As a Romanian law firm dealing with Labour related issues it is interesting to see the amendments to the Labour Code recently introduced by the Government.

The Romanian Government last month introduced amendments to the Labour Code. Whilst these changes are not fundamental they do impact on potential employers as well as current employers and employees and their relationship with effect from 10th August 2017.

On 7th August 2017 Government Emergency Ordinance no. 53/2017 was published which amended and completed the Law 53/2003 – Labour Code.

The changes concern (i) the definition of undeclared work, (ii) the position relating to a person starting to work without having a labour agreement in written form, (iii) allowing of a person to work without sending the labour agreement to the general register of employees no later than the day before the start of the activity (iv) allowing a person to work during the period when labour agreement is suspended and (v) allowing a person to work outside the working hours established under the part time labour agreement.

The changes also include amendments to (i) the conclusion, modification and registration of the individual labour agreement.  The individual labour agreement is concluded on the basis of consent of the parties, in the Romanian language, in written and before the commencement of the employment.  The obligation to conclude an individual employment contract in written form rests with the employer. Before the commencement of the activity the individual labour agreement has to be recorded in the general register of employees, which is sent to the labour inspectorate. The employer is obliged to give the employee a copy of the individual labour agreement prior to the commencement of work.  The employer is also obliged to keep a copy of the individual work contract for the employees at the place where the employees work.  Any modification of the contract provided for in art. 17 par. (3) of the Law no. 53/2003, during the period of employment requires the conclusion of a written addendum to the agreement prior to implementation of the amendment except where such modification is expressly provided for by the law or any applicable collective labour agreement.

The employer now has the obligation to keep records of the hours worked by each employee on a daily basis stating the starting and ending hours of the work schedule.  This information has to be submitted to the labour inspectors whenever it is required to do so.

New sanctions and fines have been introduced by the Law.   For example, allowing a person to work without concluding an individual labour agreement is to be sanctioned with a fine of twenty thousand (20,000) lei for each individual as is allowing a person to work during the period when a labour agreement is suspended.

Allowing a person to work outside the working hours established under the part time labour agreement shall be sanctioned with a fine of 10,000 lei for each identified person. o Breaching of the provisions of art. 16 par. (4) of the Law no. 53/2003 – The labour code is sanctioned with a fine of 10,000 lei.

In the event that he Labour Inspectorate find that there has been committed one of the offences provided for in art. 260 paragraph (1) letters e) -e2) of the Law no. 53/2003 – Labour Code, the inspector can order as an additional sanction the cessation of the activity at the work place, subject to control, according to the procedure of the Labour Inspection after prior consultation of trade union and employers’ confederations representative at national level.   The employer can resume its activity only after paying the fine and after demonstrating that it has remedied the deficiencies that led to the order of the cessation of the activity.

Further there is now an offence of recruiting a person who is illegally in Romania and knowing that they are a victim of trafficking of human beings is a crime and is sanctioned with imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years or with a fine.

All these amendments whilst not affecting the relationship of Employer and Employee do impact on both parties as their relationship is further governed by the law.