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Employment in Moldova

Employment in Moldova

Employment Comparative Guide: 2023
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Contributed by Bivol, Sotchi & Partners.

1. Hiring

1.1. Contracting

According to Article 57 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Moldova the employee, at the signing of the individual employment contract, must present to the employer the following documents:

a) identity card or another identity document;

b) study diploma, qualification certificate confirming special training – for professions that require special knowledge or skills;

c) the medical certificate, in the cases provided by the legislation in force;

d) the declaration on personal responsibility regarding the fact that, during the activity at the previous workplaces, they did not violate the provisions regarding the evaluation of institutional integrity, except in cases when the person enters the field of work for the first time.

The same Article provides that it is forbidden for employers to request from the employees documents other than those mentioned above, as well as other legislative acts.

The employers have the right to request a reference of the employee from their previous workplace.

There are certain exceptions when the employer can request the presentation of the criminal record. These exceptions must be expressly provided by law, for example for civil servants.

According to Article 48 of the Labor Code, if the employee is going to carry out their activity abroad, the employer has the obligation to provide them, in a timely manner, in addition to the information provided in general conditions, the information regarding:

a) the duration of work abroad;

b) the currency in which the work will be remunerated, as well as the method of payment;

c) compensations and benefits in cash and/or in-kind related to going abroad;

d) specific insurance conditions;

e) accommodation conditions;

f) round-trip travel arrangements.

According to Article 46 Paragraph (5) of the Labor Code of the Republic of Moldova, any natural or legal person, regardless of the type of property and legal form of organization can be part of the individual employment contract as an employer. Paragraph (6) of the same Article states that the legal person can conclude individual employment contracts from the moment of acquiring legal personality.

If the employer is a natural person, he can hire employees without forming a legal entity. If the employer is a foreign company, then it must have a legal form of an organization registered on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

The Labor Code of the Republic of Moldova does not make an express reference to the types of individual employment contracts. Though, we can make an enumeration of them, emerging from the various provisions of the Labor Code.

I. The first contract classification criterion is according to their duration:

a) individual employment contract of indefinite duration;

b) individual employment contract with a fixed duration that does not exceed five years, according to Article 54 Paragraph (2).

II. Another classification criterion is depending on the distribution of working time. From the provisions of Articles 98-99, there are the following types of contracts:

a) contracts with a working duration of five days per week – the distribution of working time within the week is, as a rule, uniform and constitutes eight hours per day, for five days, with two days of rest.

b) contracts with a working duration of six days per week – in units where, considering the specifics of the work, the introduction of a five-day work week is unreasonable, it is accepted, as an exception, to establish, through the collective labor contract and/or the internal regulation, of the six-day work week with a rest day.

III. According to the time criterion, the individual contracts can be:

a) individual full-time eight-hour work contracts

b) individual part-time employment contracts.

IV. According to the place where the activity is carried out, they can be:

a) individual employment contracts concluded for an activity carried out at the company headquarters or in other company premises.

b) individual employment contracts concluded for activities carried out at the employee’s home, as mentioned by Article 290.

The parties are free to provide for any type of clauses to sign, provided they do not contravene legal guarantees.

Article 49 of the Labor Code provides the provisions that must be included in the individual employment contract. The content of the individual employment contract is determined by the agreement of the parties, considering the provisions of the legislation in force, and includes:

a) the name and surname of the employee;

b) identification data of the employer;

c) duration of the contract;

d) the date from which the contract will take effect;

e) specialty, profession, qualification, function;

f) the attributions of the function;

g) job-specific risks;

h) the name of the work to be performed (in the case of the individual employment contract for the period of performance of a certain work);

i) the rights and obligations of the employee;

j) the rights and obligations of the employer;

k) the conditions of remuneration for work, including the salary of the position or the fee, supplements, prizes, and material aids (if they are part of the wage system of the unit), the forms and method of payment of salary payments, as well as the periodicity of this payment;

l) compensations and allowances, including for work performed in difficult, harmful, and/or dangerous conditions;

m) the workplace. If the place of work is not fixed, it is mentioned that the employee can have different places of work and the legal address of the unit or, as the case may be, the domicile of the employer is indicated;

n) work and rest regime, including the length of the employee’s day and work week;

o) trial period, as applicable;

p) the duration of the annual leave and the conditions for granting it;

q) social insurance conditions;

r) medical insurance conditions;

s) the specific clauses, as the case may be;

The individual employment contract may also contain other provisions that do not contravene the legislation in force.

It is forbidden to establish conditions for the employee, through the individual employment contract, below the level of those provided by the normative acts in force, the collective agreements, and the collective employment contract.

