Romania: Employees affected by COVID-19 measures will receive an indemnity during the state of emergency
Employees affected by the measures taken in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other exceptional measures taken by the government, will receive an indemnity during the state of emergency.
The state of emergency that was first declared on 16 March 2020 by the President was extended on 15 April 2020 for an additional 30 days. During the state of emergency, a series of exceptional legal provisions continue to be adopted in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as to offer support to individuals affected by the pandemic.
Individuals entering Romania coming from countries with more than 500 confirmed cases are quarantined for 14 days. Individuals who come from countries with less than 500 cases will be isolated at home for the same period. Individuals who come in direct contact with confirmed cases of infection or with individuals who come from high risk areas, will also be isolated. During quarantine and isolation, the individuals are covered by paid medical leave and shall receive an indemnity of 75% of their wage during the past 12 months.
By Military Ordinances, the government has restricted the movement of individuals outside their place of residence and only for justified reasons that are strictly established by the ordinances. Individuals can still go to their workplace, but they have to be in possession of a document issued by the employer that includes information concerning the employee’s personal data, workplace and position.
The government strongly recommends (though it has not imposed at this moment) that employers institute work at home measures for all the employees who can perform their activity in this manner. The new Presidential Decree that extended the state of emergency, also allows employers to unilaterally compel employees to work from home, without an addendum to their employment agreement and without asking for the employee’s consent, during this period. All existing collective employment agreements will continue to have effect for the entire period that the state of emergency will be in place, even if they should have expired during this period. For some employees, the right to strike is suspended during the period that the state of emergency will be in place. Additional restrictions and rules have been imposed on employees in strategic domains. Some of the strategic employees are being isolated at their workplace.
Schools continue to be closed during the state of emergency. During this period, one of the two parents, or the single parent, is entitled to paid time off to care for children under the age of 12 years or under the age of 18, if the child has a disability. During this period, the parent will receive a daily indemnity of 75% of their daily wage, but not more than 75% of the national daily average wage. However, if the parent can perform his/her activity at home, he/she is not entitled to the paid time off.
Most commercial activities in commercial centers have been suspended. Supermarkets and pharmacies continue to function even if located in commercial centers. Restaurants, bars and cafes are closed for sitting guests but they can still deliver the food at home and offer pick up or on the go services. All events indoors or outdoors are cancelled. Ceremonies (including funerals) can still be held under strict rules.
As a result of these measures employers need to close or reduce their activity. During this time they usually suspend the individual employment agreements of the employees. The employees affected by the measures are entitled to an indemnity that was paid by the employer and that during the state of emergency is covered by a state fund. The indemnity the employee is entitled to is 75% of his wage, but not more than 75% of the national average wage. Other individuals that are not employees can also benefit from this indemnity under certain conditions. The Government already made a lot of changes in the Ordinance that establishes the conditions in which the indemnity is granted in order to make the process more efficient and in order to include more affected categories of individuals.
The Presidential Decree that prolongs the state of emergency also mentions that only essential inspections are to be conducted during this period by the labor inspectorates.
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