Employment Flash No. 1/2022 – Latest news in the labor law field

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20.01.2022 – Latest news in the labor law field regarding the re-activation of the state support for technical unemployment, in the current pandemic context

The Government Emergency Ordinance no. 2/19.01.2022 laying down measures for the social protection of employees and other occupational categories in the context of the prohibition, suspension or restriction of economic activities due to the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and for the amendment and completion of other normative acts was published in the Official Gazette no. 61 of January 20, 2022.

The new legal provisions reactivate the state support accessible in case of temporary suspension of activity (technical unemployment), that used to be available for access until 31 December 2021.

As such, the new state support will be available starting from the moment when the present GEO enters into force and until 31 March 2022, for the period of temporary suspension of the employment contract for economic, technologic, structural or similar reasons (technical unemployment), situation caused by the pandemic context.

The technical unemployment allowances for employees are established at 75% of the basic salary corresponding to the position occupied and, under the new support legislation, shall be borne from the state budget, but no more than 75% of the average gross income provided in the Law on the social insurance budget for 2021 (resulting in a cap of approx. RON 4,571 – approx. EUR 925).

The employees of entities who are in the following categories of situations may also benefit from the state support mentioned above:

  • employers whose activity has been temporarily reduced or interrupted following the implementation of measures specific for risk impact during the current state of alert;
  • employers with activity interrupted following the results of epidemiological investigations by the Health Direction, except for their employees who are on medical leave and receive the corresponding allowance.

The procedural provisions regarding accessing and granting the state support referred to above are mainly similar with those applicable for the previous year, when such benefit was in force.

  1. The legal framework on granting value tickets is amended mainly regarding the following aspects:
  • value tickets are exclusively issued electronically;
  • the basic content of certain categories of value tickets(e.g. meal tickets, gift tickets, cultural tickets etc.) is amended to be aligned with the exclusive electronic issuance;
  • gift tickets are granted exclusively for employees for social expenses, being prohibited for other purposes/categories (exceptions previously applicable being eliminated);
  • certain provisions that were expected to enter into force by January 2022 will become applicable only by January 2027;
  • meal tickets, cultural tickets, crèche tickets and gift tickets issued on paper until January 31, 2022 remain valid until the expiry date indicated on them.
  1. The provisions of the Labour Code regarding the national minimum gross base salary are supplemented to include the following mechanisms:
  • the minimum gross base salary may be applied for a maximum period of 24 months from the conclusion of the employment contract with an employee;
  • after the 24-month period expires, in the conditions from above, the employee shall be allocated with a higher salary than the minimum gross base salary;
  • the provisions from above are applicable accordingly in case of employees who already have an employment contract concluded for a period longer than 24 months, receiving the national minimum gross base salary.

The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.

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