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New rules on kurzarbeit and grants for telework

Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 on support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as for stimulating employment growth (“GEO no. 132/2020”), amended by the Government[1] as of December 7th, 2020, shall be subject to a new series of amendments starting December 12, 2020, when shall enter into force the approval law[2] of the GEO no. 132/2020, as adopted by the Parliament.

Kurzarbeit

The amendments of GEO no. 132/2020 brought by the Government and respectively by the Parliament comprise a series of inconsistencies as regards certain aspects, such as:

The Government implemented the possibility for the employers to reduce the working time of employees by up to 80% of the monthly duration computed by taking into consideration the duration provided in the individual employment contract. However, though the law for approval of GEO no. 132/2020, the Parliament returned to the percentage of maximum 50% initially provided under the GEO no. 132/2020;

The Government did not maintain the possibility of implementing Kurzarbeit in case of unequal and shift working programs, however, this possibility has been reinstated according to the law adopted by the Parliament;

The Government clarified the situation regarding the territorial area for the applicability of the prohibition for employers to hire personnel for the purpose of conducting identical or similar activities with the activities performed by the employees of whose working time has been reduced, as well as the prohibition to subcontracting activities carried out by the employees whose working time has been reduced, to the extent that such prohibition shall take into consideration strictly the working places where the employees effectively carry out their activity, located within the perimeter ensured by the employer, and the Parliament clarified that this prohibition shall take into consideration the subsidiary, branch or other secondary offices.

Taking into consideration that the law for the approval of GEO no. 132/2020 adopted by the Parliament has been published and shall enter into force at a later date than Government emergency ordinance that amended GEO no. 132/2020, the provisions of the aforementioned law shall be applied as of December 12th, 2020, while the provisions of Government emergency ordinance that amended GEO no. 132/2020 and which are inconsistent with those of the said law remain applicable for a short period, respectively as of December 7th, 2020 until December 11th, 2020 inclusively.

Other important amendments upon Kurzarbeit refer to:

the possibility to apply Kurzarbeit for at least 5 days/month, without the obligation for these days to be consecutive (amendment applicable as of 07.12.2020; this amendment upon GEO 132/2020 has been included by both the Government and the Parliament);

the registration of the employer’s decision for Kuzarbeit implementation with the employees’ electronic register shall not represent further on a condition for the reimbursement of the allowances granted to employees subject to Kurzarbeit (amendment applicable as of December 12th, 2020), however, it has been performed according to the general rules applicable in case of registration with the employees’ electronic register;

the list of the documentation that the employer has to submit for obtaining the reimbursement of the allowances granted to employees subject to Kurzarbeit, has to comprise the agreement concluded with the trade union representatives/employees’ representatives, as the case may be, regarding the percentage from the number of employees whose working time has been reduced, a fact that is inconsistent with the provision that the employer implements Kurzarbeit with the information and consultation of these bodies, but in absence of their agreement (amendment applicable as of 12.12.2020);

the clarification that the allowance for Kurzarbeit shall not be cumulated for the same employee, if the grant periods overlap, with other social supporting measures such as reimbursement of a part of the salary in case of employees who conclude individual employment contracts for a fixed-term of up to three months, reimbursement of a part of the salary in case of employees of whose working relations have been suspended during the state of emergency or of state of alert or for hiring NEET persons or of other categories of unemployed persons (amendment applicable as of 07.12.2020, decided by the Government which does not contravene to the provisions of the approval law of the GEO no. 132/2020 adopted by the Parliament).

The term for the applicability of Kurzarbeit has been extended until 30.06.2021[3].

Grant for telework

The grant for telework provided to employers in the amount of RON 2,500 for each teleworker shall be granted also in case the employees have worked as teleworkers during the state of alert for a period of at least 15 working days, and not only for the employees that have worked as teleworkers during the state of emergency.

 

[1]       By Emergency Government Ordinance no. 211/2020 regarding the prolongation of the applicability of certain measures for social protection adopted in the context of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spread, as well as for the amendment of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 on support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as for stimulating employment growth, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1189 as of December 7th, 2020.

[2]       On this date shall enter into force Law no. 282/2020 for the approval of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 on support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as for stimulating employment growth, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1201 as of December 9th, 2020.

[3]       By Government Decision no. 1046/2020 on the supplement of Government Decision no. 719/2020 for the approval of the settlement and payment procedure of the amounts granted on the basis of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 on support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation determined by the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as on stimulating employment growth, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 1199 as of December 9th, 2020.

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