Employment Flash No. 8/2020 – Latest news on specific measures established for the state of alert
The Government Decision no. 394/18.05.2020 on declaring the state of alert and the measures that apply during this period against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Annexes thereof were published within the Official Gazette no. 410, dated 18 May 2020.
By means of this Government Decision, the state of alert is declared upon Romanian territory until 15 June 2020.
The main points of interest, from an employment law perspective are the following:
- The mandatory wearing of protective masks within enclosed spaces, including at the workplace;
- The possibility to travel outside town for professional purposes, including movement from home to the workplace and back, based on the identification badge, the letter from employer or a self-made affidavit, previously filled in;
- The ending of the effects of CNSU Decision no. 24/2020, which was applicable for the first days of the state of alert.
The Joint Order of the Labour and Social Protection Minister and the Health Minister no. 3577/15.05.2020 regarding measures for the prevention of SARS Cov-2 contamination and on ensuring the organization of activity at the workplace in conditions of health and safety, during the state of alert has been published within the Official Gazette no. 403, dated 16 May 2020.
This normative act, alongside the Guide for returning to work in conditions of safety for the employees and employers have been published by means of a press release of the Labour and Social Security Minister and are available in Romanian at the following link: http://www.mmuncii.ro/j33/index.php/ro/comunicare/comunicate-de-presa/5940-20200517_cp-mmps-ghid-revenire-la-munca
These documents contain various specific measures applicable to employers under the current circumstances, out of which we exemplify only a few:
- Performing training for health and safety at work for the employees who were not physically present at the workplace during the state of emergency;
- implementing activity-related specific measures (setting out, as a possibility, to continue working from home, which, according to the joint ministerial order, may remain a priority;
- publishing, at the entry and in other visible places, rules in order to prevent COVID-19 illness;
- informing the employees upon the generally applicable precautions;
- limiting the access in common areas and ensuring social distancing rules therein (inclusively by implementing differentiated lunch breaks, with minimum 1.5 meters distance between persons);
- ensuring temperature checks at the beginning of the working schedule (and whenever necessary) and prohibiting access of persons presenting specific symptoms and/or temperature over 37.3 degrees Celsius and/or generally altered health state.
In addition, obligations applicable to employees are also mentioned, such as wearing masks at the office, accepting temperature checks, notifying the employer about symptoms and remaining at home if they manifest such symptoms etc.
Other such specific obligations/recommendations, with impact from a labour law perspective, are identifiable within multiple the pieces of legislation issued by the competent authorities from different domains, out of which we mention the Joint Order of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment and the Health Minister no. 1731/15.05.2020 regarding measures for the prevention of SARS Cov-2 contamination and on ensuring the organization of activity in conditions of sanitary safety within the economic domain, during the state of alert and the Annexes thereof, published within the Official Gazette no. 406, dated 16 May 2020.
This order contains, among others, certain recommendations on performing the activity in open space offices, such as: ensuring at least 1.5 m between employees working at desks oriented face-to-back and back-to-back, installing physical barriers for desks oriented face-to-face (disinfected daily), disinfection of work surfaces at the beginning of the working schedule and every 4 hours, organizing lunch breaks in series so that minimum distance of 2 m is observed etc.
Note: All the acts mentioned above entered into force at the date when they were published within the Official Gazette.
The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.