The Labor Code provides a series of acts and actions that have to be drawn up in written form. According to various legal provisions, a non-exhaustive list is: the proposal to initiate collective negotiations (Article 26); the collective agreement (Article 30); informing employee representatives about topics relevant to their activity (Article 42 Paragraph (1)); parental consent for the employment of minors under the age of 15 (Article 46); issuing a refusal to hire (Article 47); the form of the individual employment contract (Article 58); modification of the individual employment contract; consent of the employer to the secondment (Article 71); transfer of the employee to another job (Article 74); suspension of the individual contract (Article 77, 78); termination of the contract (Article 81); resignation request (Article 85); issuing the warning (Article 86); dismissal (Article 88 Paragraph (1)); the agreement for the processing of data about the private life of the employee (Article 91, 92); attraction to additional work (Article 104); recall from leave with written consent (Article 124); the introduction of new work norms (Article 169); giving explanations regarding the act committed when applying the sanctions (Article 208); evaluating the individual performance of the employee (Article 211 Paragraph (4)); evaluation results (Article 211 Paragraph(1)); concluding professional training and apprenticeship contracts (Article 214); modification of clauses in the individual employment contract (Article 286); conclusion of the material liability contract (Article 339), etc.

“Written form” is defined by the Labor Code as information (certificate, document, contract, and others) displayed in letters, numbers, graphic signs on paper or in electronic format; the holographic inscription on paper; the information transmitted by fax or by other means of communication, including by electronic means, which allow reading the information.

According to Article 56 of the Labor Code, the individual employment contract can be signed with a holographic signature, or with a qualified advanced electronic signature – if the parties to the individual employment contract have agreed to conclude it through the exchange of electronic documents. Thus, the conclusion of the contract by electronic means is also considered to be in writing.

The individual employment contract is considered to have been concluded even without compliance with the written form. In this case, it is considered to be concluded for an indefinite period and produces its effects from the day the employee was admitted to work.

The individual employment contract can be concluded in any language. The Labor Code does not expressly provide the obligation to conclude the contract in the state language.

The language in which the contract is drawn up must be accessible to the employee and the authorities that supervise compliance with labor legislation. The language in which the individual employment contract is drawn up must be one of the languages of circulation in the Republic of Moldova.

In Articles 60 – 63, the Labor Code provides dispositions regarding the probation period. In order to verify the professional skills of the employee, at the signing of the individual employment contract, they may be given a trial period of no more than six months. In the case of hiring unskilled workers, the trial period is established as an exception and cannot exceed 30 calendar days.

The trial period does not include the period of the employee being on medical leave and other periods in which he was absent from work for valid reasons, documented. The clause regarding the trial period must be provided in the individual employment contract. In the absence of such a clause, it is considered that the employee was hired without a trial period.

During the trial period, the employee benefits from all the rights and fulfills the obligations provided by the labor legislation, the internal regulations of the unit, the collective, and the individual labor contract. Only one trial period can be established during the individual employment contract.

Employees employed under a fixed-term individual employment contract may be subject to a trial period that will not exceed:

a) 15 calendar days for a duration of the individual employment contract between three and six months;

b) 30 calendar days for a duration of the individual employment contract of more than six months.

It is forbidden to apply the trial period in the case of concluding an individual employment contract with:

c) persons under the age of 18;

d) persons employed through competition, pursuant to special laws if they do not provide otherwise;

e) persons who have been transferred from one unit to another;

f) pregnant women;

g) persons elected in elective positions;

h) persons employed on the basis of an individual employment contract with a duration of up to three months.

If during the trial period, the individual employment contract has not been terminated, the action of the contract continues, and its subsequent termination will take place on a general basis.

If the result of the trial period is unsatisfactory, this is stated in the order (decision) regarding the dismissal of the employee, which is issued by the employer until the trial period expires, without payment of the severance pay. The employer does not have the obligation to justify the decision regarding the unsatisfactory result of the trial period. The employee has the right to challenge the dismissal in court.

The Labor Code provides in Chapter IV, special provisions regarding the work of unit leaders and members of collegial bodies.

According to Article 258, the leader of the unit is the natural person who, in accordance with the legislation in force or the establishment documents of the unit, exercises the powers of administration of the respective unit, at the same time fulfilling the functions of the executive body.

For the executive employee are specific the following rules:

The individual employment contract with the head of the unit is concluded for the duration indicated in the establishment documents of the unit or for a term established in the contract by the agreement of the parties.

The legislation in force or the establishment documents of the unit may provide for special procedures that will precede the conclusion of the individual employment contract with the head of the unit (organization of the contest, election, or appointment).

Apart from the general cases of termination of the individual employment contract on the grounds provided by the Labor Code and other normative acts, the individual employment contract concluded with the head of the unit may be terminated in case of:

a) dismissal from service of the head of the debtor unit in accordance with the legislation on insolvency;

b) issuance by the authorized body or the owner of the unit of the order (decision) legally founded to terminate the individual employment contract before the deadline.

In case of termination of the individual employment contract concluded with the head of the unit, in the absence of culpable actions or inactions, the head is notified in writing one month in advance and is paid compensation for the termination of the individual employment contract before the deadline, in the amount of at least three average monthly salaries. The concrete amount of the compensation is established in the individual employment contract.

The head of the unit has the right to resign before the expiration of the term of the individual employment contract in the cases stipulated by the contract, informing his employer in writing one month before.

1.2. Employees versus independent contractors

Specific to the individual employment contract is the fact that between the parties there is a relationship of subordination of the employee to the employer. In the case of civil contracts for the provision of services, the parties are in a position of legal equality. The contractor is independent and autonomous from the client and organizes and directs the process of carrying out the work independently.

