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Last updated on: June 21st, 2023

Labor Requirements

The Labour Law in Romania is regulated mainly by the Labour Code of 2003 (last amended 2022). The Labour Code governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, employment relationships. The Labor relationship is also governed by the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 96 of 14 October 2003 on Maternity Protection at Work, Emergency Ordinance No. 158/2005 on the social health insurance leaves and indemnities. 

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

Working time is defined as any period during which the employee performs work, is at the disposal of the employer, and fulfills their tasks and duties, according to their individual employment contract, the applicable collective employment contract, and the legislation in force.


The work schedule represents a structured framework that defines the specific hours and days when an employee’s work starts and ends for managing and coordinating work-related tasks and activities. The distribution of working schedules shall be divided according to work week which is defined as 5 days a week (i.e. Monday to Friday).    


The distribution of work schedules by day shall be informed to employees and must be displayed at the employer’s headquarters. The standard working hour of an employee shall not exceed 8 hours a day and 40 hours per week  (exclusive of overtime) in a period of 5 days. 


Distribution of working time during the weekIn certain cases where specific work is performed or for a task that requires an unequal distribution of the working time may be adopted, however, the total duration of working time within a workweek shall not exceed 40 hours (exclusive overtime).


An unequal work schedule within the 40-hour working week can be negotiated through collective labor agreements or internal regulations. The unequal work schedule can operate only if it is expressly specified in the individual employment contract.


Averaging of Work HoursThe working time shall not exceed a maximum of 48 hours per week, including overtime. However, there is an exception where the working time, including overtime, can be extended beyond 48 hours per week, on the condition that the average number of work hours over a reference period of 4 calendar months does not exceed 48 hours per week (inclusive of overtime). In certain activities, the reference period of 4 months can be extended up to 6 months through negotiations involving employer and employee.

However, the reference period of 4 to 6 months can be extended over a period of 12 months on an exception through a collective work agreement due to technical reasons related to the labor organization. 


Note: The duration of annual leave and the situations of suspension of the individual employment contract are not taken into consideration while calculating reference periods. 


Individualized Work Schedule – The employer may establish such an arrangement with the consent of the employee. This is a flexible way of organizing the working time of an employee. The daily duration of the working time is divided into 2 periods –

    • A fixed period in which the employee is simultaneously at work and
    • A variable/mobile period in which the employee chooses their arrival and departure times, keeping into consideration the daily working hours.

The working time, including the overtime hours, may be extended over 48 hours per week, provided the average number of work hours, as calculated for a reference period of 4 calendar months, does not exceed 48 hours per week.


The employer can establish individualized work programs for all employees, including those who benefit from carer’s leave with the consent or at the request of the employee, which may have a limited duration. Any refusal of the request must be provided in writing by the employer within 5 working days of receiving the request. 


Temporary individualized work schedules: Employers can put in place temporary individualized work schedules upon the employee’s request, or by obtaining the employee’s consent. If the employer refuses the employee’s request for such a temporary individualized work schedule, it must communicate to the employee the reasons for the refusal within five working days of receiving the requestLabour Code of 2003, § 112 – 118.


Shift Work – Shift work is a way of organizing the work schedule, according to a certain schedule, including a rotating schedule, which can be of continuous or discontinuous nature, requiring the employee to perform an activity at different time intervals in relation to a daily or weekly period, arranged by the individual employment contract. Shift employee means any employee whose work schedule is part of the shift work program. Labour Code of 2003, § 136.


Part-Time Employees – A part-time employee is an employee whose standard working hours calculated weekly or as a monthly average, is lower than the number of standard working hours of a comparable full-time employee (i.e. 8 hours a day and 40 hours per week).


The part-time employment contract includes the duration of the work and the distribution of the work schedule; the conditions under which the work schedule can be changed, and the prohibition to work overtime, except in cases of force majeure or for other urgent works aimed at preventing the occurrence of accidents or removing their consequences.


