Romania: New legal provisions on labour law
In the Romanian Official Gazette (i) Law no. 221/26.07.2021 to supplement Law no. 55/2020 regarding some measures for preventing and combating the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (“Law 221/2021”), (ii) Law no. 208/21.07.2021 to approve GEO no. 36/2021 on the use of advanced electronic signatures or qualified electronic signatures accompanied by an electronic time stamp or qualified electronic time stamp and qualified electronic seal of employers in regard to labour relations, and to amend and supplement some normative acts (“Law 208/2021”) and (iii) Order no. 585/02.07.2021 on amending and supplementing the framework template of individual employment contracts provided in the annex to Order no. 64/2003 (“Order 585/2021”) have been published.
I. Law 221/2021
According to this law, which will enter into force on 29 July 2021, upon request, employees vaccinated against Covid-19 will be entitled to one paid day off, which is not included in their annual leave, for each dose of vaccine administered.
This entitlement is to be granted on the basis of the vaccination certificate issued according to the law. If the day off coincides with the day of vaccination, the employee must submit the vaccination certificate on the first working day after the vaccination.
In addition, one of the parents or the legal representative of any child up to 18 years of age or person with a disability up to the age of 26 can benefit from such paid days off on the day of vaccination of the child or person with a disability.
Employees must inform their employers about scheduling options for the days off to be requested based on these provisions in order to ensure good organization.
The provisions of Law 221/2021 do not apply to employees who are vaccinated at the workplace as organized by the employer.
II. Law 208/2021
1. Use of advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature
The most important amendment is the elimination of the obligation to use an employer’s time stamp and seal.
In addition, the parties may choose to use an advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature when concluding, amending, suspending or, as the case may be, terminating an individual employment contract. The same type of signature, whether handwritten or electronic, must be used.
The competent supervisory authorities must accept, for verification and control, individual employment contracts and additional documents related to labour relations or occupational safety and health concluded in an electronic format with an electronic signature, without requesting them in letter format.
Note: Expenses incurred by an employer to purchase advanced electronic signatures or qualified electronic signatures are deductible expenses.
2. Amendments regarding occupational safety and health
The proof that an employer has provided its employees with mandatory health and safety training may also be prepared electronically and signed with an electronic signature, advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature.
III. Order 585/2021
The framework template for individual employment contracts provided in the annex to Order no. 64/2003 has been amended as follows:
- Companies must state the job responsibilities in the job description; micro-enterprises with up to nine employees are exempt from this and need only complete a short characterization/description of the work involved.
- The Order also provides a new obligation on the part of employers to inform their employees about the obligation to join a privately administered pension fund. This obligation applies only to certain categories of employees.
Practice group: Employment & Pensions