Employment relations in Romania are governed by the Labor Code and other employment specific legislation.
Hours & Pay Regulations
The Labor Code limits normal working hours to eight per day and 40 per week and the normal workweek to five days. A daily length of the working time below or above eight hours can be negotiated for certain economic sectors, organizations or professions.
Employers must keep a record of the daily hours worked by each employee and keep such records available for inspection by the labor authorities at each workplace. Labor Code, 2003 (as amended), arts. 112, 125, 135.
Any hours worked above eight per day or 40 per week are considered overtime. Employees cannot work more than eight hours of overtime per week.
Overtime must be compensated with paid time off within 60 days of its performance or at an overtime premium of at least 75 percent of base salary.
Overtime can only be performed with the consent of the employee. The Labor Code forbids people under 18 years old to work overtime hours. Labor Code, 2003 (as amended), art. 105.
Night shift work refers to work performed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. An employee is considered to work the night shift if he or she:
- performs at least three hours of night work daily or
- works at night at least 30 percent of total monthly hours.
Employees working at least three night-shift hours daily must be given a medical examination at the employer’s expense at the beginning of the assignment and periodically thereafter and receive either:
- A one-hour reduction of normal working time without reduction of salary for the days when the employee works at least three hours of night work; or
- A bonus of at least 25 percent of basic salary if the working hours consisting of at least three hours per night of the normal working time.
The normal duration of a night shift cannot exceed eight hours averaged over a three-month period.
Employees working six hours or more in a day are entitled to meal and rest breaks, the length and timing of which are determined by collective bargaining agreements.
Employees are entitled to a rest period no shorter than 12 consecutive hours between two working days. The required weekly rest period is 48 consecutive hours.
In Romania, the rules for implementing an uninterrupted work period of more than five days are set out under Art. 137 (4) of the Labour Code. The weekly two-day statutory rest period may be granted to employees cumulatively after a continuous work period that does not exceed 14 calendar days, based on the prior authorization of the territorial labor inspectorate and of the trade union or other elected employee representative.
Romanian legislation does not regulate the procedure for obtaining approval from the territorial labor inspectorate to grant weekly rest days cumulatively.
The Labor Code provides 12 public holidays:
- Jan. 1 and 2: New Year
- The first and second days of Easter
- May 1: Labor Day
- The first and second days of Pentecost
- Aug. 15: The Assumption
- Nov. 30: Saint Andrew’s Day
- Dec. 1: National Day
- The first and second days of Christmas
Employees required to work on a public holiday are entitled to a day off in lieu within 30 days. If the employer is unable to grant the day off, the employee is entitled to double pay for the work performed on the public holiday. Public holidays that fall on a weekend are celebrated on that day Labor Code, 2003 (as amended), arts. 139142.
Romanian employees are entitled to a minimum 20 days of paid vacation annually. Annual vacation can be taken in increments if the employee requests it, but part must be taken as one unbroken period of at least 15 working days.
Vacation must generally be taken within the year earned, although under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement unused leave can be carried over to the end of the following year. A collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract may provide additional leave days.
Employees cannot forfeit their right to paid vacation.
Employees under 18, those working under heavy, hazardous or harmful conditions and the disabled and the blind are entitled to at least three extra days of vacation each year. In the case of family emergencies, employees are entitled to additional paid leave days, the number of which varies within different sectors (public administration, agriculture, etc.) and is established by collective agreement or internal regulation. Labor Code, 2003 (as amended), arts. 144153.
Starting January 1, 2019, the minimum gross salary in Romania will increase to RON 2,080 (approx. EUR 430), while the minimum gross salary for employees who have graduated from university studies and who have at least one (1) year of work experience in the field of their studies will be set at RON 2,350 (approx. EUR 490).
Governmental Decision no. 937/2018 provides for an increase in the minimum gross salary in Romania, which is differentiated based upon professional experience and university studies, starting 1 January 2019. Specifically, the minimum gross salary will increase to RON 2,080 (approx. EUR 430), while the minimum gross salary for employees who have graduated from university studies and who have at least one (1) year of work experience in the field of their studies will be set at RON 2,350 (approx. EUR 490).
Parental leave is available to individuals who reside in Romania, have earned taxable income in the 12 months preceding the date of birth, and contributed to the social insurance program. The benefit is 600 leu per month until the child reaches 2 years of age (3, if the child is disabled). Each parent is required to take at least one month’s leave. The parental leave program is entirely funded by the government.
A pregnant employee who has worked for at least one month during the preceding 12 months is entitled to 126 days of maternity leave, commencing 63 days prior to childbirth. A minimum of 42 days must be taken by the employee. While on maternity leave, women employees are 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. Mothers are entitled to one hour’s leave twice per day during the first year of breastfeeding or a two-hour 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.
Additional Leave for In-Vitro Fertilization
The Romanian Labour Code via the Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 26/2019 entered into force on April 23, 2019, brought about changes in the Annual Leave laws in Romania. The Government decided to introduce a new type of paid leave for female employees who opt for in-vitro fertilization concerned by the low and decreasing birth rate in Romania, and by the fact that on average only 5,000 in-vitro fertilization is performed annually.
This new type of leave extends for 3 days of which, 1 day on the day of the ovarian puncture and 2 days starting with the day of the embryo transfer. To benefit from this leave, employees must file a formal request accompanied by a medical letter issued by the specialist doctor confirming the in vitro procedure. Since this is not a medical leave, it is unclear and uncertain as to how the new regulation will align with the legal requirement to schedule the annual leave beforehand.
A father is entitled to five working days’ compensated leave within two months following the birth of his child on days he requests. If the father successfully completes a childcare course, he receives an additional 10 working days’ compensated leave. Emergency Ordinance on Maternity Protection at Work, 2003.
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. Sick pay is equivalent to 75 percent of the average monthly income during the previous six months. The employer pays medical leave for the first five days, the Social Security Fund for the remainder.
In the case of special family events, employees are entitled to paid days, which shall not be included in the duration of the holiday.
The special family events and the number of paid days are established by law, by the applicable collective labor agreement or by the internal regulations. Labor Code, arts.152.
For solving personal situations, employees are entitled to unpaid leave. The duration of unpaid leave shall be determined by the applicable collective labor agreement or internal regulation. Labor Code, arts.153
Employees are entitled to receive, on request, leave for vocational training. Vocational training leave may be granted with or without payment. Labor Code, arts.154
Last updated on: July 28th, 2020