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Labour Law and Employment in Romania – 2024 Guide

February 21, 2024
This article is also available in
Romanian

Regardless if a Romanian employer contracts a Romanian or foreign individual, they must fulfill certain obligations. Under the Romanian law, in order to hire foreign citizens, employers must take some steps that, for non-EU citizens, are not very simple compared to other countries. Therefore, the difficulty of the employment process depends on the location from which the citizen seeking employment in Romania comes from.

Download our 2024 guide on labour law and employment in Romania, or read more below

Employment characteristics

Employment contract types

There are more types of employment agreements in Romania, no matter if the individuals are residents or non-residents, of which we mention:

Employment agreement for indefinite period

Employment agreement for definite period

As a rule, the employment contract must be concluded for an unlimited duration. The unlimited duration is a measure of protection for the employee.

By exception, the individual employment contract may also be concluded for a limited duration, under the terms expressly provided by the law. Maximum number of defined employment agreement is 3 successive ones.

Employment of residents

According to Article 13 of the Romanian Labour Code, the minimum age required to be employed is 16 years. A 15-year-old individual can be hired for certain activities which will not affect his health or professional development and only with the prior consent of the parents or legal representatives.

The employment of an individual under the age of 15 is forbidden.

The future employee must present to the employer documents as:

the study diploma(s)

medical check (cost bear by the new employer)

identity card

birth certificate

the relevant documentation regarding professional specialization (if the job profile implies such special authorization or qualification)

For some positions specified in the National Classification of Positions in Romania are required superior studies and it is not allowed to hire an individual without the necessary qualification.

Employment of non-residents (EU and non-EU)

The non-residents that come from countries out of the UE are usually employed with agreements concluded for indefinite period, because they need to prove stability and the fact that they will be able to support themselves during the term they will live in our country.

To employ this type of non-resident, the Romanian employer needs to go through an entire procedure. Firstly, he/she must obtain the approval of the Romanian Immigration Office, and after this stage, the employee may apply for the staying permit.

For UE citizens it is simpler to conclude an employment agreement in Romania. If the period of their staying in Romania exceeds 180 days in one year, they must register at the Romanian Immigration Office.

After the conclusion of the employment agreement, all employees (residents, non-residents from UE or third countries) have the same rights and obligations in relation with the Romanian employer.

Employment contract minimum requirements

Labour contract and required documentation

The Labour Code requires that an individual employment contract must be concluded in written form and in Romanian language.

Among the mandatory elements that an individual employment contract must contain with observance of the provisions of Article 17 of the Labour Code, we mention:

the identification details of the employer and employee;

contract duration and the job position occupied in accordance with the Romanian Classification of Jobs, as well as the job description;

salary, periodicity of payment and method of payment;

vacation days and other days off entitlement;

the duration and conditions of the probationary period, if any;

notice period and conditions.

The contract may also specify provisions such as confidentiality, copyrights (in IT area) etc.

The individual employment contract can be concluded with handwritten signature or electronic signature (i.e. advanced electronic signature or the qualified electronic signature). At the conclusion, amendment, suspension or, as the case may be, cessation of the individual labour contract, the parties must use the same type of signature, namely the handwritten signature or the electronic signature, under the terms of the specific law.

Other mandatory requirements

The occupational medical check before concluding the individual employment contract is mandatory. Failure to this obligation shall bring about  the nullity of the individual employment contract, and failure to comply with this provision may also bring sanctions applicable to the employer.

For year 2024, the monthly minimum gross base salary guarantee in payment   is RON 3,300. The employers cannot pay the employees the minimum gross base salary for more than 24 months.

For employees in the construction sector, the minimum monthly gross base salary is RON 4,582 and for employees in the agricultural sector and food industry, the minimum monthly gross base salary is RON 3,436.

The employee is entitled, according to the provisions of the Labour Code, to a minimum of 20 working vacation days per year.

Trial/probationary period

The probation period depends on the employee’s position and the duration of his/her individual employment contract. For contracts concluded for an indefinite period, the maximum probation period can be of:

Execution position
90 calendar days

%
Management position
120 calendar days

%

Trial/probationary periods for part-time employment contracts shall not exceed:

  • 5 working days for a duration of the individual employment contract shorter than 3 months;
  • 15 working days for a duration of the individual labour contract ranging between 3 and 6 months;
  • 30 working days for a duration of the individual labour contract longer than 6 months;
  • 45 working days, in the case of employees holding management positions, for a duration of the individual labour contract longer than 6 months.

