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New support measures for employees and employers

In this issue:

New support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

 

Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132 of 7 August 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 132/2020) was published in the Official Gazette no. 720 of 10 August 2020.

We will summarize below the main novelties concerning the employees and the employers.

Reduced working time

By derogation from the provisions of art.112 (1) of the Labor Code, in case of temporary reduction of the activity determined by the establishment of the state of emergency/alert/siege, employers have the possibility to reduce the working time of their employees by no more than 50% of the duration provided in the individual employment agreement, with the information and consultation of the trade union, employees' representatives or of the employees.

The reduction of working time is established by employer’s decision, for a period of at least 5 consecutive working days, the employer having the obligation to establish the work schedule for the entire month.

The employer's decision shall be communicated to the employee at least 5 days before the measure becomes effective and shall be registered in the general register of employees no later than the day before its effective date.

During the reduction of the working time, the employees affected by the measure shall receive an indemnity of 75% of the difference between the gross base salary provided by the individual employment agreement and the gross base salary corresponding to the hours actually worked as a result of the reduction of working time, in addition to the due salary rights, calculated for the actual worked time.

The indemnity represents a salary income and is subject to taxation and payment of social contributions. It is taken into account when establishing the contribution period of at least 12 months in the last 24 months preceding the date of registration of the application for unemployment benefit.

The indemnity is borne by the employer and is paid on the date of payment of the salary for respective month and will be settled from the unemployment insurance budget after the employer fulfills the declaratory obligations.

The employer may decide to reduce the working time and may request the settlement of the allowance if the following conditions are cumulatively met:

  • the measure affects at least 10% of the employees of the unit;
  • the reduction of the activity is justified by a decrease in the turnover corresponding to the month prior to the application of the measure or, at most, from the month prior to the month preceding it by at least 10% compared to the similar month of the previous year.
 

During the application of the measure:

  • the employees affected by this measure cannot perform overtime for the same employer;
  • it is forbidden to hire staff to perform activities identical or similar to those performed by the employees whose working time has been reduced, as well as the subcontracting of activities performed by employees whose working time has been reduced;
  • the work schedule of the affected employees cannot be reduced based on art. 52 (3) of the Labor Code;
  • the granting of bonuses, as well as of other additions to the base salary for the employer's management structure, is made after the measure ends;
  • the employer cannot initiate collective dismissals.
 

Support measures for certain categories of employees

Until 31 December 2020, but for a period of maximum 3 months, at the choice of the employer, part of the salary granted to the employees who conclude individual employment contracts for a fixed period of up to 3 months  may be settled, representing 41,5% of the salary related to the days worked in these working places, for a working period of 8 hours/day, but not more than 41.5% of the average gross salary.

Measures regarding teleworking

In order to carry out teleworking, employers are granted, once, for each teleworker, a financial support in the amount of Lei 2,500 in order to purchase packages of technological goods and services necessary to carry out teleworking.

The amount is granted to employers, for employees who performed telework during the state of emergency for at least 15 working days.

The granting mechanism and the categories of goods that can be purchased shall be established by order of the Minister of Labor and Social Protection.

Interdictions

GEO 132/2020 does not apply to:

  • public institutions;
  • employers who are in bankruptcy, dissolution, liquidation or whose activities are suspended;
  • employers who are registered in jurisdictions non-cooperating for tax purposes.
 

Sanctions

Receiving at work or performing any other type of work, including telework or work from home in the interest of the employer, of one or more employees, outside the work schedule established according to the provisions of GEO 132/2020, represents minor offence and it is sanctioned with a fine of Lei 20,000 for each person thus identified, without exceeding the cumulative value of Lei 200,000.

 
Prepared by:
Eduard Florea – Associate, Radu și Asociații SPRL
 
For additional information, please contact:
Radu Diaconu – Associate Partner, Radu și Asociații SPRL
Anca Atanasiu – Senior Associate, Radu și Asociații SPRL
 
Radu și Asociații SPRL
Bucharest Tower Center Building,
22nd Floor, 15-17 Ion Mihalache Blvd.,
Sector 1, 011171, Bucharest, Romania
Tel: (40-21) 402 4100, Fax: (40-21) 310 6987
Email: office@ra-law.ro
 
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