The object of the individual employment contract relates to the performance of work for and under the authority of an employer, natural or legal person in exchange for a remuneration called salary. The object of the contract of the undertaking and providing services consists of the production or transformation of a good. The salary is paid according to the quantity and quality of the work, while in the case of civil contracts for the provision of work, the result of the work of the contractor or provider, delivered to the client, is paid.

The amount of income that can be obtained based on civil agreements is not limited. In the case of the individual employment contract, every time employees are remunerated, the guaranteed minimum wage is considered, which represents the mandatory minimum value of the labor remuneration.

Employment contracts are characterized by duration, the general rule in the matter being that their validity is not determined. The duration of civil contracts is limited, as a rule, to the time required for the execution of a work.

The employer is responsible for the damage caused by the employee to other people in the performance of professional obligations. During the validity of the individual employment contract, the employee may be held liable for disciplinary, patrimonial, administrative, or criminal liability.

Unlike the employee, the contractor performs the work at his own risk. The contractor runs the risk of not being remunerated, if the object of the contract, by the time it is handed over to the client, has accidentally perished or if the completion of the work becomes impossible through no fault of the parties. In the contract of employment, the results of the employee’s work become the property of the employer, while in the contract of employment, the result of the contractor’s work belongs to him until it is handed over to the client.

For the individual employment contract, the legislation in force stipulates the need to conclude it in written form. At the same time, the written form of the individual employment contract does not represent an ad validatum condition for this type of contract, but only an ad probatione one. The general rules regarding the form of the legal act apply to the form of the contract of employment and the contract for the provision of services.

From the fee paid to the independent contractor are charged taxes and social and medical contributions similar to those paid by the employee.

Attempts to hide an individual employment contract through the signing of a civil employment contract are often encountered in practice. In this sense, it is important for the contracting parties to be aware that the criteria for qualifying a contract as civil or labor are not limited to the name of the contract but result from the specific clauses inserted in the respective contract. According to the Labor Code, Article 2, if the court establishes that, through a civil contract, are in fact regulated the labor relations between the employee and the employer, the provisions of the labor legislation are applied to these relations.

Due to the fact that the same contributions are collected from the remuneration, the employee will be paid the related payments such as severance payments and other allowances provided by the labor legislation.

1.3. Foreign employees

According to Article 46 of the Labor Code, citizens of the Republic of Moldova, foreign citizens, and stateless persons can be part of the individual employment contract, except for the cases provided by the legislation in force. When employing foreign citizens in the Republic of Moldova, the provisions of the legislation in the field of labor migration, as well as the relevant provisions of the international treaties to which the Republic of Moldova is a party, will also be considered.

There are no differences in the employment of foreign nationals of the EEA countries and those of the non-EEA countries.

The right of residence for work purposes is granted to the following categories of employees: immigrant worker; foreigner engaged in investment projects of national importance; foreigner employed in external assistance projects; highly skilled worker; posted worker; foreigner who carries out activities in the field of teaching, culture, health or sport; the person with IT management functions; IT specialist; foreign employee of residents of free economic zones; foreigners whose specialties are included in the list of priority occupations; the person with management positions.

1.4. Home office

According to Article 292 Paragraph (1) of the Labor Code, remote work represents the form of work organization in the fields of activity, through which the employee fulfills the duties specific to the occupation, function, or job they hold in a place other than the one organized by the employer, including using means from the field of information and communication technology. Employees with remote work are employees who have concluded an individual employment contract or an additional agreement to the existing contract, which contain remote work clauses.

The employee with remote work enjoys all the rights and guarantees provided by the law, the collective labor contract, the individual labor contract, or other regulatory acts at the unit level applicable to employees whose workplace is organized by the employer. The particularities regarding remote work can be stipulated in the individual labor contract, in the collective labor contract or the internal regulations of the unit, or in another normative act at the unit level.

The individual employment contract regarding remote work must contain, in addition to the general clauses mentioned above, clauses regarding:

a) the conditions for providing remote work;

b) the program within which the employer is entitled to check the employee’s activity and the method of carrying out the control;

c) the method of recording the hours of work provided by the remote worker;

d) the conditions regarding the bearing of expenses related to the remote work activity;

e) other conditions agreed upon by the parties.

The employer organizes the safety and health at work of employees with remote work in accordance with the normative provisions in the field of safety and health at work.

The termination of the individual employment contract regarding remote work takes place under the general conditions provided by the Labor Code, including by exchanging electronic documents with the use of advanced qualified electronic signature.

2. Contract Modification

The individual employment contract can be modified by an additional agreement signed by the parties, including the use of advanced qualified electronic signature. The additional agreement is an integral part of the individual employment contract.

Modification of the individual employment contract is considered any modification or addition that concerns at least one of the general clauses provided by the Labor Code.

Thus, the modification of the contract must be negotiated and signed by the parties, the implicit acceptance is not recognized as valid.

If the employee confirms the modifications made to the individual employment contract by email, then it is considered that these modifications are valid.

Article 286 of the Labor Code provides that the employer (natural person) warns the employee about the modification of the clauses of the individual employment contract, in writing, at least 14 calendar days before. Article 68 stipulates that the individual contract may be modified by an additional agreement signed by the parties.