The part-time employee has the same rights as full-time employees, under the conditions provided by the law and the applicable collective labor agreements. The rights are granted in proportion to the time actually worked, compared to the rights established for the normal work schedule. Labour Code of 2003, § 103-107.


Work-at-home employees – The employees performing their employment duties as per their agreement from their home are considered work-at-home employees.  


Employees set their own work schedules for fulfilling their duties and employers have a right to check the employee’s activity at home under the conditions established by the individual employment contract.


A home-based employee enjoys all the rights recognized by law and by collective labor agreements applicable to employees whose workplace is at the employer’s organization. Labour Code of 2003, § 108-110.


Recording Requirements – The employer shall be responsible for recording the daily working hours of each employee including the start and end times of their work scheduled. The employer shall maintain such records at their workplace and make them available to the Labor Inspector at request.

For mobile employees and employees who work at home, the employer shall keep track of the hours of work performed daily by each employee under the conditions established with the employees by a written agreement, depending on the specific activity carried out by them. Labour Code of 2003, § 119.


Any hours worked above 8 hours per day or 40 per week is considered overtime. Employees cannot work more than 8 hours of overtime per week. Overtime work cannot be performed without the employee’s consent, except in the case of force majeure or for urgent work aimed at preventing accidents or removing the consequences of an accident.

Overtime work can be performed at the employer’s request with the condition that the maximum average weekly working hours (including overtime) over a 4-month period cannot exceed 48 hours (08 hours overtime per week). 


PayAn employee is entitled to compensatory time-off for the overtime work performed paid within 90 calendar days after the performance of work.


If paid compensatory time-off is not possible in the next 90 calendar days, the premium pay for overtime not less than 75% of the basic salary shall be paid. Labour Code of 2003, § 120 – 124.

Night Work

Night work refers to work performed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. An employee is considered a night employee if :

      • Performs at least 3 hours of night work daily,
      • Works at night for at least 30% of their total monthly hours.

The normal duration of a night shift cannot exceed 8 hours calculated over a reference period of a maximum of 3 calendar months period.


The normal duration of working time for night employees whose activity is carried out in special or special working conditions shall not exceed 8 hours during any period of 24 hours unless the increase of this duration is provided in the collective labor contract. In case, the duration is increased over 8 hours, the employer shall provide equivalent compensatory time off or cash compensation for the night hours worked over 8 hours.


Employees who perform night work shall be provided with a free medical examination before starting night work and periodically thereafter.  Employees who have health problems caused by working at night will be transferred to a daytime job that they are qualified for.


Pay – The night employees are entitled to either :

        • A 1-hour reduction of normal working time without reduction of salary for the days when the employee works at least 3 hours of night work; or
        • Premium pay of 25% of basic salary if the working hours consist of at least 3 hours of night work.

Labour Code of 2003, § 125 – 128.


Employees working for 6 hours or more in a day are entitled to meal and rest breaks, the length and conditions of which are determined by collective bargaining agreements. Rest breaks are not generally considered part of the daily working time except were agreed upon under a collective agreement or internal rules. Labour Code of 2003, § 134.


Daily Rest 
An employee is entitled to a rest period of not less than 12 consecutive hours between two working days. In the case of shift work, the rest period may not be less than 8 hours between shifts. Labour Code of 2003, § 135.


Weekly Rest 
An employee is entitled to a weekly rest of 48 consecutive hours which is usually provided on Saturday and Sunday. In case, the weekly rest is not possible to be provided on  Saturday and Sunday, then such weekly rest days can be provided on other days as may be agreed by the labor contract or internal regulation. The employees will be entitled to an increase in salary in such situations ( where weekly rest is not given on Saturday or Sunday) as may have been agreed in collective agreements. Labour Code of 2003, § 137 – 138.

Work On Rest Days

The employee can be provided a weekly rest day cumulatively after 14 calendar days of continuous activity. In such a situation employees shall be entitled to a 150% premium on the basic salary (double the regular overtime premium of 75%). This also applies to situations when weekly rest is suspended due to urgent work. Labour Code of 2003, § 137 – 138.

