Employment Flash No. 8/2021 – Latest news in the labor law field – amendments to certain measures in the pandemic context

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13.07.2021 – The Order of Health Ministry and the Ministry of Internal Affairs no. 1204/99/09.07.2021 completing the Order no. 874/81/2020 instating of the obligation to wear a protective mask, that of epidemiological triage and mandatory hand disinfection to prevent contamination with SARS-CoV-2 virus during the state of alert was published within the Official Gazette no. 683 dated July 9th, 2021.

According to the new amendment, by exception, it is not mandatory to wear a protective mask at the workplace for persons in working in enclosed spaces, provided that a maximum of 10 persons are present, for whom 10 days have passed since the completion of the vaccination scheme, ensuring a distance of 1 meter between them and subject to preventing the public or other workers from accessing the respective spaces.

This exception does not apply for common enclosed spaces.

The Government Decision no. 730/08.07.2021 on extending the state of alert on the territory of Romania, starting with July 12, 2021, as well as establishing the measures to be applied to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was published within the Official Gazette no. 682 dated July 9th, 2021.

According Annex 3 of the present Government Decision, among others, the following provisions (relevant from an employment law perspective) apply as regards organization of activity during the current state of alert:

  • Employers organize the activity under the teleworking/work from home regimes, in accordance with the specific legislative provisions, where the nature of the activity allows;
  • On the contrary, when work cannot be provided under teleworking/work from home regimes, for companies with more than 50 employees, the activity is organized by dividing the employees into groups that start or end the activity at a difference of at least one hour;
  • Activity is organized in compliance with the legal provisions issued by the competent authorities on prevention of contamination with SARS-CoV-2 virus and for ensuring the health and safety of the employees at the workplace;
  • Also, in organizing the activity, it is possible to take into account:
    • the degree of vaccination of the employees at that specific place of work, ascertained by a vaccination certificate presented by the employees for whom 10 days have passed since the completion of the vaccination scheme;
    • the number of employees who are in the period between the 15th and 180th day after the confirmation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and who hold and present to the employer a certificate issued by the family doctor (previously, the law made reference to the period between the 15th and 90th day after confirmation of infection).

Other relevant legal news

  1. Certain measures of state support applicable in the pandemic context until June 30th, 2021 have not been prolonged after this date (including support for technical unemployment, that for the activity of daily workers or for employing certain categories of employees, etc.).
  2. According to the recently published GEO no. 74/2021, starting August 1st, 2021, employees who provide activity for more employers and continue to work for an employer, while presenting a medical certificate to the other employer(s) risk administrative fines ranging from RON 1,000 to RON 2,000 and the recovery/non-payment of corresponding medical leave allowance.

According to the same normative enactment, the limits of other administrative fines are raised (e.g. sanctioning unjustified refusal to pay allowances and/or incorrect calculation and payment of allowances).

The Romanian version of this newsletter is available here.

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