The employer cannot make unilateral changes without the employee’s consent.

According to the Labor Code provision, there are some minor changes that do not require a contract modification. Article 69 provides that the employee’s workplace can be changed temporarily by the employer, without making changes in the individual employment contract, in case of moving or secondment.

According to Article 34, any amendment or addition to the collective labor contract must be brought to the attention of the employees of the unit by the employer within five working days from the date of operation, through:

a) announcement sent by e-mail or by other means of communication, which can be accessed by every employee; and/or

b) public announcement placed on the unit’s web page, as appropriate; and/or

c) public announcement placed on an information board with general access to the unit’s headquarters, including each of its branches or representative offices.

Also, Article 199 provides that any modification or completion of the internal regulations of the unit is carried out with the consultation of the employees’ representatives and is approved by the order (decision) of the employer. The modifications cannot include provisions that contravene the legislation in force, the clauses of the collective agreements, and the collective labor contract. Through the changes made to the internal regulations of the unit, limitations on the individual or collective rights of the employees cannot be established. The changes are brought to the attention of the employees within 10 days from the date of approval.

3. Termination

3.1. Termination types

There are several grounds for the termination of the individual employment contract provided by Article 81 of the Labor Code.

I. Circumstances that do not depend on the will of the parties, such as the death of the employee or the employer, withdrawal, by the competent authorities, of the unit’s activity authorization (license), etc.

II. Termination of the contract by written agreement of the parties: The individual employment contract can be terminated at any time by the written agreement of the parties.

III. Termination of the contract at the initiative of the employee: The employee has the right to resign, on his own initiative, by notifying the employer, by written request, 14 calendar days before.

IV. Termination of the contract at the initiative of the employer, for reasons such as the unsatisfactory result of the trial period, liquidation of the unit or termination of the activity of the employer, a natural person, reducing the number of staffing levels in the unit, repeated violation, over the course of a year, of work obligations, if the employee was previously subject to disciplinary sanctions, etc.

The termination by the employee: the employee has the right to resign – notifying the employer about this, by written request, 14 calendar days before the resignation. The head of the unit, their deputies, and the chief accountant have the right to resign, notifying the employer about this, by written request, one month before the resignation. The mentioned term begins on the day immediately following the day on which the request was registered.

In the event of the resignation of the employee in connection with retirement, the establishment of the degree of disability, leave for child care, enrollment in an educational institution, moving to another site, child care up to the age of 14 or of a child with disabilities, the election to an elective position, employment through competition at another unit, the employer’s violation of the individual and/or collective labor contract, of the labor legislation in force, the employer is obliged to accept the resignation in the reduced term indicated in the submitted and registered application, to which the respective document confirming this right is attached.

After the expiration of the terms, the employee has the right to stop working, and the employer is obliged to make full payment of the salary rights due to the employee and to release the documents related to his activity in the unit. During seveb calendar days from the date of submission of the resignation request, the employee has the right to withdraw his request or submit a new request, by which to cancel the first.

Termination of the contract by the employer: The grounds for the termination were mentioned above.

It is not allowed to fire the employee while they are on medical leave, annual leave, study leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, partially paid leave for the care of a child up to the age of three, on additional leave unpaid for the care of a child aged three to four years, on leave for the care of a sick family member, on leave for the care of a disabled child, during the fulfillment of state or public obligations, as well as during the secondment, except in cases of liquidation of the unit.

When dismissing employees who are union members, the employer requests in advance the advisory opinion of the trade union body in the unit, by notifying the respective body. The trade union bodies present their opinion within 10 working days from the date of receipt of the notification.

According to Article 82 Paragraph (1), the individual employment contract can be terminated at any time by the written agreement of the parties. The individual employment contract is terminated based on the order (decision) of the employer, which is brought to the attention of the employee, under signature or by another method that allows confirmation of receipt/notification, at the latest on the date of release from service, unless the employee does not work until the day of release from work (an unexcused absence from work, deprivation of liberty, etc.). The order (decision) of the employer regarding the termination of the individual employment contract must contain a reference to the corresponding article, paragraph, point, and letter of the law.

Article 53 Paragraph (1) of the Labor Code regulates the provisions related to the non-competition clause of the parties. By the non-competition clause, the employee is obliged, after the termination of the individual employment contract, not to perform, in their own interest or that of a third party, an activity that competes with that performed at their employer, during the period negotiated by parties, but not more than one year. During this period, the employer pays the employee a monthly allowance, the size of which will be negotiated by the employee and the employer, but which will not be less than 50% of the employee’s average monthly salary. A non-competition clause that completely prohibits the employee from exercising their profession (according to his educational diplomas) will be considered null and void. The non-competition clause must expressly provide for the geographical area of the administrative-territorial units to which it applies, the activities for which it is valid, the period for which it produces its effects, the amount of the monthly non-competition allowance, the terms and method of its payment.

For the violation of the non-competition clause, the employee must return the allowance received and recover the damage caused to the employer.

