Romanian Labor code: 2011 amendments

New admendments to the Romanian work code applicable as of 2011

1. The work contract is recorded on the General Registry of employees (REVISAL) before the employee begins his or her first day of work. This record is then sent to the Labor Inspectorate by internet.

2. The employment contract is a written document, in Romanian, and the employer must give the employee a signed copy before the first day of work on the contract. A failure to do so can result in a fine of 1,500 to 2,000 RON.

3. If anywhere from 1 to 5 employees are working without a written and signed contract, the employer can be subject to a fine of 10,000 to 20,000 RON per worker. If there are more than 5 workers without a written, signed contract the employer can be subject to further penalties.

4. Anyone who accepts a job without an employment contract can be fined from 500 to 1,000 RON.

5. An employer has the right to establish individual performance objectives as well as evaluation criteria for each worker.

6. Evaluation criteria for a position must be stated clearly in the employment contract as well as in the Internal Rules of the company which is signed by the director and all workers.

7. An individual work contract must include a job description as well as the specific tasks assigned to the position.

8. Any changes to an employment contract must be signed within 20 working days of the amendment. Modifications include: the workers involved, the workplace, the work headquarters, the salary, the position, etc. In other words any amendment to the employment contract.

9. A company can employ a worker on the condition of receiving a medical certificate before the first day of work. A failure to do so can result in a fine of 1,500 to 3,000 RON.

10. An employer can request information from former employers regarding the potential hire, but only regarding the tasks of the position and the duration of the employment contract. This can only be done with the prior consent of the potential hire.

11. Trial period are 90 calendar days for non-management positions and 120 calendar days for management positions. The trial period for the disabled is 30 calendar days.

12. The 6 first months of work after finishing graduate studies is considered to be an internship period. At the end of this period, the employer must give the worker a certificate approved by the Labor Inspectorate. Professions where the work-study is regulated by law is exempt (lawyers, certified public accountants, doctors, etc.).

13. For 12 months, the employer can hire several people successively for trial periods for the same position (it used to be that the employer had a maximum of 3 successive hires).

14. The allocation of an employee to another company can be done for an initial period of 60 days, maximum. This period can be extended for further 60 day periods in accordance with the worker.

15. If the employment contract has a mobility clause, any additional benefits must be included in the contract.

16. The notification period for resignations is established in the individual employment contract or in the collective bargaining agreements. This cannot surpass 20 working days for non-management and 45 days for management positions.

17. The employer is required to record resignations of employees. The Labor Code does not specify where it must be recorded but it simply means that the employer is required to accept resignations of its employees. Additionally, given that each company must have records of its documents (worker requests, correspondance, etc.), the employer is required to accept the resignation of the worker and keep records of the resignation in its documents, including a record number. Failure to do so can result in a fine of 1,500 to 3,000 RON.

18. The minimum vacation leave is 20 working days. The number of vacation days must be specified in the employment contract, agreed upon by the two parties.

19. If the vacation time is broken up into several small vacations , the employer must permit 10 uninterrupted working days of vacation time per year.

20. The maximum work week cannot surpass 48 hours, including overtime. The exception to this rule allows for 48 hour work weeks including overtime to be prolonged for a certain period so long as the average over a 4 month period does not surpass on average 48 hours/week.

21. Overtime is compensated by vacation hours (for example, if a worker puts in 5 hours of overtime, this worker is entitled to recover this time in 5 hours of vacation time) to be taken within the following 60 days. Overtime hours which are not taken as time off must be paid.

22. Employees working at night can either have a schedule with fewer hours or a 25% increase in salary (formerly 15%) for night work.

23. A short term contract can have a maximum duration of 12 months which can then be extended twice but cannot surpass 36 months total (formerly 24 months).

24. An employee with a short term contract can be subject to a trial period of a maximum:

  • 5 work days for a contract of fewer than 3 months
  • 15 work days for a contract of between 3 and 6 months
  • 30 work days for a contract longer than 6 months
  • 56 work days for a contract longer then 6 months in the case of manager positions.

25. If there is a downturn in business, the employer can reduce the work week from 5 to 4 days per week, as well as reducing the salary by a proportionate amount.

26. When workers are laid-off for reasons other than performance, the laid off worker has priority to be re-employed without a test or trial period of 45 calendar days.

27. Disciplinary sanctions (salary reduction, etc.) are automatically lifted after a period of 12 months from the day that the penalties went into effect if no new penalties were put in place during this period. Certain companies have internal rules stating that an employee undergoing disciplinary sanctions cannot be promoted. This regulation allows these previously sanctioned employees to be promoted after their sanction period has ended.

28. Employees who receive professional training must continue to work for the employer for an agreed on minimum period stated in an addendum to the employment contract (former regulation: 3 years for professional training of 60 days).

29. If the employee's certifications/authorizations to carry out their profession expire in the time they are employed, the employment contract can be suspended until they are renew their certifications/authorizations up to a maximum period of 6 months.

30. An individual employment contract can be terminated under the following conditions:

  • the date when the conditions for the retirement minimum has been reached.
  • the date of work cessation in cases due to ill health, partial early retirement, retirement due to the age limit being reached with the reduction of the normal retirement age.

31. The majority of articles regarding collective bargaining agreements on a national level have been repealed. However, the articles which deal with collective bargaining agreements for branches are still in force.

32. The employer must enter into negotiations for collective bargaining agreements if the company has at least 21 employees.

33. All employees are eligible for the position of employee representative. The requirements used to be that the employee must be at least 21 years of age and be working for one year in the company.

34. In addition to the main functions of an employee representative stated in the Labor Code,  representatives must also negotiate the collective bargaining agreement under the conditions of the law.

35. During the period the representative is elected, they cannot be laid off for reasons related to their position as employee representative. In the old Labor Code, they were protected against any kind of dismissal when serving as representative.

36. Employers are required to notify the Labor Inspectorate (A.J.O.F.M.) of vacant positions within 5 working days after they become available. Failure to do so can result in a fine of 3,000 to 5,000 RON. 

Infractions punishible with a fine

1. Allowing 1-5 employees to work without a signed employment contract in Romanian. This can carry a fine of 10,000 to 20,000 RON for each employee.

2. A person who agrees to work without an employment contract can be fined 500 to 1000 RON. 

3.The failure of an employer to obtain an employee's medical certificate before the start date is punishable with a fine between 1,500 and 3,000 RON.

4. The failure of the employer to have legal records regarding the termination of an employee can be fined anywhere from 1500 to 3000 RON.

5. The failure of a temporary work agency to pay taxes after the end of a temporary work contract can be punished between 5000 and 10000 RON per infraction.

6. The failure to supply the worker with an employment contract before the first day of work can be fined anywhere from 1500 to 2000 RON.

Corporate crimes punishable with jail sentences

1. Regularly paying employees less than the minimum salary established by law is punishable by a prison sentence of 6 months to one year or a fine;

2. Repeated refusal to allow labor inspectors on the premises of company and to comply with their requests is punishable by a prison sentence of 6 months to one year or a fine;

3. If there are at least 5 workers without a written employment contract, this is punishable by one to two years in prison. If the work puts employees health or life in danger, it is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

4. Employing a foreigner without the legal documents to work in Romania is punishable by one to two years of prision or a fine. If the work puts these employees' health or life in danger, it is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

Employers who are found guilty of the above mentioned infractions can also lose rights such as:

  • the right to benefit from public subsidies or European funds.
  • the right to make public acquisitions.

Companies will also be required to pay all taxes and contributions for illegally employed workers.