Employment Flash No. 6/2021 – Latest news in the labor law field

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10.05.2021 – The government has adopted GEO no. 36/2021 and GEO no. 37/2021, recently published within the Official Gazette.

  1. Electronic signature in employment documents

The first set of amendments provided by the new normative act introduce expressly the possibility of concluding the individual employment agreement or addenda thereof using the qualified electronic signature or the advanced electronic signature, accompanied by the electronic time stamp or the qualified electronic time stamp and the qualified electronic seal of the employer.

The written form required by law for conclusion of certain employment documents is considered complied with if such are prepared and signed electronically, in the conditions described above.

Also, the employer may opt for using the electronic means described above:

  • for all the documents or acts regarding / resulting from the employment relations, under the conditions provided within the internal regulation and / or the applicable collective bargaining agreement;
  • in relation to the competent authorities, when preparing documentation on employment relations / health & safety aspects.

In the context of using the electronic means of signing provided above, the following mentions are also relevant:

  • the employer may not oblige a(n) (prospected) employee to use the electronic means of signing the individual employment agreement or other employment documents;
  • when signing the employment documentation, both parties – the employer and the employee – shall use the same manner of signing (e.g. both use the wet ink signature or both use the qualified or, as case may be, advanced electronic signature under the conditions above);
  • the procedures regarding electronic signing of employment documentation shall make the object of the mandatory information of the employee;
  • the employers have the obligation to accordingly archive and make available in front of competent authorities the electronically signed documents, as per the law;
  • the employer may bear the cost of purchasing advanced / qualified electronic signatures accompanied by the corresponding certification elements, for use within employment relations.
  1. Amendments within special teleworking legislation

The definition of teleworking is amended by excluding the threshold of minimum 1 day / month of teleworking regime.

Other relevant amendments are as follows:

  • it is expressly provided that the employer shall use the communication and information technology to check the activity of the employee;
  • the new GEO eliminates the obligation to expressly state the place / places where teleworking activity is provided within the individual employment agreement or addendum thereof;
  • a new obligation for teleworkers, as well as for homeworking employees is introduced – to comply with and ensure the confidentiality of the information and documents used during remote activity.
  1. Some provisions in the domain health & safety at work

The proof of health and safety training of the employees, that shall be insured by the employer, may be  prepared electronically (signed with advanced / qualified electronic signature accompanied by the corresponding certification) or on paper, as case may be, according to method established within the internal regulation.

Note: Within 60 days from the moment when the GEO at hand enters into force, the Methodological Norms for the application of Law no. 319/2006 will be accordingly amended.

The Government Emergency Ordinance no. 37/05.05.2021 for the amendment and completion of Law no. 53/2003 – Labor Code was published within the Official Gazette no. 474 dated May 6th, 2021.

The GEO at hand introduces a series of exceptions regarding otherwise-mandatory employment documentation in case of micro-enterprises having up to 9 employees and achieving a net annual turnover / holding total assets of up to EUR 2 million:

  • Exception from the obligation to have in written form the job descriptionfor the employees of these entities, employers may communicate verbally the duties corresponding to the position held;
  • however, the employer is obliged to communicate the job description in writing, upon employee’s written request in this sense;
  • the employer keeps the record of the daily time worked under the conditions established by written agreement with the employees of entities mentioned above, depending of the specific activity provided;
  • by exception, the internal regulation is not mandatory for the entities described above.

The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.

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