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Employment Law Overview Romania


Romanian employment law is the product of constant changes made over the last years in order to establish equilibrium between the power of union organisations and the power of the employers. This has proven a hard task. As a result, Romanian legislation has both pro-employee regulations, being one of the few that establishes the mandatory reinstatement of wrongfully dismissed employees, allowing the union federations to participate in collective negotiations at the company level, as well as pro-employer regulations limiting the right to strike for employees under collective agreements.

Key Points

  • Most disputes involve financial claims from employees that usually include overtime payment, granting of working conditions, bonuses, etc. Employers often face collective actions from employees regarding these financial claims. Unions usually promote such collective actions.
  • Unions must represent 50%+1 of the employees in one company in order to be representative and part of a collective agreement. In order to still make the collective negotiations accessible to unions, the law allows union federations to participate in company level collective negotiations, as representatives of the member unions that do not reach the requirements to be representative, if the federations represent 7% of the employees in the industry sector.
  • Employers have the right to regulate working hours, but special legal provisions limit this right.
  • Great importance is given to the form of the documents drafted by the employer. Court cases usually involve verifying the form of the documents and a significant number of rulings are based exclusively on this aspect.
  • Strict regulations apply to individual and collective dismissals. In case of unlawful dismissal, the employee has the right to reinstatement and is granted all financial rights for the entire period in which he was unlawfully dismissed. Dismissed employees will often sue for unlawful dismissal.

Employment law in Romania is largely based on the following sources:

  • the Constitution;
  • European legal instruments –
    • European Union law (including Treaties, EU regulations and directives, as well as case law from the European Court of Justice);
    • protocols and recommendations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and
    • standards and practices established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO);
  • the Romanian Labour Code;
  • legislation and government decrees, especially –
    • Law nr. 62/2011 regarding the social dialogue;
    • Law no. 263/2010 on the public pension system;
    • Law no. 319/2006 on health and safety at the workplace (among others);
  • case law – the provisions of the Labour Code can be interpreted through generally applicable and mandatory decisions of the Supreme Court (High Court of Cassation and Justice);
  • interpretative decisions of the Constitutional Court which are mandatory and generally applicable;
  • collective labour agreements;
  • individual employment contracts.

New Developments

Lately, there have been a number of changes in the interpretation of employment law related legal provisions as a result of decisions taken by the High Court of Cassation and Justice, which issued rulings on working conditions, limiting the potential discrimination risk of specific legal provisions, especially regarding pension rights and working after the standard age for retirement, etc. Working hours, flexible schedules and overtime are still important issues that are raised, discussed and debated before the courts.

In 2020, changes were made to the Labour Code regarding stricter rules in order to limit employee harassment and discrimination. The changes also include involving third party specialists in the negotiation process, in alternative forms of dispute resolution and disciplinary procedures.

Any questions

Ask our member firm Magda Volonciu and Associates in Romania