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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case RO-2021-19/1934 – measures in Romania

Flexibilisation of labour relations for small companies

Masuri de flexibilizare a relatiilor de munca pentru microintreprinderi

Country Romania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 05 May 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Flexibilisation and security
Author Victoria Stoiciu (European Institute of Romania) and Eurofound
Case created 06 July 2021 (updated 15 July 2021)

Background information

The Labour law (53/2003) provides that every employer shall prepare an Internal Regulation following the consultation of the trade union/representative of the employees. Internal regulations shall contain provisions regarding the obligations and rights of the employer and employees, criteria for the professional evaluation, health and safety at the workplace etc. In addition, the Labour law provides that the individual working contract must be accompanied by a job description.

The Government considered that such provisions put an additional pressure on employers, especially on small companies and that labour relations shall be based on trust and consensus. Through an emergency ordinance, the Government has eliminated the obligation of the internal regulation and job description for small companies. The flexibilisation of labour relations is considered a form of supporting the micro enterprises to run their businesses and to keep their workforce by diminishing the administrative burden of the employers.

Content of measure

According to the provisions of GEO no. 37/2021, microenterprises (companies with less than nine employees and an annual net turnover or total assets amounting to the RON equivalent of less than €2 million) are no longer under an obligation to conclude job descriptions for their employees. Employers can specify job duties to employees verbally, save the case when employees request in written the job description. In addition, microenterprises do not have to prepare a internal regulations, as provided by the Labour Code (law 53/2003) Also the daily timekeeping for this employees will be mutually agreed upon via written agreement by the employer and its employees.

Use of measure

The text of the emergency ordinance mentions a number of approximately 500,000 micro-enterprises that will benefit of this measure. According to the National Institute of Statistics, about 1 million employees were working in 2019 in the companies with 0-9 employees.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

All trade union federations and employers organizations which are representative at national level have been consulted on the measure. Trade unions have opposed the measure and publiclly criticized it.

Views and reactions

The trade unions have publicly criticized the measure. National Trade union Block (Blocul National Sindical, BNS), one of the 5 trade union federations which is representative at national level claimed that following the elimination of job description and internal regulations, the employees of micro enterprises will be transformed into slaves. Also, BNS has shown that the measure is against the provisions of the Directive (EU) 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union. Principle No 7 of the European Pillar of Social Rights provides that workers have the right to be informed in writing at the start of employment about their rights and obligations resulting from the employment relationship. The trade unions have asked the Obdusman to challenge the text of the emergency ordinance at the Romanian Constitutional Court. Following the trade unions demand, on the 17th May the Romanian Ombdusman has challenged the GEO 37/2021 to the Constitutional Court.

Sources

  • 05 May 2021: ORDONANȚĂ DE URGENȚĂ nr. 37 din 5 mai 2021 pentru modificarea și completarea Legii nr. 53/2003 - Codul muncii (legislatie.just.ro)

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Flexibilisation of labour relations for small companies , case RO-2021-19/1934 (measures in Romania), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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