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Labor Code Change Forecast

Given that the legal framework nowadays leaves less room for interpretation, more and more legislative initiatives, which may further become applicable law, are introduced to close gaps and correct practice misconducts. In this context, a labor code bill is on the agenda of the Romanian Senate. The bill will revive the conciliation procedure of labor conflicts between employers and employees and introduce new obligations for employers, which come to facilitate human resource activity.

The main amendments still under discussion refer to: 

Individual labor contracts: The labor code bill states that a lawyer or a “labor law expert”, beside any other designated person, may assist any party when an individual labor contract is being negotiated.

Labor law experts: A new profession with COR code 242220 is introduced: A labor expert is a specialist who can either practice within a specialized company focused only on ensuring compliance with labor legislation, a specific division of a company (usually the Human Resources department), acting in capacity as employer, or can work on their own, as a freelancer (independent self-employed person, as legal provisions state).

Human resources and payroll: As a possible new main obligation of any employer, organizing human resources and payroll involves assigning own employees or, if not possible, outsourcing this kind of services. Either way, the responsible persons must have certified qualifications in human resources and payroll. When subcontracting an external supplier, employers must be aware that only companies having, according to national NACE Codes, as a main activity “Workforce management” and are coordinated by a labor law expert can offer such services.

Labor law conflicts: A more explicit procedure is considered by the new legislative initiatives when an employer-employee conflict arises. This is why it is intended to reinforce the conciliation procedure as a prior and mandatory procedure only when the individual labor contract sets forth this matter as an obligation of the parties. Above all, it is explicitly mentioned that in no case may a conciliation procedure last more than 10 working days from the date when the reconciliation invitation is sent by the interested party.

Employers face increased obligations, which must specify the conciliation procedure, alongside with individual employee requests or complaints, in the company’s rules of procedure.

Disciplinary liability: In order to initiate the disciplinary investigation of an employee, employers must empower a specific person/committee or an external consultant. During this stage, the employees under investigation may be assisted by an attorney at law or by a labor law expert.

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