Employment Flash No. 9/2020 – Latest news on the obligation to wear protective masks, on the epidemiological triage and on the application of the law granting paid days off to parents
The Joint Ministerial Order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Internal Affairs no. 847/22.05.2020 on establishing the obligation to wear protective masks, the epidemiological triage and the mandatory disinfection of hands and for the prevention of contamination with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the state of alert was published within the Official Gazette no. 435, dated 22 May 2020.
With regard to the obligation to wear protective masks in enclosed spaces, including at the workplace, the ministerial order established, mainly, the following:
- the occupational medic will perform the risk evaluation and will establish the conditions for wearing masks by the employees, as well as the possible exceptions (e.g. the employee is alone in the office; the employee has diseases affecting the ability to oxygenate etc.);
- based on the risk evaluation regarding each employee, the employer will draw up specific procedures, according to the work schedule, nature of activity performed, organizational structure or building structure;
- the health and safety responsible shall perform the specific training of the employees;
- some clarifications regarding the proper usage of masks are mentioned, as follows:
a) the masks are efficient only if used alongside frequent sanitation of hands with alcohol-based solutions or with water and soap, before using the mask;
b) the mask has to cover both the mouth and the nose;
c) the mask has to be changed once every 4 hours or whenever it deteriorates;
d) the mask is not to be touched while wearing it; in case of touching, the hands have to be sanitized;
e) after usage, the mask will be immediately thrown in a trash can, preferably with a cap/cover, followed by the sanitation of hands;
f) it is not recommended to reuse the medical masks;
g) in case symptoms such as fever/coughing/sneezing occur, wearing a mask is recommendable in any circumstance (e.g. open spaces, the domicile etc.).
The ministerial order also refers to the obligation to perform the epidemiological triage and the hands disinfection at the entry on the premises, mentioning that the epidemiological triage does not imply recording/storing of personal data and consists in:
- measuring the temperature using a contact-less thermometer (the temperature must not exceed 37.3 degrees Celsius – to which the error margin specific to the device used may be added);
- observing the respiratory signs and symptoms (such as: frequent coughing, frequent sneezing, altered general health state);
- in case the temperature exceeds 37.3 degrees Celsius, it is recommended to repeat the measurement of the temperature, after a resting period of 2-5 minutes;
- if the temperature exceeding 37.3 degrees Celsius persists and/or the manifestation of other respiratory symptoms is noticed, the person is directed to the family medic for a medical consultation.
The persons in management positions from each unit (heads of departments) will have the responsibility to order the observational triage of the employees from their direct subordination.
The access of other persons than the employees on the premises is permitted only if such persons have justified reasons to be in that building. In such a case, they must undergo epidemiological triage and disinfection of hands, based mostly on the steps described above.
The Law no. 59/19.05.2020 on approving the GEO no. 30/2020, amending some normative acts and establishing some social protection measures in the context of the epidemiological situation determined by the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been published within the Official Gazette no. 416, dated 19.05.2020.
The main provision of this law are the following:
- the exceptional application of Law no. 19/2020 on granting some paid days off to parents, during 2020, for the period following the end of the emergency state, until the ending of the school year.
- the sums provided by Law 19/2020 are settled in a maximum of 15 days from the submission by the employer of the necessary documents (previously 60 days);
- the age of the disabled children provided by Law no. 19/2020 increases to 26 years old (previously, 18 years old);
- the rights regarding the leave and allowance for child raising are applicable without interruption for the entire period of the state of emergency and for a period of 30 days thereafter, except for the persons receiving insertion incentive during this period, according to the provisions of GEO no. 30/2020;
- the application of the provisions of GEO no. 30/2020 after the ending of the state of emergency, for all domains where restrictions are maintained, until such restrictions are lifted, but no later than 31 December 2020.
- the provisions on granting support for technical unemployment do not apply in case of employees who do not comply with the norms related to quarantine, isolation or auto-isolation;
- the possibility for employers to grant meal tickets to employees who are in technical unemployment, due to the suspension of their employment contracts during the state of emergency.
The Law no. 61/19.05.2020 on approving the GEO no. 41/2020, amending Law no. 19/2020 on granting some days off to parents in order to supervise their children in the context of temporary lockdown of educational units has been published within the Official Gazette no. 416, dated 19.05.2020.
This law provides that the provisions of Law 19/2020 apply by means of exception, during 2020, for the period subsequent to the ending of the state of emergency, until the classes of the second semester of the school year are finalized.
Note: The joint order entered into force at the date of publication within the Official Gazette. The two laws entered into force in three days from the moment they were published within the Official Gazette.
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