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New Regulations on Remote Working and Personnel Scheduling

New Regulations on Remote Working and Personnel Scheduling

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On 6 November 2020, two new regulations impacting employment relationships in the context of the state of alert were published in the Official Gazette:

i. Government Emergency Ordinance no. 192/2020 amending and supplementing Law no. 55/2020 on certain measures for preventing and combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for amending letter a) of article 7 of Law no. 81/2018 on the regulation of teleworking (“GEO 192/2020”); and

ii. Government Decision no. 935/2020 on amending and supplementing annexes no. 2 and 3 to Government Decision no. 856/2020 on the extension of the state of alert on the Romanian territory starting with 15 October 2020, as well as for establishing the applicable measures for preventing and combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during the state of alert period (“GD 935/2020”).

The applicability of the set of measures implemented by GD 935/2020 has been extended by Government Decision no. 967/2020 on the extension of the state of alert on the Romanian territory starting with 14 November 2020 (“GD 967/2020”), to be applicable for the period 14 November – 13 December 2020.

1. Employer’s Obligations

1.1. Mandatory implementation of teleworking / work from home

Under GEO 192/2020, during the state of alert period, employers shall implement teleworking or work from home, where the specifics of employee activity allows. GD 967/2020 settled a previous discrepancy between the provisions of GEO 192/2020 and those of GD 935/2020, by clarifying that the obligation to implement teleworking / work from home concerns all employers, not only those having more than 50 employees, as implied by GD 935/2020.

1.2. Personnel scheduling

When teleworking / work from home is not possible due to the specifics of the activity, employers with a number of more than 50 employees have the obligation to schedule the personnel by groups, which will begin / end their activity with a difference of at least one hour between them.

1.3. Amendments to the legislation regarding teleworking

GEO 192/2020 also modified Law no. 81/2018 on the regulation of teleworking and instituted the possibility for an employer to conclude a written agreement with the employees whereby teleworking will be carried-out using the employees’ own equipment, specifying the conditions of use.

1.4. Implementation of the new regulations

According to a guide published on the Labour Inspectorate website, employers targeted by the new regulations are permitted to institute teleworking / work from home, as well as the scheduling of the personnel by groups, by way of decision. Therefore, by way of derogation from the general labour law provisions, employers may implement the new measures unilaterally, similar to the regime on teleworking / work from home which applied during the state of emergency period.

2. Compliance check initiated by the Labour Inspectorate regarding the observance of the new regulations

In a press release issued on 11 November 2020, the Labour Inspectorate announced that it has initiated a campaign to check, among other issues, the employers’ compliance with the regulations on teleworking / work from home, personnel scheduling and occupational safety & health in the context of the pandemic. The campaign will take place between 10 and 24 November 2020.

The compliance check for teleworking / work from home and personnel scheduling targets employers with more than 50 employees, while the compliance check for OSH measures targets all employers.

By Kodru Mansour, Associate, PeliPartners

Peli Partners at a Glance

PeliPartners is a full service business law firm based in Romania.

A team specialising in complex projects that require innovative approaches, the PeliPartners lawyers have a wealth of experience in a variety of fields, including corporate, mergers and acquisitions, financing, competition, infrastructure & concessions, energy, real estate and corporate law – being involved in some of the most important transactions on the Romanian market for the past 20 years.

Areas of practice

Corporate M&A: With a reputation gained in complex transactions across many sectors (such as financial services, healthcare, energy, IT&C and others), the PeliPartners lawyers are regularly called to assist strategic clients, as well as investment funds or entrepreneurs in relation to various corporate projects, including M&A, structuring or restructuring of groups of companies or corporate governance matters. The firm regularly works in cross-border projects and in collaboration with international law firms.

Finance & banking is a strong practice at PeliPartners, whose lawyers advise across various matters, including financing / refinancing, restructuring, performing and non-performing portfolio acquisitions, regulatory. PeliPartners has a well established reputation with banks and debtors alike. The firm is included in the panel of some of the largest banks present in Romania. PeliPartners advises as well on cross-border financing and restructuring transactions.

Competition & Commercial: PeliPartners’ antitrust practice enjoys a fantastic reputation among international and local clients. The firm’s lawyers are thought leaders and have advised in some of the most complex transactions and projects related to this jurisdiction. They advise on investigations, merger clearance procedures, as well as on various compliance matters, helping clients design and implement distribution, franchise and pricing systems and policies. The firm currently assists clients in sectors such as financial services, IT, telecom, retail, healthcare & pharma.

Real Estate & PPP: With a stellar reputation among local and institutional developers and investors, PeliPartners is called to assist in some of the largest transactions or projects on the Romanian market.

Dispute Resolution: This firm’s clients want to be assisted and represented by PeliPartners when disputes arise in relation to their activity. PeliPartners will put together mixed teams of practice experts and litigation lawyers, that can bring an innovative but thorough approach of each matter.

Firm's website: https://pelipartners.com/