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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure RO-2020-33/1533 Updated – measures in Romania

Kurzarbeit: New short working time adopted

Timpul redus de muncă

Country Romania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 13 August 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Raluca Dimitriu (European Institute of Romania)
Measure added 01 December 2020 (updated 07 February 2022)

Background information

The measure was adopted in the context of support measures to ensure the strengthening of the labour market, while preventing an increase in the unemployment rate at national level, as well as providing a source of income for employees, thus reducing the negative social effects caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The aim is to support both employees and employers in the context of the pandemic crisis.

The reduction of working time is regulated by Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 and Government Decision no. 719/2020, for the approval of the settlement and payment procedure of the amounts granted based on GEO no. 132/2020.

The measure is applicable during the state of emergency/alert/siege, as well as for a period of up to 3 months from the end of the last period in which such a state existed.

Content of measure

By unilateral decision, the employer reduces the working time of employees by a maximum of 50% and pays the salaries according to the hours worked. In addition, employees receive an allowance of 75% of the difference between the gross basic salary according to the individual employment contract and the gross basic salary for the hours actually worked as a result of the reduction in working time. The allowance is paid by the employer, afterwards settled from the unemployment insurance budget. So the impact of the measure is divided between: the state, which pays the allowance, the employer - which pays the salary corresponding to a part-time job and the wage earners - whose revenues can go down to 87.5% of normal salary.

The measure to reduce working time and corresponding salary must affect at least 10% of the number of employees in the company. The reduction in activity must be justified by a decrease in turnover by at least 10% compared to the same month of the previous year. During the application of the measure, the employer is prohibited from operating collective redundancies or hiring staff in positions similar to those of employees whose working hours have been reduced.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

02 April 2021

Law No. 58/2021 approving GEO no. 211/2020 and amending GEO 132/2020 was published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 345 of 5 April 2021 and will enter into force on 8 April 2021.

Use of measure

According to the Ministry of Labour, approximately 700,000 people benefit from the new measures adopted by the Government, the budgetary impact being estimated at RON 2.4 billion. The measure is hoped to help keep companies active, given that between March and November 2020 - 13,460 companies have been dissolved nationally, down 30% from the corresponding period in 2019. Until December 2020, RON16 million have been reimbursed by the state through employment agencies, out of which RON 2 million to the HORECA sector.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


From the outset, the measure received the support of most of the employers' organizations and business organizations in Romania. On the other hand, Cartel Alfa and the National Trade Union Bloc have drawn up a list of objected objections , starting from the fact that the decision is taken unilaterally by the employer, without consulting the trade unions, and especially that the announcement of employees can be made only one day before apply the reduction of the work schedule. The Draft Law for approving the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 is pending adoption, having already passed by the Senate. The Draft Law was [approved positively] ( by most of the social partners represented in the Economic and Social Council.

Views and reactions

During the public debate “Romania returns to work! Flexicurity and digitalization in the context of new trends in the Romanian labor market!” , that took place in June 2020, the representatives of the trade union and employer confederations appreciated that such a mechanism, which encourages labor relations and their maintenance, would be useful, but it should be agreed, through an agreement, by the Government, the trade union confederations and the employers' confederations.


  • 07 August 2020: EMERGENCY ORDINANCE no. 132 of 7 August 2020 on support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as for stimulating employment growth (
  • 07 February 2021: Government Emergency Ordinance no. 211 of 4 December 2020 (
  • 02 April 2021: Law 59/2021 (


Eurofound (2020), Kurzarbeit: New short working time adopted, measure RO-2020-33/1533 (measures in Romania), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.