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Employment Law in Romania

A single item of legislation, the Labour Code (Codul muncii) — Law no. 53 of 24 January 2003, amended on numerous occasions since — governs most aspects of individual employment relationships. Separate statutes (mainly laws and Government ordinances) dealt with matters such as parenthood-related leave and benefits, sick leave, maternity protection, temporary agency work and teleworking. While the Labour Code regulates some areas of collective employment relations, the main legislation in this area is Law no. 62 of 10 May 2011 on social dialogue, while separate statutes deal with matters such as transfers of undertakings and employee information/consultation. Law no. 319 of 14 July 2006 is the principal item of legislation on health and safety at work, implemented by detailed Government Decisions and “methodological norms”. General legislation on equality and non-discrimination applies in the employment context. Case law interprets the Labour Code and other employment legislation.

Collective agreements (which exist mainly at single-employer level) play a role in regulating employment, setting pay and conditions for around a third of employees. In addition, all employers with 10 or more employees must have in place binding internal rules dealing with discipline, health and safety, discrimination and various other issues. Employment legislation gives internal rules and/or collective agreements a specific role in regulating matters such as recruitment and selection practices, payment of wages, non-standard works schedules, rest breaks, time off for special family events, and procedures for assessing employee’s performance and aptitude.

Individual employment contracts are the other main source of employment law. Employment contracts must not contain provisions contrary to employment legislation or applicable collective agreements, or provide for entitlements below the minimum level laid down by legislation or collective agreements. Collective agreements must not conflict with the provisions of employment legislation, and the employment contracts of employees covered by a collective agreement must not contain provisions that are less advantageous for the employee than those of the collective agreement.

This topic refers to employment law in the private sector only.

Employment Law in Romania: Quick Facts
  • Information sought by the employer during recruitment and selection must have the aim solely of assessing the candidate’s vocational skills and ability to perform the job. Recruitment and Selection

  • For indefinite-term contracts, the maximum permitted length of a probationary period is 120 calendar days for managerial positions and 90 calendar days for other jobs. Recruitment and Selection

  • An employment contract is defined as an agreement whereby an individual (the employee) undertakes to perform work for and under the authority of an employer (which may be an individual or a legal entity), in exchange for remuneration. Employment Contracts

  • The employer must ensure that the employment contract is drawn up in writing, in the Romanian language, and signed by the day before the employee starts work; contracts must contain information on a range of specified issues. Employment Contracts

  • The maximum permitted duration of a fixed-term contract is 36 months, and the same parties can enter into no more than three successive fixed-term contracts with a maximum combined duration of five years. Employment Contracts

  • Wages must be paid at least once a month, in cash or by bank transfer, and various rules govern deductions from pay. Pay and Benefits

  • A statutory national minimum wage applies to all employees. Pay and Benefits

  • An employee’s normal working time must not generally exceed eight hours per day and 40 hours per week, but a number of more flexible work schedules are possible. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Work in excess of 40 hours per week is generally considered to be overtime (which must generally be compensated with time off in lieu) and an employee’s total weekly working time, including overtime, must not usually exceed 48 hours. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees are generally entitled to a meal break and other rest breaks if they work for at least six hours on any day, a minimum daily rest period of 12 consecutive hours and a minimum weekly rest period of 48 consecutive hours (usually falling on Saturday and Sunday). Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • All employees are entitled to at least 20 working days of paid annual leave. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Working mothers are entitled to 18 weeks’ maternity leave and fathers to 10 days’ paternity leave (15 days in some circumstances), while parents are also entitled to take parental leave and, where relevant, adoption leave, carers’ leave and leave to care for a sick or disabled child. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employees who are absent from work because of illness of injury are generally entitled to receive sickness benefit, set at 75% of their average pay, for up to 183 days per year (the employer pays the benefit for the first five days of absence and then the state social insurance fund takes over). Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Discrimination in relation to employment is prohibited on grounds including race, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, language, religion, social origin and status, genetic characteristics, sex (including marital or family status, pregnancy and maternity), sexual orientation, age, disability, non-contagious chronic disease, HIV-positive status, political opinion, beliefs, family situation or responsibility, trade union membership or activity, and membership of a disadvantaged category. Equality and Discrimination

  • Harassment, harassment based on sex, sexual harassment, moral harassment and psychological harassment are all prohibited, and employers must take various measures to prevent them. Equality and Discrimination

  • Employees have the right to set up and join trade unions and are protected from discrimination and dismissal on grounds of union membership and activities, while trade unions have various rights in companies where they have members and enhanced rights if they have been recognised as being representative. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employers with 21 or more employees are obliged to bargain collectively with representative trade unions. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Strikes are permitted only where a statutory dispute-resolution procedure has been exhausted. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employers have a general duty to ensure employees’ health and safety in every aspect related to their work, and have numerous detailed obligations in this area, while employees have various duties and rights. Occupational Health and Safety

  • An employer may dismiss an employee either for reasons related to the employee’s person (mainly dismissal on disciplinary grounds or because of medical incapacity or inaptitude for the job) or reasons not related to the employee’s person (redundancy): notice of dismissal must be given except in cases of disciplinary dismissal or dismissal because the employee is in custody charged with a criminal offence. Termination of Employment

  • Employment contracts terminate automatically in a number of circumstances. Termination of Employment

  • Employers with 21 or more employees must ensure that their employees participate in vocational training at least every two years, while those with 20 or fewer employees must ensure that they participate at least every three years. Other Key Issues

  • All employers must have in place binding internal rules dealing with discipline, health and safety, discrimination and various other issues. Other Key Issues