Public Holidays

 Employees are entitled to following 14 public holidays:

  • New Year – January 1 and 2
  • Day of the union of Romanian Principalities – January 24
  • Good Friday – the last Friday before Easter
  • The first and second days of Easter
  • Labor Day  – May 1
  • The first and second days of Pentecost
  • The Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  • Saint Apostle Andrew the First-called, Protector of Romania – November 30
  • National Day – December 1
  • The first and second days of Christmas
  • In addition to the above holiday list, employees (belonging to other religions apart from Christian Religion) may be entitled to 2 days for each of the 3 annual religious holidays, as declared by religious cults.

All of the above-mentioned holidays for the employees belonging to the legal religious cults, other than the Christian ones, are granted by the employer on other days than the days of legal holidays established according to the legislation.


For employees who belong to a legal, Christian religion, the days off for Good Friday – the last day of Friday before Easter, the first and second day of Easter, and the first and second day of Pentecost are granted depending on the date at which they are celebrated by that cult.


Employees who benefited from the above said days, both at the dates established for the legal, Christian, and religious worship who belong, as well as for another Christian cult, will recover the additional days off on the basis of a schedule established by the employer.


Pay – Employees required to work on a public holiday are entitled to time off in lieu within 30 days. If the employer is unable to grant the compensatory time off, the employee is entitled to a premium that may not be less than 100% of the basic salary corresponding to the work performed in the normal work schedule. Labour Code of 2003, § 139 – 143.

Annual Leave

An employee is entitled to a minimum duration of annual leave of 20 working days. The effective duration of the annual leave is fixed in the individual labor contract. The employees working in difficult, dangerous, or unhealthy conditions, the visually impaired persons, and other disabled persons are entitled to a supplementary leave of 3 working days.


The right to paid annual leave is guaranteed to all employees. The right to annual leave cannot be subject to any assignment, waiver, or limitation.


Determination of Duration of Annual Leave – For determining the duration of annual leave, the periods of temporary work incapacity, period of maternity leave, periods of maternity risk leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave, and periods of leave for caring for a sick child,  are considered as periods of service. The public holidays as well as the paid days off fixed by the applicable collective labor contract are not included during the annual leave.


Annual Leave PayThe employee is entitled to annual leave pay which shall be the daily average of the salary rights in the last 3 months before the month when the leave is taken, multiplied by the number of days of leave. The pay shall be provided by the employer at least 5 working days before taking the leave. 


Incapacity to work during annual leave – In cases where the temporary incapacity for work or maternity leave, maternity risk leave, or sick leave for the care of the sick child occurred during the annual rest leave, in such circumstances the annual leave shall be interrupted, and shall be allowed to be taken the remaining days of leave after such situation has ended.


Sickness during annual leave – If a period of temporary incapacity for work continues for the duration of an entire calendar year, the employer shall grant the employee annual leave within an 18-month period starting with the year following the one in which the employee was on medical leave. 


The annual leave is taken every year. In case the employee cannot take whole or part of the annual leave to which he was entitled in the respective calendar year, in such circumstances, the employer shall grant untaken leave to be taken within a period of 18 months starting with the year following the one in which the right to annual rest leave was established.


Scheduling of annual leave – Annual leave is taken on the basis of a collective or individual schedule laid down by the employer after consulting the representatives of the employees. Programming of annual leave for deciding the dates of annual leave of an employee shall be done by the end of the calendar year for the following year.  An employee may request the leave at least 60 days before availing such leave. In case the annual leave has to be taken into parts, the employer shall set the schedule in such a way that an employee takes at least 10 working days of uninterrupted leave in 1 calendar year.


Recall from annual leave – The employer may call back the employee from their annual holiday in case of an act of God or urgent matters. In such a case, the employer shall bear all expenses of the employee and their family necessary to return to the workplace and the potential damages suffered by the employee following the interruption of the leave.


Carry Forward and accrual of annual leave: The annual leave is taken every year. In case the employee cannot take whole or part of the annual leave to which he was entitled in the respective calendar year, in such circumstances, the employer shall grant untaken leave to be taken within a period of 18 months starting with the year following the one in which the right to annual rest leave was established.


