Two normative acts have recently been adopted that establish a teleworking obligation:
- Government Decision no. 935 of 5 November 2020 to amend and complete Annexes nos. 2 and 3 to Government Decision no. 856/2020 on extending the state of alert in Romanian territory starting 15 October 2020 and to establish the measures applied during it to prevent and combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (“GD 935/2020”);
- Government Emergency Ordinance no. 192 of 5 November 2020 to amend and complete Law no. 55/2020 on certain measures to prevent and combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and to amend art. 7a) of Law no. 81/2018 on regulating telework (“GEO 192/2020”).
Until now, it was only recommended but not mandatory that employers require their employees to work from home, by way of a unilateral decision, with the consent of the employee. However, considering the new adopted legal provisions, during the state of alert, employers must organize their employees’ work schedules as telework or working from home.
If employees cannot fulfil their duties by telework or working from home, in order to avoid congestion in public transportation, companies with more than fifty employees must organize their employees’ work schedules, by way of an internal decision, so that they are divided into groups that start and finish work at least one hour apart.
An employer may agree with an employee that the employee may use his/her own equipment and materials to work from home/telework; this agreement must be in writing and specify the conditions of use.
The following steps are required in order to legally implement telework/work from home: (i) the employer either issues a decision having the consent of the employees or agrees with each employee by way of an addendum to the employment agreement, regarding the performance of work from home or by teleworking; and (ii) as the case may be, the decision/addendum is registered in the employees’ general register (“REVISAL”).
By Mircea-Catalin Roman, Senior Associate, and Flavia Denisa Margas, Associate, Noerr