Employment Flash No. 2/2020 – News on the instating of the state of emergency

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The Decree no. 195/16.03.2020 of the President on the instating of the state of emergency on the Romanian territory was published within the Official Gazette no. 212 dated March 16, 2020.

The state of emergency has been decreed for a period of 30 days, starting from the moment of publication of President’s Decree within the Official Gazette.

The President’s decree imposes of series of directly and immediately applicable emergency measures (Annex I of the Decree), as well as some emergency measures with gradual applicability (Annex II of the decree). By the effect of the Decree, the application and compliance with both categories of measures is imposed to all the authorities, legal persons and natural persons.

With regard to the first category of measures, the main measures with impact for the labour and social security domain are:

  • As a general aspect, the Government is empowered to support the employers and employees affected by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, by issuing official acts derogating from the provisions of the law.
  • By order of the Minister of Labour and Social Protection particular social protection measures are established regarding the employees (and their families) from the activity sectors where the activity has totally or partially been interrupted, by decision of the public authorities, during state of emergency.
  • During the state of emergency, the activity of all educational establishments is suspended, determining the applicability of the law granting days off to parents in such situations for the entire period of 30 days.
  • However, the above-mentioned law is not applicable to employees from the national defense system, the state prison system or from the public health units, as well as from other categories expressly established by ministerial order. The personnel to which the provisions of the above-mentioned law do not apply benefits from a salary raise within the quantum of the allowance provided by this law, in case the other parent does not benefit from the rights provided by this law.
  • Where it is possible, during the state of emergency, the private companies (among others) instated work from home or telework, by the unilateral decision of the employer.
  • During the state of emergency, the investigations by the Territorial Labour Inspectorates are suspended, with some exceptions (e.g. those ordered by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, those ordered by the Labour Inspection for the application of the measures imposed by the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations or those necessary for the investigation of work accidents etc.).
  • The application and validity of collective labour agreements is maintained during the state of emergency.
  • The starting, declaration or development of collective labour conflicts is prohibited during the state of emergency, as regards a series of units, such as: units from the national energy sector, those with mandatory continuous activity, health units and social security units or those that ensure local sanitation, provision of gas, electric energy, heat and water to the population etc.
  • In case the individual employment agreement is terminated as an effect of the COVID-19 epidemic, the persons entitled to an insertion incentive (granted in case of an earlier return to work from the child raise leave) continue to benefit from this allowance.

The decree also contains certain measures of gradual applicability that could be further imposed regarding aspects such as: isolation and quarantine of persons coming from risk areas, as well as of those who enter in contact with these persons; imposing quarantine as regards buildings, local territories of geographical areas; gradual closing of the points of state frontier; limitation/prohibition of circulation to/within certain areas, as well as out of such areas; temporary closing restaurants, hotels, cafes and other such places etc.

Note:  The decree also contains other measures with immediate applicability in various areas (e.g. economy, health, justice, external affairs).

The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.

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