Employment Flash No. 21/2020 – Latest news in the labor law field
02.10.2020 – News regarding the latest amendments to the Labor Code on assistance by an external consultant specialized in labor law, during some essential phases of the employment relation
The Law no. 213/30.09.2020 on amending and completing the Law no. 53/2003 – the Labor Code has been published within the Official Gazette no. 893 dated September 30, 2020
This normative act provides, during certain moments of the employment relationship, the possibility of assistance of the parties by an external consultant specialized in labor law, as follows:
(i) when negotiating, concluding or amending an individual employment contract or during the conciliation of an individual labor conflict;
(ii) during the preliminary disciplinary investigation, assisting the employee under disciplinary investigation, at his/her request.
As an additional aspect, it is provided that an external consultant specialized in labor law may also assist the employer in conducting the disciplinary investigation, being empowered by the employer in this regard.
It is also provided that, at the conclusion of the individual employment contract or during its execution, the parties may include in the contract a clause stipulating that any individual labor conflict shall be settled amicably, through a conciliation procedure.
The conciliation procedure represents the manner of amicable settlement of individual labor disputes, by involving an external consultant specialized in labor law, in conditions of neutrality, impartiality, confidentiality and with the free consent of the parties.
The external consultant specialized in labor law is either a lawyer, an expert in labor law or, as the case may be, a mediator specialized in labor law, who may benefit from a fee borne by the parties according to their agreement.
The law also provides the necessary steps for the development of the conciliation procedure, such as:
- the opening of the procedure, with the involvement of the external consultant, by sending a written invitation to the other party using the means of communication provided within the individual employment agreement;
- the fact that the conciliation procedure commences no later than 5 business days after the invitation was communicated to the other party;
- the fact that the parties are free to choose the external consultant;
- the suspension of the deadlines for contesting of individual employment conflicts during the conciliation;
- in case a solution to the individual labor conflict is reached, the fact that the external consultant drafts an agreement containing the understanding of the parties and the manner in which the conflict is solved, that enters into force from the moment when it is signed by the parties and by the external consultant;
- the conciliation procedure being finalized either by reaching an agreement following the settlement (total or partial) of the conflict or by the failure of the procedure, as noted by the external consulted or by the refusal of one of the parties to attend the proceeding.
Another aspect provided by the law is that the internal regulation shall also contain the procedure for the amicable settlement of individual labor disputes, claims or individual grievances of the employees (previously, only the procedure for solving the claims or grievances of employees was provided at this mandatory point).
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