Employment Flash News No. 5/2019 – News on harassment and equal treatment between women and men

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Government Decision no. 262/2019 on the approval of the Methodological norms for the application of the provisions of Law no. 202/2002 was published within the Official Gazette no. 333 dated May 2nd, 2019.

Among others, the new legal provisions set out certain obligations in order to prevent, combat and eliminate any behaviour defined as discrimination based on sex criteria and in order to ensure equal opportunities and treatment between women and men.

Thus, through the methodological norms it is introduced the obligation of each Company to have a clear internal policy aimed at eliminating tolerance of harassment at the workplace and comprising anti-harassment measures.

In this respect, the norms also propose a structure for this internal policy, which will comprise the following elements:

  • guiding principles;
  • the legal framework;
  • purpose and field of applicability;
  • harassment at the workplace, detailing the definition and unwanted behaviours and attitudes;
  • sexual harassment, detailing the definition and unwanted behaviours and attitudes;
  • preventive measures, detailing the possible measures and sanctions that can be applied in the case of harassment at the workplace;
  • proactive measures, setting the concrete role and responsibilities for both the employer and the employees;
  • confidentiality rules;
  • preliminary measures for solving the complaints at company level;
  • the modalities of solving the complaints at company level;
  • determination of the conclusions on the analysis of the complaints and of the measures taken at company level.

Moreover, the employers will have to continuously ensure that the employees are kept informed regarding their rights related to equal opportunities and treatment between women and men in employment relationships, information which has to be provided through all possible means of communications (e.g., meetings, reunions, e-mails etc).

In addition, the Companies will be required to draft an internal procedure including the institutional circuit of the necessary steps to immediately inform the public authorities empowered with the enforcement and control of the compliance with the legislation on equality of chances and treatment between women and men in cases when the employer was notified about a potential non-compliance with this legislation.

Last but not least, the new legislative amendments set out that employers will need to carry out projects, information programs or concrete actions to ensure a common understanding of the internal policies on harassment at the workplace by the employees. The employers will have to inform the employees regarding the internal procedure for submitting a complaint of a sexual harassment/inappropriate behaviour at work and about how these complaints will be solved.

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