New amendments to the Romanian labour legislation

On 28.04.2021 the Romanian Government adopted two emergency ordinances (i.e. GEO no. 36/2021 and GEO no. 37/2021) bringing new amendments to the Romanian labour legislation. Both GEO no. 36/2021 and GEO no. 37/2021 where published in the Romanian Official Gazette no. 474 of 6 May 2021 and are effective as of their publication date.

The main amendments brought by the two emergency ordinances aim at (i) digitalizing the work relations and easing the legal telework framework, and (ii) creating a “more obligation free” environment from a labour law perspective for micro enterprises.

  • Digitalization and easing the legal telework framework

GEO no. 36/2021 amends the Labour Code by introducing the possibility for the employers and employees to conclude in electronic form, by using advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature accompanied by time stamp or qualified time stamp and the employer’s qualified electronic seal, the employment agreements and the addenda thereto.

Furthermore, GEO no. 36/2021 provides that all work related documents (e.g. job descriptions, documents related to the disciplinary dismissals, NDAs, termination agreements, etc) may be concluded in electronic form, by using advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature accompanied by time stamp or qualified time stamp and the employer’s qualified electronic seal, in the conditions established by the Internal Regulation and/or the Collective Labour Agreement, according to the law. The same advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature accompanied by time stamp or qualified time stamp and the employer’s qualified electronic seal can be used by the employers in their relations with the public institutions.

Nevertheless, the employers cannot oblige the employees to use the advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature accompanied by time stamp or qualified time stamp and the employer’s qualified electronic seal. Therefore, if an employee refuses to use, for whatever reason, such signature then both the employee and the employer must sign the work documents that relate to that specific employee under private deed (Romanian: forma olografa).

Amendments were also brought to the

a) health and safety law no. 319/2006

The proof of the health and safety training(s) may be made in electronic form, by using advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature accompanied by time stamp or qualified time stamp and the employer’s qualified electronic seal, or on paper as per the method chosen by the employers, established through the Internal Regulations.

b) telework law no. 81/2018.

Such amendments aim mainly in offering the telework employees the possibility to work from anywhere (i.e. in this respect the obligation to convene together with the employer the work place(s) was repealed).

Also, the new enactment expressly provides for an explicit confidentiality obligation of the work from home and telework employees.

  • Creating a “more obligation free” environment from a labour law perspective for micro enterprises

According to the provisions of GEO no. 37/2021, the micro enterprises (i.e. companies with less than 9 employees and an annual net turnover or total assets amounting to the RON equivalent of less than 2 mil. EUR) are no longer under an obligation to conclude job descriptions for their employees (save for the case when the employees expressly request in writing for job descriptions) or to prepare Internal Regulations. Also the daily timekeeping for this employees will be mutually agreed upon via written agreement by the employer and its employees.

Despite the welcomed simplicity element we believe these amendments may trigger risks for an employer when trying to dismiss an employee without job description and in lack of an Internal Regulation.

Author

  • Lawyer specialised in Employment law matters: • transfer of personnel, • collective and individual dismissals and termination of employment agreements, • restructuring, • TUPE issues, • drafting and implementation of HR policies.