Employment Flash No. 10/2020 – Latest news on the state support measures, the medical leave in case of COVID-19 and measures of protection and safety for organization of certain activities
The Government Emergency Ordinance no. 92/28.05.2020 establishing some active measures of support for employees and employers in the epidemiological situation determined by the spreading of the SARS-COV-2 virus and also providing changes on some normative acts was published within the Official Gazette no. 459, dated 29 May 2020.
By means of this GEO, the following measures of support are established:
1. Starting 1 June 2020, a state support of 41.5% of the gross base salary corresponding to the position held, but no more than 41.5% of the medium gross income (leading to a maximum amount of approx. RON 2,253), granted for a period of three months, will be available for the following categories of employers:
a) the employers who benefited from the state support provided under GEO no. 30/2020 during the state of emergency or the state of alert, in order to pay to these employees the technical unemployment allowance;
b) the employers who temporarily suspended the employment contracts of their employees during the state of emergency or the state of alert (therefore temporarily sending them in technical unemployment), bearing the entire unemployment allowance in absence of any state support for technical unemployment.
In order to benefit from this type of state support, compliance with a series of conditions has to be ensured:
- Employers maintain the work relations with the employees in question until 31 December 2020, except for seasonal workers (non-compliance being sanctioned by having to return the amounts received). This obligation is not applicable to cases of termination not attributable to the employer.
- The employment contracts in question have been suspended for at least 15 days during the state of alert or the state of emergency.
- Employers have to bear the entire amount of the salaries paid to the employees in question and then apply for the settlement of the percentage mentioned above, within a certain timeline, electronically submitting a series of documents to the Workforce Agency from the area where they have their headquarters.
The official templates for the necessary documents and further procedural clarifications will soon be adopted and published by the competent authorities.
- The employers that, between 1 June 2020 and 31 December 2020, employ, for an undetermined period and with full-time program, persons over the age of 50 whose work relations were terminated during the state of emergency or the state of alert, from reasons not related to their person (and who are also officially registered as unemployed persons), benefit monthly, for each of these employees and for a period of 12 months, from state support amounting 50% of the salary of each employee in question, but no more than RON 2,500 per employee.
A very similar type of state support applies for the employment of persons aged between 16 and 29, officially registered as unemployed persons.
These employers have the obligation to maintain the work relations for a minimum period of 12 months, following the 12 months during which they receive the state support. Non-compliance is sanctioned by having to return the amounts received.
This type of state support is granted for the payment of salary, proportionally with the time worked and may not be cumulated, for the same employee, with other such benefits.
The employers that, at the date when they apply for these types of support (points 1. and 2.), are in bankruptcy, dissolution, liquidation or have their activities suspended or restricted from other reasons than the spreading of SARS-COV-2 virus do not benefit from the state support in question.
- The state support for technical unemployment, granted as per the provisions of GEO no. 30/2020, is prolonged for the domains of activity where restrictions are maintained by the authorities until these restrictions are lifted.
Employers with more objects of activity, out of which at least one falls under restrictions imposed by authorities, have to opt either for the type of support mentioned at point 1. (the state support for the payment of a part of the salary) or for the support granted for technical unemployment.
Further provisions for the application of these measures are to be published by the competent authorities.
The Government Decision no. 423/27.05.2020 on approving the List containing the medical-surgical emergencies and infectious-contagious diseases from group A, for which the insured persons benefit from the allowance for temporary work incapacity, without having to comply with the condition regarding the minimum insurance contribution period has been published within the Official Gazette no. 451, dated 28 May 2020.
COVID-19 has been included on the list of infectious-contagious diseases from group A for which medical leave is granted even in absence of a minimal insurance contribution period. The medical leave allowance borne entirely by the state in this case is set at 100% of the employee’s average earnings over the six months prior to the absence.
A series of particular obligations and measures, with impact from a labour law perspective (activity organization, special measures of protection for the employees, particular procedures regarding the preparation and sanitation of places where activity is performed etc.) have been adopted by means of ministerial orders issued with regard to different domains of activity, out of which we mention:
- The Order of the Culture Minister and the Health Minister no. 2879/29.05.2020 regarding measures for the prevention of the contamination with the new SARS-COV-2 coronavirus and to ensure that activities are carried out in conditions of sanitary safety in the culture domain, published within the Official Gazette no. 460 dated 29 May 2020;
- The Order of the Health Minister no. 966/29.05.2020 for the approval of the Norm on establishing specific measures for prevention of the SARS-COV-2 virus spreading, regarding activities of preparation, serving and consumption of food products, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in commercial spaces specially set up outside buildings of the units from the public food service, published within the Official Gazette no. 461 dated 30 May 2020.
- Order of the Health Minister no. 969/29.05.2020 for the approval of the Norm on establishing special measures for the prevention of the SARS-COV-2 virus spreading, regarding activities of touristic beaches management, published within the Official Gazette no. 461 dated 30 May 2020.
Note: All the normative acts mentioned above entered into force at the date of their publication within the Official Gazette.
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