New changes in the field of social dialogue and labour relations31 May 2023
On the 25th of May 2023, Emergency Ordinance No. 42/2023 amending and supplementing Law No. 367/2022 on social dialogue and Law No. 53/2003 – Labour Code (“OUG No. 42/2023“) entered into force. The most important changes introduced by OUG No. 42/2023 are mentioned below:
▸ Carer’s leave. As a novelty, during the career’s leave employees are entitled to paid leave, which is not included in the annual rest leave and constitutes seniority in work and specialization.
▸ Collective bargaining sectors. Within 6 months of the entry into force of OUG No. 42/2023, Government Decision No. 171/2023 on the establishment of collective bargaining sectors and their related CAEN codes is repealed. The collective bargaining sectors established by the National Tripartite Council will be approved by order of the Minister responsible for social dialogue.
▸ Convocation and initiation of collective bargaining. The time limit within which the employer is obliged to convene all parties entitled to negotiate the collective labour agreement and to hold the first negotiation meeting has been extended from 5 to 15 days.
▸ Adherence to the sectoral collective labour agreement. If the employer refuses to adhere to a sectoral collective labour agreement, the employees may initiate a collective labour dispute, even if the employer concerned did not participate in the negotiations.
▸ Small and medium-sized enterprises – as defined by Law No 346/2004 on the stimulation of the establishment and development of small and medium-sized enterprises – have the possibility not to apply a collective labour agreement at sectoral or national level if it does not contain clauses specific to each category of SMEs.
▸ Strike. During the period of participation in the strike, the suspension of the individual employment contract operates at the initiative of the employee.
▸ Employers’ organisations. Employers’ organisations may establish and manage even companies for the purpose for which they are established and in the interest of their members.
▸ Jurisdiction of the courts. Jurisdiction to settle individual/collective labour disputes lies with the tribunal with jurisdiction over the domicile, residence or workplace or, where applicable, the headquarters of the plaintiff. Decisions of the tribunal can only be appealed against within 10 days from their communication.
▸ New contraventions. A fine of between RON 20,000 and RON 25,000 shall be imposed on any act of interference by employers or employers’ organizations in the establishment of trade union organizations or in the exercise of their rights, irrespective of whether or not it has the effect of preventing the exercise of the right to free trade union organization or association. In addition, a fine of between RON 30,000 and RON 50,000 is imposed on employers for interfering in the election of employees’ representatives or preventing them from doing so. These provisions enter into force on the 24th of June 2023.