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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-2021-38/2041 – measures in Romania

Training and employment for youth and people with a guaranteed minimum income

Măsuri de sprijin pentru formarea și angajarea persoanelor care beneficiază de venit minim garantat, precum și a tinerilor

Country Romania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 16 September 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies, incl. subsidised job creation
Author Victoria Stoiciu (European Institute of Romania) and Eurofound
Case created 11 October 2021 (updated 14 October 2021)

Background information

This ordinance acts in order to ensure a greater participation on the labor market of certain categories of persons (persons receiving social assistance, young people in NEETs category). Its provisions may increase the income of single persons / families receiving social assistance / youth NEETs, and provide the necessary workforce for employers - for the benefit of both employees and employers. It was adopted, on the one hand, following the recommendations of the European Council on ensuring the chances for young NEETs to benefit from quality employment, and, on the other hand, because - by suspending economic activities - the COVID-19 pandemic caused damage with long-term effects on the labor market, but also on the population income. The lack of such measures could affect about 10,000 people able to work, which could provide the labor force needed to resume and develop economic activities.

Content of measure

The purpose of the new regulations is to support people who want to get out of vulnerability, providing them with access to education and qualifications, as well as financial support, by settling transport for those who go to school and extending social assistance for those who are employed. The main changes aim at stimulating the participation of social assistance beneficiaries on the labor market, preventing dependence on this benefit, as well as measures to reduce unemployment among young NEETs. Specifically, the main provisions are:

  • continuing to provide social assistance, for another 6 months from the moment of employment, if the beneficiary is employed for a period of at least 24 months. If the employment contract ends due to the employee, he will have to reimburse the amounts granted as social assistance
  • the possibility for the social aid beneficiaries to attend “Second Chance” type courses. The refusal to participate will lead to the termination of social assistance and the prohibition of requesting a new social aid for a 12-month period
  • persons benefiting from social assistance will be required to report to the employment agencies every 6 months. Otherwise, the social assistance will cease and they will no longer have the possibility to submit a new application for social aid after a 12-month period
  • transport settlement (of maximum RON 500 / person/school semester from the budget of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection) for persons able to work from families receiving social assistance, who attend professional training courses within the "Second Chance" program, at a distance of more than 5 km from home
  • the age group for measures addressed to young NEETs has been extended from 16-25 years to 16-30 years. Thus, more young people in the NEETs category will be able to be included in projects funded by non-reimbursable European funds.

Use of measure

It is estimated that this year about 10,000 people will benefit from the measure of extending the social assistance aid, and about 5,000 people will benefit from being included in the "Second Chance" program.

Approximately 2,000 young NEETs will benefit this year from measures financed from the unemployment insurance budget, the financial impact being estimated to RON 5,625,000.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Unemployed
Other groups of workers
Does not apply to businesses Youth (18-25)
Other groups of citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Public employment service
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

This normative act has not been discussed with non-governmental organizations, research institutes and other similar bodies, as it deals with an exceptional situation. At the same time, it was subject to consultation and approved by the Legislative Council (specialized advisory body of the Romanian Parliament) and the Economic and Social Council, although with some amendments.

Views and reactions

The Economic and Social Council agreed with the draft ordinance, but with some observations concerning the following aspects: computer systems for transmitting supporting documents; the involvement of certified private providers of professional counseling and training services within the "Second Chance" program; reduction of the minimum employment period of the social assistance beneficiaries, from 24 months to 12 months, as most such fixed-term labour contracts are concluded for periods of less than 2 years and this would lead to a reduction in the number of beneficiaries; increasing the amount provided for the settlement of the transport services of the beneficiaries participating in professional training courses, as the amount initially proposed is not enough for medium and long distances; introduction of a transport tariff system depending on the travel distance.

The Legislative Council approved the draft emergency ordinance, but also issued a series of observations and proposals regarding: provision of deadlines, inclusion of some legislative references, signaling of contradictions between the conditions imposed on beneficiaries’ employment and the provisions of the Constitution regarding the right to work, elimination of the discriminatory character of some provisions in the ordinance.

Sources

  • 15 September 2021: Emergency Ordinance no. 101/2021 for the amendment of Law no. 76/2002 on the unemployment insurance system and employment stimulation, as well as for amending and supplementing Law no. 416/2001 regarding the guaranteed minimum income (lege5.ro)

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Training and employment for youth and people with a guaranteed minimum income, case RO-2021-38/2041 (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.