The Romanian Parliament has recently adopted Law no. 81/2018 regulating teleworking (the “Teleworking Law”). The Teleworking Law was published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part 1, no. 296/02.04.2018.
Definition of Teleworking
Teleworking is defined as a form of organising the work that allows an employee to work regularly (at least one day/month) and voluntarily in a different place than the workplace organised by the employer by using communication and information technologies.
The employee’s refusal to work under the teleworking regime may not constitute a legitimate ground for the employer to unilaterally amend the individual employment agreement or to apply a disciplinary sanction to the employee.
Obligation to include teleworking provisions in the employment agreement
The individual employment agreements of the employees performing teleworking must expressly provide for this possibility and include certain specific provisions set out in the Teleworking Law:
- the period of time and/or the days during which the employee works in a workplace organised by the employer;
- the place where teleworking will be performed, as agreed by the parties;
- the timekeeping manner;
- the schedule for the employer’s inspection, as well as the way the inspection will be performed;
- the responsibilities of the parties, including those related to labour health and safety;
- the obligation of the employer to transport the materials used by the employee;
- the obligation of the employer to inform the employee on data protection matters;
- the measures taken by the employer to avoid the isolation of the teleworker from the other employees, and
- the conditions under which the employer covers the costs related to the teleworking.
The individual employment agreements of the employees currently performing teleworking will have to be amended in order to observe the requirements of the Teleworking Law.
Failure of the employer to amend the individual employment agreements as required by the Teleworking Law is sanctioned with fines of up to RON 10,000/person (Euro 2,150).
Other obligations for employers
The Teleworking Law establishes some specific obligations for employers, such as:
- to make available the necessary IT/ health and safety equipment, unless otherwise agreed;
- to install, verify and maintain the necessary work equipment, unless otherwise agreed;
- to ensure all the conditions required in order to offer the employee the possibility to benefit from adequate information and instruction regarding health and safety in the workplace.
Failure to observe these specific obligations can trigger the application of fines of up to
RON 2,000 (Euro 430).
Provision regarding the inspection
Apart from the right of the employer to regularly check the activity of the employee, according to the Teleworking Law, the labour authorities, as well as the trade union/the representatives of the employees, have the right to verify the working conditions of the teleworker.
Full time employees performing teleworking can do extra hours if such additional work is requested by the employer and accepted in writing by the teleworker.