Legal & Tax Alerts

Workplace harassment: approaches to preventing and countering it

1. Ratification of ILO Convention no. 190/2019 on the Elimination of Violence and Workplace Harassment

On 13 March 2024, the Romanian Parliament passed the law on the ratification of the Convention no. 190/2019 concerning the Elimination of Violence and Workplace Harassment (the “Convention“). The Convention is the first international instrument to set protection standards against workplace violence and harassment. Member States ratifying the Convention are obliged to take appropriate measures to respect, promote and ensure each person’s right to a work environment without violence and harassment, through enactments or amendment of national legislation.

Following the entry into force of the law on the ratification of the Convention, the Romanian legislator is expected to implement the provisions of the Convention through domestic legislative measures, such as assimilating new categories of persons (e.g. volunteers, trainees, jobseekers) with employees, redefining specific concepts (e.g. workplace, harassment, violence), ensuring easy access to safe, fair and effective reporting and dispute resolution mechanisms and procedures, incriminating certain deeds etc.

The law on the ratification of the Convention is currently in the promulgation phase and is not yet applicable.

2. Implementation of the provisions of the Methodology on Preventing and Countering Gender-based Harassment and Workplace Moral Harassment

At the end of previous year, the Romanian Government adopted the Methodology on Preventing and Countering Gender-based Harassment and Workplace Moral Harassment (the “Methodology“) by means of GD no. 970/2023.

According to the Methodology, by 17 April 2024, employers are required to prepare and implement an internal anti-harassment policy in accordance with the provisions of the Methodology. For employers who have already implemented an anti-harassment policy, it is recommendable to review it so as to ensure its compliance with the provisions of the Methodology.

Last but not least, it should be noted that employers’ responsibilities under the Methodology include the obligation to organise annual training courses for employees on the provisions of the Methodology.

Failure to comply with the obligations set out in the Methodology may result in sanctions of up to RON 50,000.

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