Termination of the employment

Cases

A Romanian employment contract can cease as follows:

  • by right (for contracts concluded for definite period);
  • based on the parties’ consent, on the date agreed upon by them;
  • as a result of one of the unilateral will of the parties, in the cases and under the terms restrictively provided by the law.
  • based on a dismissal procedure initiated by the employer in the following cases:
    • the dismissal may be ordered for reasons pertaining to the employee’s person (i.e. disciplinary dismissal; dismissal in case the employee is not professionally fit for the position in which he is employed; dismissal following a decision of the competent medical examination bodies, physical and/or mental incapacity of that employee has been established) OR,
    • for reasons that do not pertain to the employee’s person (i.e. restructuring of the job position held by the employee, etc.).

Notice period

The individual employment contract can be ceased by notice given by each party. The termination notice period depends on the position ‒ management or execution.

The notice period in case of termination upon employee’s request is the following:

Execution position
20 working days

%
Management position
45 working days

%

Social contributions and income tax

Currently, the minimum monthly gross base salary is RON 3,300.

*Exceptionally, for employees in the construction sector, the minimum monthly gross base salary is RON 4.582, and in the agricultural and food industry sector, the minimum monthly gross base salary is RON 3.436.

The employer is obliged to compute, withhold and pay monthly the social security contributions and the personal income tax for its employees. The payment of them is processed by the company by 25th of the following month for which the payroll is processed.

The actual percentage of social security contributions and personal income tax are presented in the table below:

Contributions and income tax Employee Employer
Income tax 10% N/A
Health contribution 10% N/A
Social (Pension) security contribution 25% N/A
Work insurance contribution N/A 2.25%

*For the construction field, agriculture and food industry, respectively IT, there are special provisions applied regarding due taxes and exemptions by case.

Working time and vacation

The normal length of the work time is 8  hours per day and 40 hours per week, usually Monday to Friday, with two rest days, usually Saturday and Sunday. The rule is that the maximum working time for a week cannot exceed 48 hours per week, including overtime hours.

For overtime work, the employee is entitled to paid off hours within the time limit provided by the Labour Code in Romania (90 calendar days) and, if the compensation with paid time off is not possible, the extra work will be paid, during the next month, to the employee by adding a benefit no lower than 75% of the basic wage corresponding to its duration.

Employees are entitled, according to provisions of the Labour Code, to a minimum of 20 vacation days per year (working day, not calendar day).

For medical reasons, the employee is entitled to a medical leave allowance, in percent of 100%, 75% etc.,of the average gross monthly income for the 6 months preceding the period of sickness, depending on the cause of incapacity.

The employer is obliged to pay the remuneration for the first 5 calendar days of incapacity from the medical leave period. The rest of the period is paid by the Romanian state. However, the employer shall credit the state with the amount paid to the employee. In maximum 90 calendar days, the employer is in the position to file a compensation request to the Romanian Health Insurance House for recovering the amounts paid to the employees.

In case of occurrence of special family events, the employees shall be entitled to paid days off which shall not be included in the duration of the rest leave and whose conditions should shall be set forth by the law, applicable collective labour agreement or Internal Regulations of the company.

For solving certain personal circumstances, the employees are entitled to also ask for unpaid leaves in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement or Internal Regulations of the company.

Most common employee benefits

The most common benefits for employees in Romania are:

meal tickets (meal vouchers)

laptop

private healthcare

travel expenses reimbursed

additional vacation days

gift tickets

mobile phone

gifts for children on several occasions (June 1st, Christmas)

teambuilding programs

Rules for granting meal tickets (meal vouchers):

  • Meal tickets are optional benefits in kind granted by the  employer to those employees having declared their primary employment function within the company.
  • Starting with January 2024, the maximum nominal value of a meal ticket is of RON 40. The value is decided by the employer.
  • Meal tickets value is deductible from the calculation of the corporate and is exempted from paying the social security contribution (pension) due by the employee.
  • Meal tickets value is taxed with the personal income tax (flat rate 10%) and, respectively by the quota of 10% corresponding to the health contribution due by the employee.
  • Are granted only for the effective worked days – 1 meal ticket/day.
  • Are not granted for delegation days with per diem payment or for other type of absences (vacation, sick leave, labour contract suspension etc.).
  • Meal tickets are issued exclusively in electronic/card format.
  • Meal tickets can be used, in compliance with legal provisions, including for online payments.

All the benefits are granted by the employer to the employees through provisions stipulated in the labour contract, the collective contract, Internal Regulation and/or through internal decision, where applicable.

Temporary work

Temporary labour agent

The employment by temporary labour agent is an activity performed by a temporary employee who, at the direction of the temporary labour  agent, carries out an activity for the benefit of a user and at the user’s disposal and under its supervision and management.

A temporary employee is a person working for an employer ‒ temporary labour agent-  and made available to a user for the duration established by the contract services necessary to perform certain, precise and temporary tasks.

The wage received by the temporary employee for each assignment can not be less than that received by the employee of the user, who performs the same work or one similar to that of the temporary employee.

