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EU Welcomes New Agreement on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions

The new Directive addresses the needs of the European labor market, setting new rights for all workers while limiting burdens on employers and maintaining labor market adaptability. Directive 2019 / 1152 complements and modernizes existing obligations to inform each worker of his or her working conditions. In addition, it creates new minimum standards to ensure that all workers, including those on atypical contracts, benefit from more predictability and clarity as regards their working conditions.

The transposition period expires on August 1, 2022 and even if most member states are already up to speed with several of the set obligations, some great novelties will need implementation.

Workers’ new set of rights entails:

Right to information on the essential work elements

All essential aspects of the employment relationship must be brought to workers’ attention by employers, in writing, including in an electronic form, at an early stage of their employment. In this regard, the European Council points out some of the so considered details that must be revealed to workers within two different deadlines.

Guided by the notification deadline laid down for each important information, one can easily divide the essential aspects into two different groups. The first group of information that workers must be made aware of no later than the seventh calendar day from the first working day refers to aspects such as: a brief description of the work, remuneration, if the work pattern is entirely or mostly predictable or, if, on the contrary, it is unpredictable, case in which some working parameters must also be indicated.

Right to receive cost-free the mandatory training that the employer has a duty to provide

Secondarily, information regarding aspects such as: the training entitlement provided by the employer, the amount of paid leave, the procedure to be followed when the employment relationship is terminated must be submitted to workers within one month from the first working day.

Right to know a reasonable period in advance when work will take place, for workers with very unpredictable working schedules, as in the case of on-demand work

Comparing the actual labor provisions contained by the Romanian Labor Code, it can be noticed that the EU Directive requires a wider area of aspects that workers must be made aware of. The most relevant new information refers to a brief specification/description of the work that will be performed by the newly employed and about the predictability of the work pattern. If the work pattern is entirely or mostly unpredictable, the employer must inform at least about the principle that the work schedule is available and the reference hours within which the worker may be required to work.

Right to a limit to the length of probationary periods at the beginning of the job

Workers’ protection is reinforced by setting a limit to the length of probationary periods at the beginning of the job that cannot exceed six months. In each case probation period must be proportionate to the expected duration of the contract and the nature of the work and, in case of renewal of a contract, employment relationship shall not be subject to another probationary period.

Other provisions refer to: the right to cumulate multiple employments, with a ban on exclusivity clauses and limits on incompatibility clauses; the right to anti-abuse legislation for zero hour contract work; the right to receive a written reply to a request to transfer to another more secure job.

Moreover, the Directive sets horizontal provisions on enforcement in order to ensure that employees effectively benefit from the new legal framework.

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