Despite many proposals and initiatives, mostly by large-scale union organizations, neither 2015, nor the first quarter of 2016 brought major changes in this field. Still, a few recent amendments are worth mentioning, as they could impact your company’s employment relations.

Union matters

Law 1/2016 amending Law 62/2011 on social dialogue and Constitutional Court Decision 814/2015 striking down art. 60 para (1) letter g) of the Labor Code:

  • At the union’s request and with their members’ consent, employers are now bound to collect the membership fees, through payroll (up until now, employers had to also agree to this.)
  • The non-representative union at company-level may now indirectly become representative, through affiliation to an industry-level representative federation, even if the employees had duly elected representative persons for collective bargaining and dealings with the employer.
  • The overarching prohibition to dismiss elected union leaders has been ruled unconstitutional and they are now protected only against dismissal for reasons related to their mandate.

Enhanced protection for employees on parental leave for childcare

Law 66/2016 amending Government Emergency Ordinance 111/2010 on parental leave for childcare, in force starting July 1, 2016:

  • To benefit from such protection, the employee must have obtained taxable income for at least 12 months within the last two years (instead of one year) prior to child birth – contribution period.
  • The duration of the parental leave has been unified for a period up to the child’s second birthday (third birthday for disabled children).
  • During such leave, an indemnity of 85 percent of the average income obtained during the contribution period, without cap, is payable from the State budget (at least 85 percent of the minimum gross salary at national level).
  • The indemnity for early return to work (reinsertion), also payable from the State budget, has been extended until the child is three years old (four years for disabled children) and increased to 50 percent of the parental leave indemnity.
  • The interdiction to dismiss the employee returning from such parental leave is extended until the third birthday of the child (fourth birthday for disabled children).

Clarifications on certain matters that were subject to varying interpretations (weekly rest period, annual vacation entitlement, length of service, equal salary for temporary workers)

Law 97/2015 amending the Labor Code:

  • The weekly rest is of 48 consecutive hours, as a rule on Saturday and Sunday, instead of two consecutive days, which meant two full calendar days.
  • Outstanding vacation days may be taken within the next 18 months of the following year.
  • In line with the EU legislation, the salary of a temporary worker may not be lower than the salary received—for equal work—by the permanent employee of the beneficiary.

Law 12/2015 amending the Labor Code, in force starting January 25, 2015:

  • Medical, maternity and maternal risk leaves, as well as sick child leaves do not impact the annual leave.
  • Absenteeism and unpaid leaves are not included in the length of service (seniority) for social protection purposes (calculation of pension entitlement and of other indemnities from the State budget).

Minimum gross base salary for 2016

Government Decision 1017/2015 on the minimum gross base salary guaranteed for payment at national level:

  • Starting 1 May 2016, the minimum monthly gross base salary for an average full-time schedule of 169,333 hours/month is RON 1.250 (approx. €277).