Employment Flash No. 5/2020 – News on the state support for technical unemployment and on the latest measures with impact for the employment domain

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The Government Emergency Ordinance no. 32/26.03.2020 on the amendment and completion of the GEO no. 30/2020, establishing some measures in the field of social protection in the context of the epidemic situation determined by the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and for the establishment of additional social protection measures was published within the Official Gazette no. 260, dated March 30, 2020.

This piece of legislation provides, among others, a series of amendments to the content of GEO 30/2020 regarding the state support for technical unemployment and eliminates some conditions regarding employer’s access to these benefits, as follows:

  • The employers are no longer divided into two distinct categories and the new GEO eliminates the condition regarding the percentage of the employees for which the state support is granted, as well as the condition regarding the emergency certificates, which were requested of the employers, based on the previous legislation.
  • The employees of the employers that temporarily reduce or interrupt their activity, totally or partially, due to the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, are entitled to the allowance for technical unemployment, borne by the state in a quantum of 75% of the base salary corresponding to the position held by the employee, but no more than 75% of the average gross salary (which is now of RON 5,429, resulting in a maximum of RON 4,071.75 borne by the state).
  • The documents that shall be submitted electronically to the Agency of Workforce Occupation from the area where the employers have their headquarters are:
    1. a personal statement (affidavit) of the employer;
    2. a request filled in and signed by the legal representative of the employer;
    3. a list of employees to which the unemployment allowance is granted, confirmed by the legal representative of the employer.
  • If the employer’s budget for the payment of personnel expenses allows, the sum granted to the employee as unemployment allowance may be supplemented by the employer with sums representing the difference up to minimum 75% of the base salary corresponding to the position held.
  • The condition regarding the decrease of employer’s revenue registered by a minimum percentage is eliminated.
  • The unemployment allowance will be borne by the state only during the state of emergency (which is now decreed until April 14th).
  • The amounts will be paid by the state to the employers in a maximum of 15 days from the submission of the documentation required – after that, the employers will have the obligation to pay these sums of money to the impacted employees within a deadline of maximum 3 working days.

The GEO also contains some mentions, as regards the employees who have more individual employment agreements:

  • if at least one of these employment agreements is a full-time employment agreement, which is active during the state of emergency, the employee does not benefit from the allowance, according to GEO 30/2020, further amended and completed by GEO 32/2020.
  • if all of these employment agreements are suspended during the state of emergency, the employee in question benefits from the technical unemployment allowance corresponding to the employment agreement that provides for the most advantageous salary rights.

In addition, the Military Ordinance no. 4/29.03.2020 establishing measures of prevention against the spreading of COVID-19 was published within the Official Gazette no. 257/29.03.2020. The main provisions of impact from an employment law perspective are:

  • For a period established by the employer during the state of emergency, measures of preventive isolation are instituted at the workplace or in special designated areas with no access from the exterior, as regards the personnel with essential duties in a series of domains (e.g. production, transport and distribution of electric energy or natural gases; activities of service and maintenance of equipment; the supply, extraction, production and processing of resources and raw materials etc.)
  • The refusal by the personnel in question to comply with the preventive isolation measures mentioned above triggers disciplinary, civil, administrative and even criminal liability, as case may be. The measure mentioned above is applicable starting with the 31st of March, 2020, at 12:00.
  • When returning to Romania, the drivers of cargo transportation vehicles with maximum authorized load greater than 2.4 tones, aircraft pilots and the naval crew staff opts for quarantine/isolation, for a maximum of 14 days, in the period between transports/courses, in one of the following manners:
    1. quarantine in special spaces made available by the employer;
    2. isolation at the domicile, along with all the persons with whom they live or alone, in another locative space available;
    3. quarantine by request, in spaces made available by the public administration authorities, bearing the corresponding costs.
  • The option for one of the possibilities is expressed by the persons mentioned above by completing a personal statement (affidavit). This measure is applicable starting the 31st of March 2020.
  • The economic operators in the field of commerce of food and products of strict necessity and which operate in the conditions stipulated by military ordinances during the state of emergency will organize their work program to facilitate and ensure priority access for people over 65 years old in the time interval between 11.00 and 13.00, limiting, during this time, the access of persons of other age categories.  This measure applies starting the 30th of March 2020.

Note:  Both the Government Emergency Ordinance and the Military Ordinance entered into force on the date of publication within the Official Gazette.

The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.

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