If the parties have not provided otherwise through the non-competition clause, on the condition of notification and payment of three monthly allowances, the employer can unilaterally terminate the non-competition clause. The termination notice will be effective only for the future. If the parties have not provided otherwise through the non-competition clause, with the condition of written notification, the employee may terminate the non-competition clause if the employer delays, at least by one month, the payment of the allowance.

3.2. Collective dismissal

Article 88 of the Labor Code describes the dismissal procedure in the case of liquidation of the unit and reduction of the number or staffing levels.

The employer has the right to dismiss the employees from the unit in connection with its liquidation or in connection with the reduction of the number of staff numbers only on the condition that the employer will issue an order (decision), motivated by a legal or economic point of view. Also, the employer must issue an order regarding the prior notification, under signature or by other means that allows confirmation of the reception/notification of each employee concerned, two months before the liquidation or the reduction of the number of personnel. The employer will propose in writing another job (position) within the respective unit.

The employer will reduce, first of all, the vacant jobs; will grant the employee who is to be fired one working day per week with the maintenance of the average salary to search for another job; will present, in the established manner, two months before the dismissal, to the employment agency the information on the persons to be dismissed; will address the trade union body (organizer) in order to obtain the advisory opinion regarding the dismissal of the respective employee; if after the expiration of the two-month notice period, the order (decision) was not issued to dismiss the employee, this procedure cannot be repeated within the same calendar year. The notice period does not include the period of the employee’s annual vacation, study leave, and medical leave. The reduced job cannot be restored in the states of the unit during the calendar year in which the employee who occupied it was fired. In case of liquidation of the unit, the employer is obliged to comply with the dismissal procedure.

3.3. Unlawful termination

According to Article 329 of the Labor Code, the employer is obliged to fully repair the material and moral damage caused to the employee in connection with their performance of work obligations, in the case of discrimination of the employee at the workplace or as a result of the illegal deprivation of the opportunity to work. The moral damage is remedied in monetary form or another material form determined by the parties. Disputes and conflicts arising in connection with the reparation of moral damage are settled by the court, regardless of the size of the material damage to be repaired.

The employer who, following the improper fulfillment of their obligations provided for by the individual employment contract, caused material damage to the employee shall repair this damage in full. The size of the material damage is calculated according to the market prices existing in the respective locality on the date of repair of the damage, according to statistical data.

The employer is obliged to compensate the person for the salary that they did not receive, in all cases of illegal deprivation of the opportunity to work.

In case of withholding, due to the fault of the employer, of the salary, holiday allowance, payments in case of release, or other payments due to the employee, they are additionally paid, for each day of delay, 0.3% of the amount not paid on time.

How are damages granted by the court or agreed upon by the parties (lost income, immaterial damages) taxed?

According to Article 332 of the Labor Code, the employee’s written request for reparation of material and moral damage is presented to the employer. The employer is obliged to register the respective request, examine it and issue the corresponding order (decision) within 10 calendar days from the day of its registration, bringing it to the attention of the employee under signature or by another means that allows confirmation of receipt/ the notice.

If the employee does not agree with the order (decision) of the employer or if the order (decision) was not issued within the established term, the employee has the right to apply to the court for the settlement of the individual labor dispute that arose.

Can dismissals be revoked?

According to Article 211 of the Labor Code, the employer who applied the disciplinary sanction has the right to revoke it within one year on his own initiative, at the request of the employee, at the request of the employee’s representatives, or the employee’s immediate boss. If the dismissal was applied as a disciplinary sanction, then the employer can revoke it.

Who are the protected employee categories and under which circumstances is termination restricted and how?

According to Article 251 of the Labor Code, it is forbidden to terminate individual employment contract concluded with pregnant women, women who have children under the age of four and people who use leave for child care, except for the cases expressly provided and which are: liquidation of the unit or termination of the activity of the natural person employer; repeated violation, during a year, of work obligations, if the employee was previously subject to disciplinary sanctions; absence without valid reasons from work for four consecutive hours during the working day; showing up to work in a state of alcoholic intoxication, in a state caused by narcotic or toxic substances; the commission of a misdemeanor or crime against the unit’s patrimony, established by the court decision or by the act of the body responsible for the application of the administrative sanctions; the committing of culpable actions by the employee who directly manages money or material assets or who has access to the information systems of the employer or to those administered by the employer, if these actions can serve as a basis for the loss of the employer’s trust in the respective employee.

Additionally, Article 86 Paragraph 2 provides that it is not allowed to fire the employee during their stay on medical leave, annual rest leave, study leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, partially paid leave for child care until age three, on additional unpaid leave to care for a child aged three to four, on leave to care for a sick family member, on leave to care for a disabled child, during the fulfillment of state or social obligations, as well as during the secondment, except in cases of liquidation of the unit.

According to Article 206 of the Labor Code, for violating work discipline, the employer has the right to apply the following disciplinary sanctions to the employee:

a) warnings;

b) reprimands;

c) harsh rebukes;

d) dismissal.

Only one sanction can be applied for the same disciplinary offense. When applying the disciplinary sanction, the employer must consider the seriousness of the committed disciplinary offense and other objective circumstances. Thus, employers cannot discipline an employee with a warning and a termination for the same conduct.

