Labour law- Adressing the current market needs

Despite the turmoil that continues to affect the worldwide labour market as a result of the severe economic crisis, Romania has managed to acquire a certain degree of stability in this field.

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SOCIETATEA CIVILA DE AVOCATI PELI FILIP




IOAN DUMITRASCU

IOAN DUMITRASCU

at SOCIETATEA CIVILA DE AVOCATI PELI FILIP


Maria-Ecaterina Burlacu

MARIA-ECATERINA BURLACU

ASSOCIATE at SOCIETATEA CIVILA DE AVOCATI PELI FILIP

In 2011, the Romanian Labour Code underwent important changes, while a new Social Dialogue Law replaced entirely the 2006 legislation regulating collective agreements, the unions and the employers’ associations. These changes resulted in a much-needed flexibility of both individual and collective employment relations, as well as assisted to achieve a better balance between the rights of the employers and the protection granted to the employees.

 

Performance at work – a concept which finally gained recognition

 

Shifting the focus on employees’ performance at work was one of the most welcomed changes. This encourages motivation and employer’s ability to expect performance at appropriate levels. Of course, social protection is still preserved, and the employer maintains quite a cumbersome task to prove that an employee lacks performance and finally, as a cause of that, decide the dismissal of the respective employee.

 

As a downside, the law requires that the performance criteria are inserted in the employment agreement, thus subjecting them to employee’s consent. This requirement it is likely to restraint the ability of the employers to adapt the criteria for assessing performance to the ever-changing economic reality of its business. One solution is to find a broad enough language when defining the performance evaluation criteria so that they resist the test of time.

 

Lack of legal clarity can be compensated by better regulations at company’s level as well as transparent and meaningful communication with the employees.

 

The employers got new economic tools for adapting to the market

 

Another set of beneficial changes consisted of new means for adapting the business to the market changes and, at the end of the day, to avoid dismissals.

 

The option to compensate overtime with time off in lieu granted in advance of performing the overtime

 

Whenever the employer’s volumes decrease because of seasonality or other external causes, it can opt to grant paid time off to the employees with the latter obligation to perform overtime within the next 12 months. Previously the employers were limited to technical unemployment or unpaid leave, but these were not too well received by the employees.

 

When employing this tool, it is very important that the employer obtains the employees’ written agreement to perform overtime and communicates fairly in advance to the employees the date when they are requested to perform overtime.

 

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