Minimum Working Conditions
Employers and employees are free to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment relationship. However, employees have certain minimum rights granted by the law and the parties’ negotiation cannot stipulate conditions or rights below the legal minimum provisions. Any contractual clauses that are meant to establish rights below the minimum ones are null. The minimum working conditions and rights are set forth in the Romanian Labour Code and the Collective Agreements, if applicable (in Romania, the conclusion of a collective labour agreement is not mandatory).
As of 1 January 2020, the minimum gross monthly wage for a 168-hour work month is:
- LEI 2,230.00 (approximately EUR 458.00 or USD 544.00) for jobs that do not require a higher education;
- LEI 2,350.00 (approx. EUR 482.00 or USD 573.00) for jobs that require a higher education; and
- LEI 3,000.00 (approx. EUR 616.00 or USD 732.00) for jobs in the construction sector.
Employers cannot pay a full-time employee less than the minimum gross monthly wage. Special provisions apply to public servants.
The negotiation of the monthly wage is individual, as a rule. However, some collective agreements include a salary scale that applies to different categories of employees (as a minimum, employees being able to individually negotiate a higher wage). For public servants there are salary scales that are provided by law. Also, for public companies there are salary caps that apply usually to the management of the public company.
Employees can be granted other benefits, financial or otherwise, such as supplementary insurances, the use of a company car and/or other company owned property (housing, telephones, laptops, etc.). Fiscal treatment of each benefit is to be determined according to the Fiscal Code (some of the benefits are exempted of all fiscal taxes, some are exempted of some of the fiscal taxes and some are considered to be part of the monthly wage).
Maximum Working Week
The maximum average working time is established by the Labour Code and consists of 40 hours per week and 8 hours per day. Maximum legal working time is 48 hours per week, including overtime hours.
By exception, the maximum working legal time, including overtime may be extended over 48 hours per week, under the condition that the average working hours calculated for a 4 month period, will not exceed 48 hours per week. For certain activities, the parties (the social partners, employees’ representatives and employers’ representatives) may negotiate a period of more than 4 months, but not longer than 12 months.
Overtime work is permitted only upon the employer’s special demand and the employee’s agreement, except for cases of acts of God or other urgent works intended to prevent or to eliminate the consequences of an accident.
Overtime shall be compensated by paid off hours during the next 60 days. If compensation is not possible within the 60 days mentioned above, the overtime shall be paid to the employee by adding a bonus to the salary. The overtime addition will be established by negotiation through the collective labour agreement or individual employment contract and it cannot be lower than 75% of the base salary. Special regulations regarding working hours make the Romanian legislation stricter than the European one.
Employees who are not 18 years old are prohibited from overtime work. Part-time employees cannot work overtime. The employee‘s total working hours for one month, including overtime is recorded in writing on the pay slip.
Employer’s Obligation to Provide a Healthy and Safe Workplace
The employer has to ensure the health and safety of the employees in all work related aspects. The employer is responsible for the health and safety of the employees even when using external dedicated services.
With regards to the measures to be implemented for the health and safety of their employees, employers should bear in mind that there exists a series of principles aimed at preventing health and safety issues, such as avoiding risks, evaluating the risks that cannot be avoided, adapting the work to the individual, especially when designing the workplace and when choosing the equipment, as well as work methods and training for employees. At every employer’s level, a health and safety committee has to be organised. Equal numbers of members will represent the employees and the employer within this committee.
Employees can bring health and safety issues to the attention of the employer through their representatives in the health and safety committee, or directly to the individual responsible for the health and safety. Should the employer not take any action based on the employee’s complaint, the employee can address the local Labour Inspectorate directly. The local Labour Inspectorate will conduct periodic inspections of the ways in which the employer complies with the health and safety rules. The employees can also seek redress through the local courts.
Health or safety incidents are to be announced to specialised public authorities that can investigate the conditions of such incidents, establish any fault of the employer or the employee and also impose measures to be taken in the future in order for such incidents to be avoided. Not informing the local labour inspectorate about health and safety incidents can result in fines for the employer.