submit a complaint to the employer or initiate proceedings for the purpose of enforcing their rights under the Labour Code will be protected against any adverse treatment from the employer;

employees who consider themselves victims of such treatment may claim to the competent courts compensation, re-establishment of the previous situation or annulment of the situation created as a result of the adverse treatment.

Amendments to the employer’s obligation of information

The employer’s obligation of information of the person selected for employment or the employee, in case of amendment of the individual employment agreement, extends to the following aspects:

the possibility of the employee to perform the activity in different workplaces; in this case, the employee must be informed whether or not transportation between them is covered or reimbursed by the employer;

the method of payment of the salary and of the other constitutive elements of the salary income;

the conditions for performing overtime and the compensation or payment the employees will receive for overtime, and, if the case, the method of organising shift work;

the conditions regarding probationary periods;

the right to and the conditions regarding professional training provided by the employer;

the employer’s bearing of private medical insurance, of additional contributions to the employee’s voluntary pension or occupational pension, in accordance with the law, as well as the granting of any other rights that constitute benefits in cash granted or paid by the employer to the employee, at the employer’s initiative, as a result of the employee’s professional activity;

if the employee is going to work abroad, he/she must be informed before his/her departure with regards to the country or countries in which he/she will perform the activity;

Although the mandatory elements of the above-mentioned obligation of information have to be included in the individual employment agreement, the following are currently exempted from this rule:

the collective bargaining agreement governing the employee’s working conditions;

the procedures for the use of electronic signatures, advanced electronic signatures and qualified electronic signatures; and

the right to and the conditions regarding professional training provided by the employer.

In the event of the employer’s failure to comply with the obligation of information, the employee may refer the matter to the Labour Inspectorate. In addition to this, in the event of the employer’s failure to comply with the obligation of information regarding the essential terms of the full-time or part-time individual employment agreement, regarding the employer’s internal regulation or regarding the conditions of working abroad, the employee or the person selected for employment may claim compensation for the damage suffered as a result of the failure to comply with this obligation.

Probationary period

Although the Labour Code regulated the possibility of subjecting the employee to a new probationary period if he/she started working for the same employer on a new position, the new amendments prohibit the establishment of such a period if, within 12 months, a new individual employment agreement is concluded between the same parties for the same position and with the same duties.

The employee’s right to work for different employers or for the same employer, under different individual employment agreements

In regard to the employee’s right to work for different employers or for the same employer, under different individual employment agreements, the Law stipulates that this can only be exercised without overlapping the working schedules. Also, the employees who wish to exercise this right cannot be subject of adverse treatment by the employer.

Extension of the employee’s rights

The employees will have the right to apply for a transfer to a vacant position offering more favourable working conditions if they have completed their probationary period and have been working for the same employer for at least 6 months. The employer has to respond to this request within 30 days from the date of receival, in writing, including the reasons for the decision.

Amendments to working time provisions

The provisions of the Labour Code relating to working time are amended as follows:

the working schedule (in Romanian programul de muncă) will be defined as the method of organizing the activity, which establishes the beginning and end of working hours and working days, and the model of work organization (in Romanian modelul de organizare a muncii) will be defined as the form of organization and distribution of working hours according to a certain pattern established by the employer;

the employer may establish individualised working schedules for all employees, including those on carer’s leave, with their consent or at their request; the employer may refuse a request to establish such a schedule within 5 days of receiving the request, in writing, including the reasons for the decision;

the individualised working schedule may have a limited duration and the employee has the right to return to the original working schedule at the end of the agreed period; he/she has the right to return to the original work schedule even before the end of the agreed period if the circumstances which led to the establishment of the individualised schedule have changed;

The Law defines flexible work organization (in Romanian modul de organizare flexibil) as the possibility of employees to adapt their working schedule, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, individualised working schedules or short-time working schedules.

Introduction of new types of leave

Employees benefit from new types of leave, including:

Carer’s leave to provide personal care or support to a relative or person living in the same household as the employee who needs care or support due to a serious medical condition, subject to the following:

it may have a maximum duration of 5 working days per year, with the possibility of a longer duration being established by special laws or the applicable collective bargaining agreement;

it is granted at the employee’s written request;

it is not included in the annual rest leave and it constitutes both work seniority and speciality seniority;

employees on carer’s leave are insured for this period under the health insurance system, without payment of contributions; the duration of carer’s leave constitutes contribution period for the purposes of determining entitlement to unemployment allowance and temporary work incapacity allowance;

serious medical conditions and the conditions for granting carer’s leave will be established by joint order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity and the Ministry of Health;

relative (in Romanian rudă) includes the son, daughter, mother, father or spouse of an employee.

The Labour Code was harmonised with the Paternity Leave Law no. 210/1999[2], expressly mentioning the paternity leave granted to the father of a new born child, subject to the following:

it is granted at the written request of the employee;

it is not conditioned by the period of service or the seniority of the employee.

Unforeseen circumstances leave, granted in case of a family emergency due to illness or accident, which make the immediate presence of the employee indispensable, subject to the following:

the employer must be informed in advance;

the employee has to recover the period of absence until the full coverage of the normal duration of the work schedule;

it may have a maximum duration of 10 working days per year;

the employer and the employee have to agree on the way of compensation of the period of absence.

In determining the length of annual leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave and unforeseen circumstances leave shall be regarded as work periods.

In addition, the rights acquired by the employee prior to the granting of leaves provided as cases of suspension of the individual employment agreement at the initiative of the employee, but also prior to the carer’s leave or unforeseen circumstances leave, are maintained for the entire duration of the leave, respectively the period of absence.

New prohibitions on dismissal of employees

The law also introduces new prohibitions on the dismissal of employees, including:

employees may not be dismissed for exercising their right to be informed, the rights related to the probationary period, the rights provided by article 39 of the Labour Code and the right to participate in a professional training programme provided by the employer;

employees may not be dismissed during paternity leave, during carer’s leave or during unforeseen circumstances leave.

Employer’s internal regulation

Employers’ internal regulation has to contain, in addition to the previous legal provisions, rules on the notice period and information on the general training policy for employees, if any.

The internal regulation has to be communicated to employees on the first day of work, in paper or in electronic form, provided that, in the latter case, the document is accessible to the employees and may be stored and printed by them. The internal regulation will produce its effects in relation to the employees from the date of its acknowledgement.

Introduction of new offences that entail the contraventional liability

The provisions regarding contraventional liability are also amended by the introduction of new offences that entail such liability, namely failure to comply with the provisions on discrimination, failure to comply with the prohibitions on dismissal, failure to grant the carer’s leave and the paternity leave.

New template for the individual employment agreement

The law also provides that a new template of the individual employment agreement will be made available to employees and employers by the Labour Inspectorate. The model will be established by Order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity within 30 days from the date of publication of the Law in the Official Gazette, respectively 19.10.2022.

[1] Law no. 283/2022 on the amendment of Law no. 53/2003 regarding the Labour Code and of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 57/2019 regarding the Administrative Code, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I no. 1013 of October 19th, 2022.

[2] Paternity Leave Law no. 210/1999, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I no. 654 of December 31st, 1999

Cookie Settings