We would like to draw your attention to the latest amendments to the Labour Code, introduced by Law no. 283/2022 and in force as of 22 October 2022.
New provisions of the Labour Code make improvements to the protections afforded to employees in their relationships with employers. We recommend that employers pay close attention to the new provisions of the Labour Code.
In accordance with the provisions of Law no. 283/2022, the following amendments and additions have been made to the Labour Code:
- Informing employees of the elements of their employment contract
The information to be provided to employees prior to their employment has been supplemented with the following elements:
- in the absence of a fixed place of work: the possibility for the employee to work from different places of work, as well as the possibility for the employer to provide or cover the cost of travel between different places of work
- the constituent parts of earnings, shown separately, as well as the periodicity and method of payment of wages
- the normal hours of work, expressed in hours/day and/or hours/week, the conditions under which overtime is worked and compensated or paid and, where appropriate, the arrangements for the organisation of shift work
- the duration and conditions of the probation period, if any
- the right to and conditions of vocational training offered by the employer
- the employer’s payment of private medical insurance, additional contributions to the employee’s voluntary pension or occupational pension, and the granting, at the employer’s initiative, of any other rights where these constitute benefits in cash granted or paid by the employer to the employee as a result of the employee’s employment.
It should be noted that the obligation to inform the employee is deemed to have been fulfilled by the employer at the time of signing the individual employment contract. In addition, depending on their internal policies, the employer may also provide employees with information on the above elements, which will subsequently be included in the employment contract or an additional agreement, as appropriate.
2. New mandatory elements in individual employment contracts
The above elements will also be included in individual employment contracts. Consequently, the template for individual employment contracts is to be updated by the Order of the Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity in accordance with these new provisions.
However, until the publication of the new template, we recommend updating the template for individual employment contracts used by the company by introducing the new salary elements mentioned above.
If you require our assistance updating the employment contract template used at the company level, both now and after the publication of the contract template, TPA is able to provide such services.
3. New types of leave/absence
Law no. 283/2022 establishes the right of employees to benefit from new types of days off, as follows:
- Absence due to unforeseen circumstances
The employee has the right to be absent from work due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a family emergency caused by illness or accident, subject to prior notification of the employer and with the period of absence to be fully made up for subsequently. Arrangements regarding the making up for of the period of absence shall be agreed upon with the employer.
Absences from work under the above conditions may not exceed 10 working days in a calendar year.
2. Carer’s leave
The employer is obliged to grant a carer’s leave to an employee for the purpose of providing personal care or support to a relative or a person living in the same household as the employee (children, parents, spouses) who are in need of care or support due to a serious medical condition for a duration of 5 working days in a calendar year, at the written request of the employee.
The duration of the carer’s leave is not included in the employee’s annual leave and still counts towards their seniority at their place of work and in their specific position and may be extended by special laws or collective agreements. Employees on carer’s leave are also insured for this period under the social health insurance system without the payment of contributions, and this period of leave also constitutes a contribution period when determining entitlement to unemployment benefit and temporary incapacity benefit.
The serious medical issues and the conditions under which carer’s leave is granted are laid down by joint order of the Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity and the Minister of Health. As regards the implementation of this new type of leave, the drawing up of further legislative instructions by the relevant authorities is awaited.
3. Paternal leave
The employer is obliged to grant paternal leave (the leave granted to the father of a new-born child as provided for by Law no. 210/1999) at the written request of the employee, with the granting of this leave not being dependent on the period of work performed or seniority of the employee.
It should be noted that a number of changes were also introduced by GEO no. 117/2022 concerning the duration of paternity leave. The law stipulates that the father of a newborn child is entitled to paid paternity leave of 10 working days, which can be increased by 5 working days if the father has obtained a certificate attesting to completion of a childcare course. Moreover, the father will also benefit from this extended period of paternity leave for any subsequent newborn children, regardless of when the childcare certificate was obtained.
Finally, the employer may not dismiss employees during paternity leave, carer’s leave, or during absence from work due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Other amendments to the Labour Code introduced by Law no. 283/2022
In addition to the above, the provisions of Law no. 283/2022 establish the following:
- the prohibition of any unfavorable treatment of employees and employees’ representatives as a result of requesting or the actual exercising of one of their rights. Moreover, it is prohibited to dismiss employees for exercising their rights as provided for in law;
- the prohibition of establishing a new probation period if, within 12 months, a new employment contract is concluded between the same parties for the same position and with the same duties;
- the right of the employee to work for different employers or for the same employer under individual employment contracts, without overlapping working hours, with the corresponding salary in each case. No employer may treat an employee who exercises this right unfavourably. Pending publication of legislative guidance in this regard, we recommend that employees be asked to provide an affidavit stating their non-overlapping working hours with another employer, where applicable.
- the right of the employee to apply for a transfer to a vacant post offering more favourable working conditions if he/she has completed his/her probation period and has been with the same employer for at least 6 months;
- the possibility for the employer to establish individualised work schedules, involving a flexible organisation of working time, for all employees, including those on carer’s leave, with their consent or at their request, which may be of limited duration.
- Internal rules
The Law supplements and amends the provisions relating to the Internal Regulations as follows:
- by introducing new categories of provisions to be contained therein, namely: rules on notice and information on general employee training policy, if any;
- indirectly, via the need to include in the Internal Regulations all the legislative changes detailed above;
- notification: the obligation of the employer to notify each employee of the provisions of the Internal Regulations on the first day of work and to provide proof that this obligation was met. Employees may be informed of the provisions of the internal rules either on paper or electronically, on the condition, in the latter case, that the document is accessible to the employee and he/she is able to save and print it.
- Informing employees of the legislative changes introduced by Law no. 283/2022
In accordance with the provisions of Law no. 283/2022, the new legislative provisions described above shall be communicated by the employer at the employee’s request within 30 working days of the date of receipt of the employee’s written request.
However, the absence of such a request does not absolve the employer of the obligation to inform its employees of the changes introduced by this Law.
In these circumstances, we recommend the drawing up of an Information Note addressed to all active employees notifying them of the relevant legislative changes. If you require assistance in drawing up this document, TPA is more than able to assist its clients in this regard.
Should you require any further information, TPA and its teams of experts remain at your disposal.
Source: Law no. 283 of 17 October 2022 amending and supplementing Law no. 53/2003 (The Labour Code).