The state of emergency was instituted in Romania for a period of 30 days as of 16 March 2020 (i.e. the date when Decree No. 195/2020 establishing the state of emergency in Romania was published in the Official Gazette).
We have included below a short review of the main measures provided by the state of emergency decree from an employment law perspective:
- Measures for the social protection of employees and their families in the economic sectors where the activity is affected or halted totally or partially by decisions of public authorities, during the emergency state, shall be established by way of order of minister of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection;
- Private companies will implement work from home or telework during the state of emergency, where possible, by employer’s unilateral decision;
- Inspections of the Territorial Labour Inspectorates at employers shall be suspended, except for specific cases expressly provided under the Decree (i.e. inspections ordered by the ministry of labour and social protection, inspections ordered by the Labour Inspection for the enforcement of the decisions of the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations, necessary inspections for events having an increased degree of social danger and inspections for investigating work accidents);
- The validity of the Collective Bargaining Agreements and of the collective agreements (Romanian: acorduri colective) shall be maintained during the emergency state.
Furthermore, the Decree expressly provides that (i) measures may be adopted for supporting the economic operators affected by COVID-19 and (ii) the Govern may support the employers and the employees affected by the effects of COVID-19 crisis, by way of derogation from general legal provisions in force.
In addition to the above, considering school closing given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Romanian Parliament passed Law No. 19/2020 on granting paid leave to parents for child surveillance, in case of temporary closing of education establishments, as further amended and supplemented by Emergency Ordinance no. 30/2020 (“Law 19/2020”) and the Government adopted the Government Decision no. 217/2020 for the implementation of Law 19/2020 (“Implementation Norms”), including the following measures:
1. paid leave shall be granted to one of the parents for children surveillance in case of suspension of courses or temporary closing of education establishments where the children are registered, entailed by adverse weather conditions or other extreme situations declared by the relevant competent authorities; the conditions for granting paid leave are as follows:
- the respective parents must have children aged up to 12 years or children with disabilities aged up to 18 years registered with an educational establishment; and
- the parents’ job does not allow working from home or teleworking;
The term “parent” within the meaning of Law 19/2020 is wider and includes also, for example: the adopter, the person entrusted with the child / children for adoption purposes, the parent or the legal representative of the adult with disabilities registered with an educational establishment;
2. the provisions of Law 19/2020 are not applicable in case one of the parents (within the meaning of Law 19/2020) is (i) on parental leave, (ii) on paid / unpaid leave or (iii) the personal assistant of one of the dependent children, nor in the case of parents in technical unemployment (Romanian “somaj tehnic”) or in case one of the parents does not have a taxable income;
3. special rules apply in case of parents working in units that must ensure continuity during the state of emergency;
4. the right to paid leave applies for the entire period during which the respective educational establishments are closed given the authorities’ decision. Paid leave shall be granted to one of the parents for the working days until the end of the state of emergency, with the exception of the working days during school holiday;
5. the indemnity for each day off amounts 75% of the base salary corresponding to a working day without however exceeding the correspondent per day of 75% of the medium gross salary used for substantiating of the social security state budget;
6. the indemnity is paid from the chapter afferent to the personnel expenses of the employer’s income and expenses budget. The employer shall then settle the amounts paid for the indemnities (net values) from the Guarantee fund for payment of salary debts, as per the procedure provided under the Implementation Norms.