By: Alina Moldovan
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Legal Update – December 2022
Some of the pieces of legislation that were published in the Official Journal of Romania during December 2022, as mentioned herein, include general interest information, as follows:
I. REGISTRATION OF LEASE AGREEMENTS WITH THE RELEVANT TAX BODY
Order No 2031/2022 of the Chairman of the Romanian Agency for Tax Administration, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 1164/2022, amends the procedure for registration of lease agreements with the relevant tax body.
In the case of lease agreements in force on 01.01.2023, the registration thereof as well as the registration of any amendments to such lease agreement with the relevant tax body shall be made no later than 90 days after the date on which the obligation to register arose.
II. INTERPRETATION OF LAW 165/2013 ON ACTIONS INTENDED TO COMPLETE THE RESTITUTION IN KIND OR IN EQUIVALENT OF PROPERTIES ABUSIVELY SEIZED DURING THE COMMUNIST ERA IN ROMANIA
According to Decision No 57 of October 3rd, 2022, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 1162 of December 5th, 2022, in a dispute concerning the opposition filed against a compensation decision issued by the National Commission for Properties Offsetting, the provisions of Article 21(6) of Law 165/2013, as amended by Law 193/2021 approving Government Emergency Ordinance 72/2020, the valuation of properties for which indemnities are awarded is expressed in points and shall use the notarial grid valid for the year preceding the issuance of the offsetting decision by the National Commission for Properties Offsetting, which is the subject of the opposition.
III. TAX AND BUDGETARY MEASURES AND EXTENSION OF SOME TERMS
Government Emergency Ordinance 168/2022 amends and supplements the Tax Code, the Labor Code, Law 263/2010 on the unitary system of public pensions, Government Ordinance 11/2022 and some other regulations.
▪ Income tax and social contributions
– As regards employees hired on the basis of an individual employment agreement, employed on a full-time basis, at the place where the basic function is located, no income tax is due and the amount of 200 lei/month, representing income from
wages and salaries assimilated to wages, is not included in the basis for calculating compulsory social contributions, if the following conditions are met cumulatively:
• the gross monthly basic salary established in accordance with the individual employment agreement, excluding bonuses and other allowances, is equal to the national gross minimum wage in force (this condition is not deemed to have been met if the gross monthly basic salary is reduced between 9 December 2022 and 31 December 2023);
• the gross income from wages and similar amounts under the same individual employment agreement, for the same month, does not exceed 4,000 lei/month inclusive.
More precisely, the salary taxes and contributions for a gross wage worth 3,000 Lei are the same as those payable for a gross wage of 2,800 Lei.
The measure applies to the income for January to December 2023, including for employees in the agricultural sector and the food industry who do not benefit from the tax incentives provided for by the Tax Code, as well as to the income from salaries and similar amounts obtained on the basis of a service relationship, according to the law.
▪ Value Added Tax
– The deadline for suspending the submission of information returns 392A, 392B and 393 which were introduced in the context of the need to calculate the VAT base for the own resources of the European Union budget is extended until 31 December 2023 inclusive.
▪ Labor Code
– From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2028, the national minimum gross basic wage in constructions will be at least 4,000 Lei/month (up from 3,000 Lei/month), excluding allowances, bonuses and other allowances, for normal working hours averaging 165.333 hours per month.
▪ Government Ordinance 11/2022 amending and supplementing some laws, and amending some terms – article IV
– The deadline by which economic operators supplying goods or services via cardoperated vending machines, as well as coin or banknote acceptors, as appropriate, must equip their vending machines with electronic cash registers is extended until 31 December 2023.
IV. THE NATIONAL GUARANTEED MINIMUM GROSS BASIC SALARY AS OF JANUARY 1ST, 2023
According to Government Decision 1447/2022 published in the Official Journal of Romania No 1186 of December 9th, 2022, effective as of January 1st, 2023, the national gross minimum basic salary guaranteed for payment in Romania shall be Lei 3,000 per month.
The gross amount of Lei 3,000 does not include bonuses and other allowances and is set forth for normal working hours averaging 165.333 hours per month, i.e. 18.145 Lei/hour.
V. QUOTA OF FOREIGN WORKERS NEWLY ADMITTED TO THE LABOUR MARKET IN 2023
According to Government Decision 1448/2022, the Romanian Government decided that the number of foreign workers to be accepted to work in Romania in 2023 shall be 100,000 workers.
VI. NEW LAW 367/2022 ON SOCIAL DIALOGUE
The new Law 367/2022 on social dialogue was published in the Official Journal of Romania No 1238/2022 and expressly repeals Law 62/2011 as of its effective date.
What are the most important provisions of Law 367/2022?
▪ The author of the law has extended the scope of situations in which the representation of employees’ interests is allowed, with the new law stipulating that “in case of an employer employing at least 10 employees/workers and where there is no trade union, the interests of employees/workers may be promoted and defended by their representatives, elected and mandated specifically for this purpose, in accordance with the law” (currently, the employee representatives could only be elected in entities with at least 21 employees).
▪ Any interference by public authorities, employers and their organizations in the election of the employee/worker’s representatives or in preventing such elections from taking place is prohibited.
▪ Persons holding managerial positions which ensure the management representation before the employees/workers or participate in the management decision-making process at unit level cannot be elected as employee/worker representatives.
▪ The duration of negotiations in respect of collective bargaining agreements is a maximum of 45 days, which can only be exceeded by agreement between the parties.
▪ A trade union may be formed by at least 10 employees in the same unit or at least 20 employees in different units but in the same sector.
▪ A trade union can be representative if it comprises at least 35% of the employees/workers hired based on a legal employment/service relationship with that company (as opposed to at least 50%+1 as before).
▪ In companies where no trade union organizations are established, the employer has the obligation to allow, at least once a year, the organization of a public information session regarding the individual and collective rights of employees/workers, at the request of the trade union federations in the collective bargaining sector of that unit, with the invitation of representatives of these federations.
▪ The new law on social dialogue provides for the obligation to disseminate information and consult with the employees in respect of both the recent and the probable evolution of the business and economic standing of the company, and the employer is under the obligation to initiate the information and consultation process after completion of the financial reporting activities for the previous year.
▪ The new law provides for the obligation to inform and consult on decisions that may lead to significant changes in the organization of work, in the contractual relations or in the employment relationships, such as, but not limited to: the transfer of business, acquisitions, mergers, collective redundancies, termination of production units etc., and provides that the employer shall initiate and complete the information and consultation process prior to the implementation of such decisions, in order to allow employee representatives to formulate proposals for the protection of employee/worker rights.
VII. THE ESTIMATED COMPULSORY QUOTA OF GREEN CERTIFICATES TO BE ACQUIRED IN 2023
According to Order 141/2022, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 1241 of December 22nd, 2022, the estimated compulsory quota of green certificates to be purchased by the economic operators who are bound to purchase such certificates for 2023 is established at 0.4943963 green certificates/MWh.
VIII. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN 2023
The Government has decided that January 23rd, June 2nd, and August 14th, 2023 will be public holidays for public sector employees.
IX. COURTS ARE ALLOWED TO INVOKE, OF THEIR OWN MOTION, THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE CONTRAVENTIONAL PENALTY
According to Decision 18/2022, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 1258/2022, the appeal in the interest of the law was upheld and it was established that for the purposes of article 14(2) of Government Ordinance 2/2001 on the legal regime of contraventions, the court may, of its own motion, in litigations regarding contravention-related complaints, invoke the statute of limitations for the enforcement of the contravention.