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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-2021-19/1935 – measures in Romania

Measures for simplifying conduct of teleworking

Masuri de simplificare a telemuncii

Country Romania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 05 May 2021
Context COVID-19
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
Measure added 06 July 2021 (updated 15 July 2021)

Background information

The telework contracts number have exploded after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the data provided by the Labour Inspection, there were 50.577 individual labor contracts with a teleworking clause in March 2020, but their number has reached 383.300 in December 2020 and 394.415 in March 2021. Although Romania has adopted a Telework Law back in 2018 (Law no 81/2018), several aspects needs to be flexibilised in order to support the use of telework. Against this background, the Government adopted an emergency ordinance (GEO 36/2021) which introduced amendments aimed mainly at regulating use of electronic signatures in labour relationships and simplifying conduct of teleworking.

Content of measure

The GEO 36/2021 provides that the parties to an individual employment contract or addendum may choose to use the advanced electronic signature accompanied by an electronic time stamp when signing the documents. Such documents may be electronically archived by the employer and shall be made available to the competent control bodies at their request.

GEO 36/2021 also modifies the definition of telework by eliminating the requirement that the employee's activity be carried out under the teleworking regime at least one day per month (as provided by Law 81/2018). The obligation to mention in the individual employment contract the place / places for carrying out the telework activity has been eliminated.

In addition, the right of employers to verify teleworker activity has been introduced. Such verification can mainly be done using information and communication technology.

Use of measure

The measure will apply to the employees carrying telework in accordance with the Telework Law 81/2018. Data of the Labour Inspection indicate that in March 2021 the number of telework contracts was 394,415. The number of telework may increase in the future.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses 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 unions and employers organizations which are representative at national level have been informed and consulted in the process of elaboration of the measure. Some trade unions (such as National Trade Union/ Blocul National Sindical, BNS) have opposed the measure, which was adopted despite their criticism.

Views and reactions

National Trade Union/ Blocul National Sindical, BNS, one of the five trade union confederations representative at national level has argued that the introduction of the advance electronic signature is not opportune, stating that this creates the risk of falsified signatures which may result in a further increase of labor conflicts. BNS also argues that two thirds of the Romanian employees do not hold digital competences, which would allow them to use the electronic signature.

Sources

  • 05 May 2021: ORDONANȚĂ DE URGENȚĂ nr. 36 din 5 mai 2021 privind utilizarea semnăturii electronice avansate sau semnăturii electronice calificate, însoțite de marca temporală electronică sau marca temporală electronică calificată și sigiliul electronic calificat al angajatorului în domeniul relațiilor de muncă, și pentru modificarea și completarea unor acte normative (legislatie.just.ro)

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Measures for simplifying conduct of teleworking, measure RO-2021-19/1935 (measures in Romania), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/RO-2021-19_1935.html

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