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Legal Update – October 2021
The following pieces of legislation were published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, during October 2021. They include general interest information, as follows:
I. APL ADMITTED IN RESPECT OF LAW 350/2001 REGARDING LAND DEVELOPMENT AND URBANISM
Based on Decision 12/2021, published in the Official Journal of Romania No 933 of 30th September 2021, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (APL panel) admitted the appeal on points of law (APL) filed by the Management Council of the Iasi Court of Appeal and, consequently, determined that the decision of the local council approving the zonal urbanism plan represents an administrative decision with the force of a law.
II. SUBSIDIES FOR LIVESTOCK FARMING
On 4th October 2021 there has been published a Decision setting the date by which the provisions of Government Decision 1.179/2014 regarding the creation of a state aid scheme for livestock farming are applicable. Basically, it extended for one (1) year the term for state aid granting, that is, 31st December 2022.
The state aid scheme is intended to offer money to cover the administrative costs for preparation and maintenance of the genealogy register, as well as the costs of tests intended to determine the genetic quality or genetic yield of the livestock, except for tests performed by owner of livestock or routine investigations regarding the quality of milk.
III. PAID LEAVE OFFERED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SPREAD OF SARS-COV-2 CORONAVIRUS
Government Emergency Ordinance 110/2021 was published on 4th October 2021 and refers to paid leave days offered to parents and other categories of persons in the context of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
This ordinance is important in that it regulates the conditions under which parents are offered free days to monitor the children of up to 12 years old enrolled in an education unit or an early education unit, as well as parents who have disabled
children or less than 26 years old adults under care, which are enrolled in any form of education, starting with 4th October 2021 until the end of the school year 2021-2022.
IV. FURLOUGH (TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT) REINSTATED
Government Emergency Ordinance 111/2021 reintroduces the furlough until 31st December 2021, as follows:
❑ For the period the individual employment agreement is suspended by the employer because of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus effects;
❑ For the period of the temporary, full or partial suspension of the business, in the context of the growing number of persons infected with Covid-19 and the extension of the state of alert on the territory of Romania;
❑ During the suspension of business pursuant to epidemiologic investigations, except for the employees taking their medical leave and receiving the applicable social insurance benefits.
The unemployment aid shall be 75% of the basic salary applicable to the relevant position and shall be paid from the budget of unemployment aids, but no more than 75% of the gross average salary.
❑ The employees, for the period of temporary, full or partial suspension of employers’ business, in the context of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and of the measures implemented to reduce the impact of risk types, laid down in the Government decisions extending the state of alert on the territory of Romania;
❑ The professionals;
❑ The self-employed persons;
❑ The natural persons who obtain income from copyrights or related rights and sports persons.
The employees who do not benefit from the furlough aid:
❑ The employees of public institutions and authorities;
❑ The employees of companies which are undergoing bankruptcy, dissolution, liquidation or have suspended their business or are subject to other restrictions for reasons other than the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, at the time they apply for the unemployment aid.
Payment shall be made by the territorial occupational agencies, solely in the bank accounts opened by the beneficiaries of the unemployment aid, no later than thirty (30) days from the date when they filed with the National Occupational Agency, by email, the application accompanied by a declaration on their own liability and the list of beneficiaries.
V. INCREASE IN THE GROSS MINIMUM SALARY
Government Decision 1071/2021 sets out the secured amount of the gross minimum salary in Romania.
Starting with 1st January 2022, the secured amount of the gross minimum salary, laid down in article 164 (1) of Law 53/2003 – the Labour Code, is set to be 2,550 Lei per month, and does not include bonuses and other amounts, for a regular
working time of 167.333 hours per month, that is, 15.239 Lei/hour.
VI. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL SYSTEM FOR THE ELECTRONIC INVOICE RO E-FACTURA
Government Emergency Ordinance 120/2021 sets out the terms and conditions for the implementation of the national system of electronic invoicing for upload, storage and download of invoices issued by the economic operations for
transactions with public authorities/institutions (called “B2G”).
The national system for electronic invoicing RO e-Factura shall be operational no later than maximum thirty (30) days from the effective date of the ordinance.
The electronic invoicing through the system:
❑ Is optional and
❑ May be used in B2G transactions (economic operator and contracting authorities/entities, as they are defined in the ordinance) or B2G.
If the economic operator elected to use the system of B2G, it is bound to issue solely electronic invoices in its B2G transactions (with some, few, exceptions classified/subject to special security measures intended to protect the state interests).
In B2G transactions, to use the system, both parties must be registered with the Registrar RO eFactura. The register is public and shall be posted on the ANAF website.
VII. CHANGES IN THE LABOUR CODE – GEO 117/2021 (“GEO 117/2021”)
1. One of the situations that may be considered undeclared work, the related offence and the applicable penalty were changed
The expression “allowing an employee to work outside the part-time hours agreed in his/her individual employment agreement with the employer” was replaced by “allowing an employee to work in excess of the part-time hours agreed in his/her individual employment agreement with the employer, except for the force majeure events or other emergency works intended to prevent accidents or remove the consequences of accidents”.
Allowing one or several employees to work in excess of the parti-time hours agreed in his/her/their individual employment agreement with the employer is punished with a fine of 10,000 Lei up to 50,000 Lei per person, but no more than the aggregated amount of 200,000 Lei.
2. One of the situations that may be considered undeclared work, the related offence and the applicable penalty were changed
The GEO 117/2021 sets out the notion of “sub-declared work” as well as the applicable penalty, indented to discourage this practice.
“Sub-declared work” appears when employers pay in fact a net salary higher than the one agreed and outlined in the payroll and in the monthly statement of social contributions, the income tax, and the list of insured persons, submitted to the tax authorities.
Sub-declared work is punished with a fine of 8,000 Lei up to 10,000 Lei, for each employee identified but no more than an aggregate amount of 100,000 Lei.
3. The period in which free paid hours may be offered to compensate the overtime work was extended from 60 to 90 calendar days (after the overtime ends).