In the Official Gazette no 720 of August 10, 2020 was published the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 regarding the support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the new coronavirus, and also for stimulate the employment growth.
1. Unilateral reduction of employees’ working hours
Article 1 of the above-mentioned normative act provides the requirements an employer must meet in order to reduce the employees’ working hours by no more than 50% of the duration provided by the individual employment agreements and to request payments from unemployment insurance budget:
When the above conditions are fulfilled, the employer may decide, for a period of at least 5 consecutive working days, but having the obligation to establish the working hours for the entire month, to reduce the working hours of one or all the employees.
During the time when their working hours are reduced, employees affected by this measure shall receive a compensation of 75% of the difference between the gross salary provided by the individual employment agreement and the gross salary for the actually worked hours as a result of the reduction in the working hours. This compensation will be added to the salary, based on the effective working hours and it represents salary income, being subject for payment of social contributions and duties, in accordance to the law.
During the period when reduced working hours are applied, in order to protect the affected employees, the employer is not allowed to hire staff for the exact or similar activities to those performed by the employees whose working time has been affected, as well as subcontracting activities carried out by employees whose working time has been reduced. The prohibition is also applicable in case of a subsidiary, branch or other secondary offices, as defined by the Law no. 31/1990.
The compensation for the unworked hours is borne by the employer and is paid on the monthly salary date, to be settled from the unemployment insurance budget after the employer has fulfilled the declaratory and payment duties related to the salary and assimilated income of the period for which the application is made. As with most domestic normative acts, the procedure for settling amounts, as well as the period of application of the reduction of working time will be determined by decision of the Government.
2. Supporting telework activity
For the purpose of purchasing packages of technological assets and services necessary to carry out the telework activity, employers shall be granted for each employee who performed telework activity during the state of emergency for at least 15 working days, a financial support in the amount to 2.500 lei.
This amount shall be granted, in the order of submission of the applications, by December 31, 2020, from the unemployment insurance budget, through ANOFM, within the limits of the funds allocated for this purpose. The granting method and the categories of assets that can be purchased will be determined by order of the Minister of Labor and Social Protection which will be published in the Official Gazette of Romania, within 10 days from the publication of the Emergency Ordinance no 132, i.e. August 10.
Within 30 days of the award of the sum of 2500 lei for each employee, the employer is required to submit to ANOFM supporting documents concerning the purchase of the categories of assets established by order of the Minister of Labor and Social Protection.
3. Settlement of part of the employees' salary for a fixed period
By December 31, 2020, but not more than 3 months, at the choice of the employer, for employees who conclude individual work agreements for a fixed period of up to 3 months, shall be ensured the settlement of part of the salary granted to them, borne from the unemployment insurance budget, representing 41.5% of the salary for the days worked in these jobs for a working period of 8 hours/day, but not more than 41.5% of the average gross salary provided by the State Social Insurance Budget Law for 2020 and for the period worked.
The employer is bound to pay entirely the equivalent of the work performed under the individual labor agreement for a fixed period, to fulfil all its declaratory and payment obligations of the income from revenues and assimilated to them, and the amount representing the percentage of 41.5% will be settled within 10 days from the date of submitting the application for payment by the National Employment Agency under a procedure to be approved subsequently.
4. Measures to support day laborers
Regarding the persons who provides unqualified occasional activities, in accordance with the Law no. 52/2011 regarding the occasional activities delivered by day laborers and operating in one of the fields referred to in Article 13 of Law no 52/2011, and who are affected by the interruption or restriction of activity as a result of the new coronavirus effects, for a period of 3 months, by choice of the work beneficiary, but not later than 31 December 2020, they shall be granted from the state budget an amount representing 35% of the remuneration due to the working day.
This amount is granted by the work beneficiary, from his own budget, when the daily work is payed off, and is subsequently settled entirely, at his request, from the state budget allocated to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, through the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection and the agencies for payments and social inspection of the county, respectively of the municipality of Bucharest. The settlement shall be made no later than 10 days from the date of submitting the application, based on the procedure which shall also be approved by decision of the Government.
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