Romania: Employment requirements eased for Ukrainian citizens
I. EU-synchronized international aid
On 4 March 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted a unanimous decision¹ establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine and activated the provisions of Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001² (“Temporary Protection Directive”) to grant temporary support for Ukrainian citizens escaping the current military aggression (and for other individuals affected by it).
The purpose of the above decision was to alleviate pressure on national asylum support services in order to create a synchronised reaction and harmonised rights across the EU. The proceedings related to various matters (i.e. residence, access to the labour market and housing, medical assistance and access to education for children) have been expedited.
Therefore, it was necessary for each Member State to implement national provisions in order to effect the temporary protection measures (unless existing laws already provided equivalent or better protection).
II. New Romanian labour regulations for Ukrainian citizens
Since Romania shares a border with Ukraine, a significant number of Ukrainian citizens have already entered Romanian territory, and some have opted to remain in the country. A large number of refugees are still expected to arrive. Considering the above, as well as the provisions of the Temporary Protection Directive, national legislation was amended to grant humanitarian assistance.
On 8 March, Emergency Government Ordinance no. 20/2022 on amending and supplementing certain normative acts and to establish certain support and humanitarian assistance measures, published in the Official Gazette of Romania under no. 231/08.03.2022 (“EGO 20/2022”) entered into force.
Moreover, on 10 March, the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity approved the procedure for the employment of Ukrainian citizens³ in line with the provisions of EGO 20/2022.
According to the provisions of such regulations, the main labour-related measures amending the applicable labour legislation may be summarised as follows:
- Ukrainian citizens who legally enter Romania and who do not apply for a form of protection under Law 122/2006 on asylum in Romania can be employed without a work permit, and their right to stay for employment purposes is extended without the obligation to obtain a long-stay visa for employment purposes.
- Ukrainian citizens wishing to be employed in Romania but not having documents attesting to their professional qualification or work experience can apply to government employment agencies for support and registration.
- Ukrainian citizens will have the opportunity to work in Romania based on an affidavit in which they declare that they possess the appropriate professional training and experience in the field of activity in question and that they have no criminal record.
Note: The above derogations do not apply for work in regulated professions (e.g. physician, pharmacist, architect etc.), irrespective of whether such professions are carried out within a company or independently.
- Career guidance counsellors will provide them with information and professional counselling services and assist them in filling in the affidavit, which will also be available in Ukrainian.
Note: Ukrainian citizens that contact an employer directly without requesting the services of the government employment agencies must fill in the affidavit with the employer's assistance.
- After receiving professional information and counseling services, the Ukrainian citizen is placed in a vacant job that corresponds to the qualifications and experience as declared and receives an assignment order to present to the employer.
Note: The work permit is valid for twelve months as of the employment, with the possibility of pre-extension by periods of six months, for a maximum of one year.
- Ukrainian citizens now have access to the Romanian unemployment insurance system, to statutory measures on preventing unemployment and to employment promoting measures, which will be granted following registration at the employment agencies.
This is a brief summary of the relevant labour-related amendments aimed at filling the legislative void an employer may face in relation to the impact of the military crisis in Ukraine. However, it does not cover all obligations and rules to be observed by an employer and/or employee in a specific employment relationship.
If you are interested in assessing your specific options, we would be happy to provide you with additional information.
² Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof.
³ The Procedure was approved by way of Order no. 301/2022, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 240 of 10 March 2022.