4. Wage And Hour

4.1. Wage

Article 131 of the Labor Code stipulates that the minimum wage represents the minimum amount of remuneration assessed in national currency, an amount established by the state for simple, unskilled work, below which the employer is not entitled to pay for the monthly or hourly work rate performed by the employee.

The minimum salary does not include additions, increments, incentives, and compensation payments. The amount of minimum salary is mandatory for all employers, legal or natural persons, regardless of the type of property and the legal form of organization. This amount cannot be reduced either by the collective labor contract or by the individual labor contract. The amount of minimum wage is guaranteed to employees only on the condition that they fulfill their work obligations (norms) during the hours established by the legislation in force.

The minimum wage per month and the minimum wage per hour, calculated starting from the monthly norm of working time, are established by the decision of the Government, after consultation with the employers and unions.

The amount of the minimum wage is determined and re-examined depending on the concrete economic conditions, the level of the average wage in the national economy, the forecast level of the inflation rate, as well as other socio-economic factors.

The salary is paid in national currency. In case the employee carries out the activity abroad, the salary can be paid in the currency provided in the individual employment contract.

In the individual employment contract, the parties can agree on the amount of salary in foreign currency, with payment in national currency at an exchange rate of the Moldovan leu agreed by the parties which cannot be lower than the official exchange rate of the Moldovan leu established by the National Bank of Moldova, valid on the date of payment.

Salary payment can be made both in cash and by transfer to the employee’s account, opened at the payment service provider, with payment of the respective services from the employer’s account.

Payment of wages in kind is prohibited.

According to Article 131 of the Labor Code, the salary includes the basic salary, additional salary (additions and increases to the basic salary), and other incentive and compensation payments.

Remuneration for the employee’s work depends on the demand and supply of labor on the labor market, the quantity, quality, and complexity of the work, the working conditions, the professional qualities of the employee, the effort and responsibilities of the employee, the nature and results of their work and/or the results of the activity economic of the unit.

Work is remunerated per unit of time or in agreement both in the tariff system and in non-tariff wage systems.

The choice of the payroll system within the unit is made by the employer after consulting the employee representatives.

The employer, regardless of which salary system applies, must use within the unit a system of evaluation and classification of functions to establish salary levels.

4.2. Working time

Working time represents the time that the employee, in accordance with the unit’s internal regulations, with the individual and collective labor contract, uses to fulfill work obligations. The normal duration of the employees’ working time in the units cannot exceed 40 hours per week. In exceptional situations related to the declaration of a state of emergency, siege, and war or the declaration of the state of emergency in public health, the competent authorities for managing the respective state may provide for a different duration of working time for some categories of employees.

The normal daily duration of working time is eight hours. For employees under the age of 16, the daily duration of working time cannot exceed five hours. For employees aged 16 to 18 and employees who work in harmful working conditions, the daily duration of working time cannot exceed seven hours. For people with disabilities, the daily duration of working time is established according to the medical certificate, within the limits of the normal daily duration of working time.

The maximum daily duration of working time cannot exceed 10 hours within the limits of the normal duration of working time of 40 hours per week. For certain types of activity, units, or professions, a daily working time of 12 hours, followed by a rest period of at least 24 hours, can be established by collective agreement.

For works where the special character of the work requires it, the working day can be segmented, in the manner provided by law, provided that the total duration of the working time is not greater than the normal daily duration of the working time.

Within the daily work schedule, the employee must be given a lunch break of at least 30 minutes.

Additional work is considered to be work performed outside the normal duration of working time. At the employer’s request, employees can work outside of schedule for up to 240 hours in a calendar year. The maximum duration of employees’ working time cannot exceed 48 hours per week, including overtime hours. As an exception, the duration of working time, which also includes additional work hours, can be extended beyond 48 hours per week, provided that the average working hours, calculated over a reference period of four calendar months, do not exceed 48 hours per week. In the event that additional work is requested, the employer is obliged to provide the employees with normal working conditions, including those regarding safety and health at work.

The recruitment to additional work is carried out based on the motivated order (decision) of the employer, which is brought to the attention of the respective employees under the signature or by another method that allows confirmation of the reception/notification of the employees in due time.

It is accepted that in the collective labor contract or in the individual labor contract the possibility of compensating the additional work hours with paid free hours is provided, with the written agreement of the parties. In this case, the free hours will be granted within 30 days of performing the additional work.

In units, the global record of working time can be entered, provided that the duration of working time does not exceed the number of working hours established by the Labor Code. In these cases, the record period must not be longer than one year, and the daily duration of working time (of the shift) cannot exceed 12 hours.

The manner of application of the global record of working time is established by the internal regulations of the unit and by the collective labor contract, considering the restrictions provided for some professions by collective agreements at the national and branch level, by the legislation in force and international documents to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.

The employer is obliged to keep, in the established manner, the record of the working time provided by each employee, including overtime work, work performed on rest days, and non-working public holidays.

The right to paid annual leave is guaranteed for all employees. The right to annual leave cannot be subject to any assignment, waiver, or limitation. Any agreement by which this right is waived, in whole or in part, is null and void.