Termination of employment – An employee whose employment is terminated shall be granted monetary compensation for the untaken annual leave. Labour Code of 2003, § 144 – 150.

Special Leave

Parental Leave

Employees are entitled to parental leave if they have earned a taxable income in the 12 months preceding the date of the birth of the child and have contributed to the social insurance program. The employees are entitled to leave for a duration of 2 years from the date of the birth of the child. If the child is seriously disabled requiring care, parental leave is provided until the child turns 03 years old.


Pay – Employees are entitled to a parental leave allowance of 85% of the monthly salary (calculated as the average salary for the last 12 months) or a minimum of 600 RON from Social Security. Emergency Ordinance No 148/2005 on the support of the Family for child-raising applicable for births before 31 December 2010, §1(1), 19& 20; Emergency Decree No.111 of 2010 on leave and monthly allowance for raising children for births after January 1 of 2011; Law No. 66/2016.

Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to 126 calendar days of maternity leave.


Prenatal Leave: Pregnant employees are entitled to a prenatal leave of 63 calendar days (9 weeks), which can be taken before the expected date of birth. However, at least 42 days (6 weeks) must be taken before the birth.


Postnatal Leave: After giving birth, the mother is entitled to postnatal leave for a minimum of 42 calendar days (6 weeks) and a maximum of 84 calendar days (12 weeks). The exact duration of postnatal leave depends on the health condition of the mother and the child.


Medical leave certificates for pregnancy are issued for a maximum period of 30/31 calendar days by the family doctor or by the obstetrician-gynecology specialist doctor. After the period of issuance of 30/31 calendar days expires, a new certificate has to be issued. In the event of the mother’s death, at birth or immediately after, the father benefits from the remainder of the leave not taken by the mother.


Pay – An employee is entitled to 85 percent of their average income over the past 12 months. The compensation during maternity leave is fully paid by the National Social Security Fund. The qualifying condition to receive maternity pay is that the employee has paid the minimum contribution to the health insurance for at least one month over the past 12 months. The allowance is paid even in cases where the child is stillborn.


Maternal Risk Leave – An employee is entitled to maternity risk leave in whole or in part, for a period not exceeding 120 days, if the doctor issues a medical certificate for this purpose. Maternal risk allowance is equal to 75% of the employee’s average monthly income over the last 10 months before such allowance was requested.


Additional Leave – Employees involved in vitro fertilization procedure are entitled annually to an additional paid 3 working days of annual leave which shall be granted as 1 working day on the date of the ovarian puncture and 2 working days starting with the date of embryo transfer.


Breastfeeding Break – Mothers are entitled to 1 hour’s leave twice per day during the first year of breastfeeding or 2 hours reduction in daily working time. Law Amending Emergency Ordinance on Maternity Protection at Workplaces, 2015, arts. 2­5; Emergency Ordinance on Maternity Protection at Work, 2003.

Medical Leave for Sick Child

The insured employee is entitled to leave and allowance for the care of a sick child up to the age of 7, and in the case of a disabled child, for intercurrent ailments until the age of 18 and with serious illnesses up to 16 years old.


This sick leave can be granted to both the mother and the father who have a sick child at home. The parent who submits an application for such leave must have completed the contribution period of at least 6 months in the last year to the public social insurance system. Leave is granted for a period of 45 calendar days.


An employee is required to provide a medical certificate for the treatment of the child which can be sent on paper or by electronic means of remote transmission. The medical leave is extended to 90 days when the child is diagnosed with infectious-contagious diseases,  immobilized in specific systems of the locomotor apparatus, and undergoing surgery.


Pay– An employee is entitled to  85% of the gross income. Emergency Ordinance No. 158/2005 on the social health insurance leaves and indemnities,  § 26

Paternity Leave

A father is entitled to 10 working days of leave following the birth of the child.  If the father of the newborn obtains the certificate of completion of the child care course, the duration of paternity leave granted is increased by 5 working days (i.e. a total of 15 working days). The right to extend paternity leave is granted to each child, regardless of the number of children, and the amount an employee receives will be calculated based on gross salary and will be equal to the amount of salary for the same period.   


