Last updated on: March 15th, 2023
The Labour Law in Romania is regulated mainly by the Labour Code of 2003. 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 any period during which the employee performs work, is available to the employer, and performs his duties and responsibilities, according to the provisions of the individual employment contract, the applicable collective labor agreement, and or the labor legislation.
The normal working hours are 8 hours per day and 40 per week. The normal workweek is 5 days. In the case of certain sectors of activity, units, or professions, a daily duration of working time of less than or greater than 8 hours may be formed via collective or individual negotiations.
Distribution of working time during the week – As a rule, the distribution of working time during the week is 8 hours per day for 5 days. For certain specific activities or work performed, it is possible to opt for an unequal distribution of the working time, but the normal duration of working time in a workweek in such cases shall not exceed 40 hours.
Averaging of Work Hours – The maximum length of the work time shall not exceed 48 hours per week, including overtime hours. As an exception, the length of the work time, including the overtime hours, may be extended beyond 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 (inclusive of overtime). The 4 months reference period may be extended up to 6 months via negotiation between the parties (the social partners, employees’ representatives, and employers’ representatives) for certain activities.
The collective work agreements may provide deviations from the above-mentioned reference period and provide exceptions over a reference period of 12 months for reasons which may be objective, technical, or related to a labor organization.
When calculating the reference periods stated above, the duration of annual leave and the situations of suspension of the individual employment contract are not taken into consideration.
Unequal work schedule – 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.
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, maybe 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. Labour Code of 2003, § 112 – 118.
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 5 working days, on receiving the request.
Shift work is a way of organizing the work schedule, according to a certain schedule, including a rotating schedule, and 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.
The employer shall maintain at a workplace, record of the working hours performed by each employee on a daily basis, mentioning the beginning and end hours of the work schedule. 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 may not be performed without the agreement of the employee, except for acts of God or urgent works intended to prevent or to eliminate the consequences of an accident. The maximum average weekly working hours (including overtime) over a 4-month period cannot exceed 48 hours (08 hours overtime per week).
Pay – Overtime can be compensated by time-off corresponding to the overtime hours, paid in the next 90 calendar days after the performance of work. If the compensation by paid time-off is not possible in the next 90 calendar days, the premium pay for overtime shall be negotiated, and shall not be lower than 75% of the basic salary. Labor Code of 2003, § 120 – 124.
Night work refers to work performed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. An employee is considered as a night employee if :
- Performs at least 3 hours of night work daily,
- Works at night at least 30 percent 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 of the night hours worked over 8 hours.
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 under a collective agreement or internal rules. Labour Code of 2003, § 134.
An employee is entitled to a rest period not less than 12 consecutive hours. In the case of shift work, the rest period may not be less than 8 hours between shifts. Labour Code of 2003, § 135.
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 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.
The weekly rest days can also be provided cumulatively after a period of continuous activity which shall not exceed 14 calendar days. In such situations, the employees are entitled to 150% (Double the premium of overtime work, i.e. 75%) of the basic salary for such work on weekly rest days. Labour Code of 2003, § 137 – 138.
Work On Rest Days
In case of urgent work, the weekly rest can be suspended for the employee in order to execute such work, and in such cases, the employees shall be entitled to 150% (Double the premium of overtime work, i.e. 75%) of the basic salary for such work on weekly rest days. Labour Code of 2003, § 137 – 138.
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
- Two days for each of the 3 annual religious holidays, declared as such by the legal religious cults, other than the Christian ones, for the persons belonging to them.
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 holiday established according to the legislation.
For employees who belong to a legal, Christian religious cult, the days off for Good Friday – the last day of Friday before Easter, the first and second day of Easter, 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, 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.
An employee is entitled to a minimum duration of the 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 public holidays, as well as the paid days off fixed by the applicable collective labor contract, are not included during the annual leave. For determining the duration of annual leave, the periods of temporary work incapacity, period of maternity leave, periods of maternity risk leave, and periods of leave for caring for a sick child are considered as periods of service.
Annual Leave Pay – The employee is granted 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.
The duration of paternity leave, carer’s leave and the duration of the absences from work specified above will be considered as periods of performed work for the purpose of determining the annual leave’s duration. The employer will also be prohibited from dismissing employees during these periods of absence.
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. Within the periods of leave laid down, an employee may request the leave at least 60 days before availing of 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.
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.
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum gross wage amounts to 516 euros per month.
The minimum wage given above may not be updated. Kindly access the link to get the current wage rate.
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.
A pregnant employee is entitled to 126 days of maternity leave, commencing 63 days prior to childbirth and 63 days post-delivery of the child. A minimum of 42 days must be taken by the employee post-childbirth.
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 days of annual leave which shall be granted as 1 day on the date of the ovarian puncture and 2 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.
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 only once, 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
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, the Social Security Fund for the remainder of the leave.
Pay – Sick pay is equivalent to 75 percent of the average monthly income during the previous six months. Emergency Ordinance No. 158/2005 on the social health insurance leaves and indemnities, § 12 – 17.
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.
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.
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. Labour Code of 2003, § 152
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.
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.