Any employee who works on the basis of an individual employment contract benefits from the right to annual leave. All employees are granted annual paid vacation, with a minimum duration of 28 calendar days, excluding non-working holidays.

For employees from some branches of the national economy (education, health care, public service, etc.), by an organic law, different duration of annual leave (calculated in calendar days) can be established. All employees are granted annual paid vacation, with a minimum duration of 28 calendar days, excluding non-working holidays. For employees from some branches of the national economy (education, health care, public service, etc.), by an organic law, different duration of annual leave can be established (calculated in calendar days.

In case of suspension or termination of the individual employment contract, the employee has the right to the compensation of all unused annual leave Based on a written request, the employee can use the annual leave for one year of work, with the subsequent suspension or termination of the individual contract of work, receiving compensation for the other unused holidays.

Paid medical leave is granted to all employees and apprentices based on the medical certificate issued according to the legislation in force. The method of establishing, calculating, and paying allowances from the state social insurance budget in relation to medical leave is provided by the legislation in force.

According to Article 5 of the Law on allowances for temporary incapacity for work and other social insurance benefits no. 289 of July 22, 2004, insured persons from the public social insurance system are entitled to the following benefits:

a) allowance for temporary incapacity for work caused by common illnesses or accidents not related to work;

b) allowance for disease prevention (quarantine);

c) benefit for the recovery of working capacity;

d) maternity allowance;

e) allowance for raising the child up to the age of 3;

f) allowance for the care of a sick child;

g) death benefit.

The benefits mentioned in this article are paid by the National Social Insurance House directly to the beneficiaries.

According to Article 4 of Law no. 289/2004, starting with the year 2013, the payment of compensation for temporary incapacity for work caused by common illnesses or accidents not related to work is carried out in the following way:

  • the first five calendar days of temporary work incapacity are paid from the means of the employer, of the self-employed practicing activity in the justice sector, but no more than 15 cumulative days during a calendar year in the case of several periods of temporary work incapacity. In the case of the unemployed, the allowance for temporary incapacity for work is paid from the means of the state social insurance budget from the first day;
  • starting with the sixth calendar day of temporary incapacity for work, and in the case of several periods of temporary incapacity for work – starting with the first day after the expiry of the 15 cumulative days paid from the means of the employer, of the freelancer practicing activity in the justice sector, the allowance is paid from the means of the state social insurance budget.

5. Collective Labor Law

5.1. Trade unions

The Trade unions law no. 1129/2000 determines the rights of trade unions, the guarantees of their activity, established by law, extend to trade union organizations and their elective bodies of all levels, provided by the statutes of the trade unions, registered in the established manner.

Citizens of the Republic of Moldova, as well as foreign citizens and stateless persons who are legally present on its territory, have the right, at their own choice, to establish and join trade unions, in accordance with their statutes, without the prior authorization of public authorities.

The primary trade union organization is established by the initiative of at least three persons, considered founders. The founding decision of the primary trade union organization is adopted by the constituent assembly.

The trade union is founded voluntarily, based on common interests (profession, branch, etc.), and is active, as a rule, in enterprises, institutions, and organizations, hereinafter referred to as units, regardless of the legal form of organization and the type of property, departmental or branch affiliation. The employer (administration) is not entitled to prevent the association of natural persons in the union.

Trade unions can associate in branch or inter-branch territorial trade union centers (at the level of district, an autonomous territorial unit, municipality, or city), as well as in national-branch and national-inter-branch trade union centers in the form of federations, and confederations.

National-branch and national-interbranch trade union centers can join international federations and confederations.

The manner of the constitution of the trade union, its organizational structure, and its functioning is regulated by the statute of the trade union.

The union represents and defends the collective and individual professional, economic, labor, and social rights and interests of its members in public authorities at all levels, in courts, in public associations, and in front of employers and their associations.

Trade unions have the right to participate in the administration of public affairs, in the formation of the social and economic policy of the state, the policy in the field of labor. Trade unions can promote their representatives in public authorities at all levels. Trade unions have the right to participate in the drafting of programs regarding social-economic development, draft laws, and other normative acts in the field of labor remuneration, social insurance, price formation, health protection, equal opportunities and treatment between men and women, and in other fields related to work and social-economic development. In public authorities, the trade union realizes this right through its bodies at the respective level. Unions have the right to collective negotiations with employers and their associations, with public administration authorities and to conclude collective labor contracts.

According to Article 49 of the Labor Code, it is forbidden to establish for the employee, through the individual employment contract, conditions below those provided by the normative acts in force, the collective agreements, and the collective employment contract.

5.2. Works councils

According to labor legislation, the only form of organization for the representation of employees is the trade unions. A form of organization such as the work councils is not provided by the Labor Code.

One of the important rights of employees who are union members is the fact that upon dismissal, the employer requests in advance the advisory opinion of the trade union body in the unit, by notifying the respective body. Other important trade union rights have been set out in Section 5.1.

6. Transfer Of Undertakings

The transfer of the employee to another permanent job within the same unit, with the modification of the individual employment contract, as well as employment by transfer to a permanent job at another unit or transfer to another site together with the unit, are only allowed with the written agreement of the parties.