Pay – The compensation for paternity leave is paid by Social Security. Act on paternity leave 1999, § 1- 4

Sick Leave

Employees covered by the pension and social insurance system who have made required contributions are entitled to sick leave of up to 183 days within one year with a possible 90-day extension. The employer pays sick leave for the first 5 days and the Social Security Fund for the remainder of the leave.


Sick Certificate Requirement The employee is required to provide a medical certificate issued by their attending physician no later than 5 days of such illness. This certificate can be filled out by doctors either in paper format or electronically. They have the option to send the medical leave certificates to employers or relevant legal entities through traditional paper-based methods or via remote electronic transmission, depending on the applicable procedures and requirements.


Pay – Sick pay is equivalent to 75 percent of the average monthly income during the previous six months. An employee is entitled to receive leave and allowances for the prevention of illnesses and recovery from temporary loss or impairment of their working capacity due to injury, or disability as – 

      • allowance for reducing working time;
      • leave and allowance for quarantine;
      • spa treatment, in accordance with the individual recovery program.

    Emergency Ordinance No. 158/2005 on the social health insurance leaves and indemnities,  § 12 – 17.

    Carer Leave

    Caretaker leave is granted to employees in case of care or support of a relative or a person living in the same household as the employee, for serious medical matters. This type of leave is granted for 5 working days during a calendar year, upon the written request of the employee. Labour Code of 2003, § 152(2).


    Leave in case of Unpredictable Circumstances

    Employees are entitled to be absent from work in the case of unpredictable circumstances (i.e. urgent family matters caused by disease or accident), based on the prior notice of the employer in this respect. This type of absence extends for a maximum of 10 working days during a calendar year and is subject to the employee performing additional work pro-rated to the number of absent working hours. Labour Code of 2003, § 152(3).


    Personal Leave

    In the case of special family events, employees are entitled to paid days off from work. These paid days are not part of the annual leave.  The special family events and the number of paid days are established by law, by the applicable collective labor agreement, or by internal regulations.


    Private sector employers are obligated to include specific types of paid leave, such as bereavement leave for the loss of a spouse, child, parents, in-laws, grandparents, or siblings, as well as marriage leave and job relocation within the same company, along with changing residence to a different locality, in their internal policies or collective labor agreements at the unit level. 


    Employees are then required to submit a leave request for these special events, accompanied by relevant supporting documents such as birth, marriage, or death certificates. Labour Code of 2003, § 152.

    Unpaid Leave

    Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for solving personal situations. The duration of unpaid leave shall be determined by the applicable collective labor agreement or internal regulation. Labour Code of 2003, § 153.

    Training Leave

    Employees are entitled to receive, on request, leave for vocational training which can be either paid or unpaid by the employer. The leave for vocational training shall not be deducted from the employee’s annual leave period.


    Unpaid leave for professional training shall be granted at the request of the employee, however, such leave can be dismissed by the employer if the employee’s absence would cause serious impairment.


    The application for unpaid leave for professional training must be submitted to the employer at least 1 month before his performance and must specify the date of commencement of the training period, its field and duration, as well as the name of the vocational training institution.


    The unpaid leave for professional training can be done in installments during a calendar year, for taking the graduation exams of some forms of education, or for taking the promotion exams in the following year within the higher education institutions.


    Paid Leave – In case, the employer does not provide leave for professional training as mentioned above, in such circumstances the employee shall be granted paid leave up to 10 working days or 80 hours. The period in which the employee benefits from the paid leave shall be established by mutual agreement with the employer. The request for paid leave for professional training will be submitted to the employer at least 1 month prior to the leave. Labour Code of 2003, § 154 – 156.


    Blood Donation Leave

    Employees are eligible to take a paid working day off from work when they donate blood, provided they present supporting documents issued by the specialized institution. GD no. 1364/2006.

    Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.