A temporary labour agent is the legal person authorized by the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection that temporarily provides the user with skilled and/or unskilled personnel employed and paid for this purpose.

The user is the natural or legal person for whom or under whose supervision and management a temporary employee placed at disposal by the temporary labour agent works temporarily.

The temporary work assignment shall be established for a period not exceeding 24 months. The duration of the temporary assignment may be extended for successive periods which, in addition to the initial duration of the assignment, may not result in a period exceeding 36 months.

Delegation and posting within the labour contract

According to the Romanian Labour Code, the place of the work may be unilaterally modified by the employer by delegating or posting the employee to another workplace than the one provided in the individual employment contract. During the delegation or posting, the employee shall retain his position and every right set in the individual employment contract.

Employee delegation

The delegation is the temporary exercise by the employee, on employer’s direction, of works or tasks similar to his usual tasks, outside his workplace. A delegation may be directed for a period of maximum 60 calendar days within 12 months and may be extended for successive periods, with the consent of the employee, for maximum 60 calendar days.

A delegated employee shall be entitled to the payment of the transport and accommodation expenses, as well as a delegation benefit, under the terms of the law or of the applicable collective labour agreement.

Posting of employees

Posting is an act by which the employer directs the temporary change of the workplace to another employer, for the performance of certain works in its interest. By way of exception, the type of work may be changed during the posting, but only with the written agreement of the employee.

The posting may be directed for a period of maximum one year. By way of exception, the period of the posting may be extended every six months, with the agreement of both parties, for objective reasons that require the presence of the employee with the employer where the posting was directed. An employee may refuse the posting directed by his employer only by way of exception and for duly justified personal reasons. 

The rights due to a posted employee shall be provided by the employer where the posting was directed.  During the posting, an employee shall enjoy the rights more favourable to him/her ‒ either the rights with the employer directing the posting, or the rights with the employer he/she is posted to. 

The employer providing the posting must take all measures necessary so that the employer where the posting was directed fulfils completely and in good time all obligations towards the posted employee.  

Cross-border posting

The cross-border posting is regulated by several European Directives, including the Directive 96/71/EC, transposed in Romania by Law no. 16/2017. These legal provisions regulate posting on the territory of EU Member States or on the territory of the Swiss Confederation.

An essential element of distinction between the two concepts is on the effects of posting towards labour contract. In the case of posting governed by the Labour Code, there is a suspension of the labour contract during posting (which implicitly assumes the suspension of payment of wages by employer).

In case of cross-border posting, the labour contract with employer that posts is actively maintained. In this case, the salary will remain in pay at the seconding employer.

Professional health and safety

The Company has the obligation to ensure the employees’ safety and health („SHW”) relevant instructions in all aspects related to work/ job positions.

The Company has to ensure that each worker receives sufficient and appropriate training in the field of SHW, especially by receiving the pieces of information and work instructions, specific to both the workplace as well as their position:

  • upon employment;
  • upon change of job or transfer;
  • when introducing a new work equipment or some changes to the existing equipment;
  • upon the introduction of any new technology or work procedure;
  • when performing special duties.

The workers’ training in the field of safety and health at work includes 3 phases:

  • introductory-general training;
  • on-the-job training;
  • periodical training.

Introductory-general training is done when hiring the employee or when posting or delegating them from one company and/or unit to another;

On-the-job training is done after the introductory-general training and aims to present the risks for safety and health at work as well as the measures and actions taken to prevent and protect the employees for each workplace, work station and/or each function exercised.

Periodic training is given to all workers and aims to refresh and update knowledge in the field of safety and health at work.

Prevention and protection activities

The employer is responsible with organizing the prevention and protection activities, in the following ways:

a) by the assumption by the employer of the duties for carrying out the measures provided by law, (but only in the case of micro-enterprises and small enterprises, in which activities are carried out without particular risks, with a number of up to a maximum of 49 employees inclusive); or

b) by designating one or more workers to deal with prevention and protection activities; or

c) by establishing one or more internal prevention and protection services; or

d) by calling on external prevention and protection services.

Overview of applicable legislation

  • Romanian Labour Code (Law 53/2003, republished with subsequent amendments and additions);
  • Law no. 16/2017 on the posting of employees in the framework of the provision of transnational services;
  • The Order of the Ministry of employment no. 2171/2022 for the approval of the framework model of the individual employment contract;
  • Law no. 227/2015 regarding the Fiscal Code, republished with subsequent amendments and additions ;
  • Law no. 202/2002 regarding the equality of chances between women and men;
  • Government Decision no. 900/2023 for the establishment of the minimum gross basic salary per country guaranteed in payment.
  • Government Emergency Ordinance No. 93/2023 for the establishment of the minimum gross basic wage per country guaranteed in payment for the construction, agricultural and food industry sectors;
  • Law No 319/2006 on safety and health at work, as amended and supplemented.
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