With the written agreement of the parties, based on the order issued by the employer, the employee can be temporarily transferred to another job within the same unit, for a period of up to one month, with the possibility of extending this term up to one year. The employer will keep the position of the employee held until the transfer.

In case of transfer, the parties will make the necessary changes in the individual employment contract, based on the order (decision) issued by the employer that is brought to the attention of the employee, under signature or by another method that allows confirmation of receipt/notification, in term of three working days.

According to Article 48 of the Labor Code, prior to the transfer to a new position, the employer has the obligation to inform the person to be transferred about the conditions of activity in the proposed position, providing them with the necessary information and the information regarding the notice periods to be respected by the employer and the employee in case of termination of the activity. The information in question will be the subject of a draft individual employment contract or an official letter, signed by the employer with an electronic signature or with a holographic signature. The obligation to inform the person selected for employment or the employee, in case of transfer, is considered fulfilled by the employer at the time of signing the contract or the additional agreement to the individual employment contract.

Upon employment, the employee will additionally be provided with the collective agreements applicable to them, the collective labor contract, the unit’s internal regulations, as well as the information on occupational health and safety requirements related to his activity.

According to Article 42 Paragraph (1) of the Labor Code, in order to ensure the employees’ right to the administration of the unit, the employer is obliged to inform and consult them regarding the relevant subjects in relation to their activity within the unit.

The obligation to inform refers to:

a) the recent evolution and probable evolution of the activities and economic situation of the unit;

b) the situation, structure, and likely evolution of employment within the unit, as well as any anticipatory measures expected, especially when there is a threat to jobs;

c) decisions that may generate important changes in the organization of work or contractual relations, including those related to collective layoffs or the change of the owner of the unit;

The employer’s refusal to provide information or undertake consultations on the mentioned subjects can be challenged in court.

According to Article 89 of the Labor Code, the employee transferred illegitimately to another job can be restored to the workplace through direct negotiations with the employer, and in case of litigation – through a court decision.

In case of reinstatement of the illegitimately transferred employee, the employer is obliged to repair the damage caused to him. The reparation by the employer for the damage caused to the employee consists of:

a) mandatory payment of compensation for the entire period of forced absence from work in an amount that will not exceed 12 average monthly salaries of the employee in case of illegitimate transfer;

b) compensation of additional expenses related to contesting the transfer (consultation of specialists, court expenses, etc.);

c) compensation for the moral damage caused to the employee.

The transfer of the employee to another permanent job within the same unit, with the modification of the individual employment contract, as well as employment by transfer to a permanent job at another unit or transfer to another site together with the unit, are allowed only with the written agreement of the parties.

According to Article 74 of the Labor Code, the employee who, according to the medical document (certificate/certificate/document, etc.), issued by the competent medical authority (institution), requires the granting of lighter work is to be transferred, with their written consent, to another work, which is not contraindicated. If the employee refuses this transfer, the individual employment contract is terminated.

7. Labor Investigation

For violations of labor legislation, the employer may be held criminally, administratively, or materially liable.

For example, Article 183 of the Criminal Code sanctions the act of violation by a person with a position of responsibility or by a person who manages a commercial, public, or other non-state organization of security techniques, industrial hygiene, or other rules for the protection of work, if this violation caused accidents with people or other serious consequences.

The Administrative Offences Code punishes the following acts:

  • Violation of equality in the field of work;
  • Violation of labor legislation;
  • Use of undeclared work;
  • Payment of salary or other payments without their reflection in the accounting records;
  • Violation by the employer of the legislation regarding safety and health at work;
  • Violation of the rules for carrying out unqualified activities of an occasional nature carried out by day laborers;
  • Violation of the legislation regarding employment and social protection of people looking for a job;
  • Violation of the legislation regarding employment of persons with disabilities, etc.

Chapter II of Title XI of the Labor Code regulates the method of reparation by the employer for the damage caused to the employee. Thus, according to Article 331, the employer who, following the improper fulfillment of their obligations stipulated by the individual employment contract, has caused material damage to the employee shall repair this damage in full. The size of the material damage is calculated according to the market prices existing in the respective locality on the date of repair of the damage, according to statistical data.

Different categories of fines can be established for violating the labor law, depending on the severity of the violation.

According to Article 409 of the Administrative Offences Code, the State Labor Inspectorate is the competent authority in the labor field.

For example, for violating the labor legislation, a fine of MDL 1,500 to MDL 3,000 can be applied to a natural person, with a fine of MDL 3,500 to MDL 6,000 applied to a person with a responsible position, with a fine of MDL 7,500 to MDL 12,000 applied to a legal person.

The act of violating the labor protection rules provided by the Criminal Code can be punished with a fine ranging from MDL 27,500 to MDL 42,500.

Sanctions are expressly provided by the Administrative Offences Code or the Criminal Code and cannot be waived. The competent authority to apply the fine applies the sanctions only within the limits provided by law.

Guide Contributors For Moldova

Inna Sotchi

Managing Partner 

inna.sotchi@bsp.md

+373 22 855 559

 

Doina Alexeev

Junior Associate

d.alexeev@bsp.md

+373 22 855 559

 

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