Employment Flash No. 13/2022 – Latest news in the labor law field
23.12.2022 – Latest news in the labor law field
On granting the carer’s leave
The Ministerial Order no. 2172/2022 on granting the carer’s leave was published in the Official Gazette no. 1241 dated December 22, 2022.
The new Order provides a number of conditions applicable in case of granting the carer’s leave, in particular with regard to the documents that the employee has to provide as proof of:
- the fact that the person to whom the employee has provided care or support is a relative or a person living in the same household;
- the existence of the serious medical condition which prompted the employee’s request for carer’s leave.
In addition, attached to the new Order is the list of serious medical conditions on the basis of which the employee may request carer’s leave.
Regarding the new Social Dialogue Law
The Law no. 367/19.12.2022 on the Social Dialogue was published in the Official Gazette no. 1238 dated December 22, 2022.
The present law introduces numerous changes in the domain that it regulates, which require a case-by-case analysis to determine the concrete impact in practice.
Among the most important changes and new aspects in this field, we mention the following (organized below, in relation to the main categories of regulation):
The new law puts focus on new obligations to inform and consult employees/workers (represented according to the new provisions) on issues such as:
- recent developments and likely developments in the company’s activities and economic situation;
- decisions that may lead to significant changes in work organisation, contractual relations or employment relationships, including but not limited to: situations of transfer of undertakings, acquisitions, mergers, collective redundancies, closures of production units, etc.;
- if trade union organisations are not established at unit level, at least once a year, the employer must organise a public information session on employees’ rights, at the request of the trade union federations, in accordance with the law;
The conditions for setting up trade unions are simplified – for example, a trade union may be set up with at least 10 employees/workers from the same entity or at least 20 employees/workers from different entities from the same collective bargaining sector (the current law provides for the condition of at least 15 employees from the same establishment to establish a trade union).
Various changes are provided for regarding the procedures and requirements in this area, such as the establishment and legal personality of associations of trade unions, requirements for acquiring representativity, etc.
In order to obtain representativity at unit level, the number of members of the trade union or, where appropriate, of the component trade unions of the trade union federation, must represent at least 35% of the total number of employees/workers in the unit (the current law provides the condition of at least half plus one of the unit’s employees).
At the level of employers with at least 10 employees/workers, the interests of employees can be promoted by electing employee representatives, if there is no trade union (at the moment, the Labour Code provides such a possibility for employers with more than 20 employees);
The new law introduces a whole new chapter on employee/worker representation, aiming for a more concrete regulation of this aspect, providing for the possibility for the employer to facilitate the election process.
Employee representatives will be elected by a vote of at least half plus one of the total number of employees, with a maximum mandate of two years; their number is determined by joint agreement between the employees/workers and the employer, but if no agreement is reached, the law provides for maximum limits on the number of representatives, depending on the number of employees/workers.
Collective bargaining becomes compulsory at the level of entities with at least 10 employees/workers (as opposed to the current minimum of 21 employees), as well as at the level of the collective bargaining sector.
The new law provides some amendments concerning the deadline for collective bargaining in case of the expiry of the previously existing collective agreement, as well as regarding the duration of the collective bargaining process.
New provisions are introduced concerning parties’ representation in collective bargaining; as a novelty for employees, it will be possible to be represented by non-representative trade unions, as the case may be and in accordance with the law.
Collective labour agreements
The new law provides for guideline elements for the content of the collective agreement (without affecting the principle of contractual freedom) – e.g. measures to harmonise family life with professional objectives, working time and rest time.
The new law reintroduces the possibility of concluding collective agreements at national level.
Certain changes are introduced regarding the conclusion and registration of the collective agreement (e.g., under certain conditions, the possibility of registration without the signature of all participants in the negotiation).
The territorial labour inspectorates will be obliged to issue, upon request, an electronic copy of the collective labour agreement concluded at unit level, as well as any addendum thereto, to any employee/worker of the unit concerned who has made a request to this effect.
Collective labour disputes. Strike
The new law provides for certain specific cases for triggering collective labour disputes and other formalities relating thereto.
Under certain conditions, the decision to go on strike may also be taken by non-representative trade unions; in principle, the new law makes it easier to declare / go on strike.
Additional / more serious sanctions are introduced, such as:
- a fine of RON 5,000 (approx. EUR 1,000) for not publishing the collective labour agreement in the Official Gazette, Part V, and for signing it by persons other than the representatives mandated by the parties;
- a fine of up to RON 10,000 (approx. EUR 2,000) for unjustified refusal to register collective labour contracts;
- a fine of up to RON 20,000 (approx. EUR 4,000) for preventing in any way the Labour Inspection from gaining access to the workplace in order to establish possible contraventions in the event of a strike;
- it is a criminal offence to prevent/oblige, by threats or violence, an employee/worker or a group of employees/workers to participate in the strike or to work during the
The provisions of the Labour Code, which are contrary to the new law, will be harmonised within 60 days of the publication in the Official Gazette of the new law.
In addition, within 90 days of the entry into force of this Law, the Government Decision on the establishment of collective bargaining sectors and their related codes will be approved.
The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.