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Legal Education Programme for Individuals Fleeing Ukraine in Romania: Employment

Legal Education Programme for Individuals Fleeing Ukraine in Romania: Employment

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We are four months into the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and still a long way from a conclusion awaited by so many people. Beyond the reasons of this conflict and potential outcome lies the dramatic change in the lives of the Ukrainian population. Daily updates in the proportion of displaced Ukrainians paint a vivid picture of the unfolding drama that affects not only Ukraine, but Europe and much parts of the world.

According to recent official figures (23 June 2022), more than 1.25 million Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania since 24 February and, although many of them use our country only for transit, there are some 80-90,000 Ukrainians who decided to make Romania their home. That makes for the size of a city like the famous Yalta.

Romanian authorities and private citizens have stepped in to help the Ukrainian refugees from the first day of the invasion and the challenge is to offer proper conditions especially for those who choose to stay in Romania for a longer period of time. In this respect, the legal aspects associated with accommodating these newcomers have to be accurately taken into consideration, both by the refugees and the Romanian organizations willing to help.

DLA Piper has been actively supporting various causes through our pro bono work and now takes a step further into providing Ukrainian refugees with the so much needed legal assistance. Our Legal Education Program in Romania starts with a one day seminar, held in association of NGOs, and aims at bringing light into various aspects of life in our country. Accommodating in Romania, looking to get employment or starting a business, are critical challenges for the Ukrainian asylum seekers and refugees and our program is expected to offer support to everyone interested in settling in Romania.

Employment in Romania

Main legal ways to adjust your stay in Romania in an employment context

  • background: as a rule, non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals need a specific long-stay visa and residency permit for entering, staying and working in Romania. Exceptions are currently in place for the Ukrainian nationals:
  • temporary protection residency permit: exceptional measure of the European Union aimed at ensuring immediate and temporary protection for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. This gives you certain rights, including a residence permit and right to work in Romania, without any visa or work permit requirement
  • beneficiaries:
  • Ukrainian citizens who lived in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, regardless of when they left Ukraine (meaning on 24 February 2022, after 24 February 2022 or who were on the Romanian territory before 24 February 2022) as well as their family members
  • stateless persons and third country nationals (other than Ukrainian), if specific conditions are met
  • duration: until 4 March 2023. It can be renewed for two consecutive periods of 6 months each, namely until 4 March 2024. This period may be extended for another year depending on the situation in Ukraine
  • issued by: territorial offices of the General Immigration Inspectorate
  • no fees
  • residency permit for employment purposes – special rules:
  • if you have legally entered Romania and did not request any form of protection: (1) you may be hired in Romania without a work permit (aviz de munca); and (2) you may extend your stay in Romania for employment purposes without obtaining an employment visa
  • document: residency/ single permit for employment purposes
  • duration: as a rule, for a period equal to the period of validity of the employment contract, but no more than 1 year
  • fees: 120 EUR + 259 RON
  • no new rules:
  • digital nomads:
  • if work is performed remotely from Romania for your Ukrainian employer or for your company in Ukraine (in certain conditions)
  • as a rule, specific visa must be obtained in advance from the Romanian embassy in Ukraine, to be subsequently extended to Romanian immigration authorities through a residency permit. But, in the current context, Romanian authorities might skip the visa requirement – to be directly confirmed with them
  • international protection: either asylum or subsidiary protection
  • if you requested international protection, you have the right to work under the same conditions as Romanian citizens after 3 months from the submission of the application, for the entire duration of the asylum procedure. Once you receive the international protection, you will have the right to be employed in Romania under the same conditions as Romanian citizens

Relevant websites: Romanian Immigration Authority: https://igi.mai.gov.ro/en/; http://eviza.mae.ro/.

Finding employment (main practical solutions)

  • support from the unemployment authority: https://www.anofm.ro/?idpostare=19895
  • the territorial unemployment agencies provide support and free access to the services and measures to help you finding an employment in Romania, such as: information and professional counselling; job mediation on vacancies; training; assessment and certification of professional skills obtained in non-formal or informal contexts; employment support services for finding a job in the Member States of the European Union or the European Economic Area
  • first step: register to the closest territorial unemployment agency in the area where your residence was declared – you will need an identity document / document attesting your identity
  • second step: as part of the information and professional counselling services, you will fill in a statement on your own responsibility. Based on this, you will be mediated on a vacancy that corresponds to the qualifications and experience declared by you and you will receive the assignment order in order to present yourself to an employer
  • alternately, you can directly liaise with an employer
  • if you did not apply for international protection and you are not holding documents proving your professional qualifications or experience required for a position, you may be hired:

1)   for a period of 12 months (arguably no longer than 4 March 2023), with the possibility of subsequent extensions for periods of 6 months – maximum 1 year and

2)   by providing a statement on your own responsibility to the future employer, warranting that:

a) you meet the conditions of professional qualification and work experience for the position on which you are going to be hired; and

b) you do not have criminal record that it is incompatible with the activity you are going to perform in Romania

This is not applicable in the case of specifically regulated jobs – like doctors, architects etc.

In terms of studies/ diplomas recognition, the Ministry of Education, through the National Centre for the Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas, is responsible for the evaluation and recognition of study documentation. Depending on your diploma/qualification, different procedures and documentation may apply for their official recognition in Romania. An official guide for the recognition of professional experience and of qualifications acquired abroad can be found here. Details on the application for recognition of higher education study documents to facilitate the access to the labour market in Romania can be found here.

Additional information for Ukrainian nationals can be found here: https://cnred.edu.ro/en/ukrainian-citizens   

Specifically for drivers, there are currently discussions at European level for the driving licenses issued in Ukraine to be also recognized in the EU for beneficiaries of temporary protection.

Understanding key employment rights and obligations

  • documentation: individual employment contract
  • mandatory requirements: Romanian language, written form, statutory content regulated by law
  • type of employment:
  • unlimited duration / fixed-term (maximum 36 months) – depending on your status
  • full-time (40 h/week) / part-time
  • working & rest time rules
  • weekly working time: as a rule, 40 hours; maximum 48 hours / week, including overtime
  • weekly rest: 48 consecutive hours
  • overtime, work performed during night, weekly rest, public holidays – expressly regulated
  • annual & other types of leaves
  • statutory duration of annual leave is of 20 working days, irrespective of the working time duration (full/part-time)
  • public holidays – 15 days per year
  • salary
  • there is a minimum gross monthly base salary at national level which must be paid to the employees. This is currently RON 2,550 (approx. EUR 510), save for the construction, agricultural and food sector - where this is of minimum RON 3,000 (approx. EUR 600)
  • occupational health and safety: there are various rights and obligations on this – including for employees
  • mandatory prior medical check upon hiring, periodical medical check – mandated by the employer, which covers the related costs
  • equal treatment / no discrimination
  • discrimination is forbidden, including if based on nationality / citizenship
  • remote working
  • working from home / remotely is permitted, if allowed by the activity and by the employer – but must be documented
  • termination: – dismissal, mutual agreement, resignation, by operation of law
  • dismissal is unilateral termination by the employer and can be for disciplinary reasons, poor performance, medical unfitness, employee’s arrest. A mandatory notice period of at least 20 working days must be granted to the employee in some dismissal cases. No legal entitlement to severance payments
  • resignation is unilateral termination by the employee. The employee gives to the employer a notice period – which is, as a rule, by law, 20 working days for non-management positions / 45 working days for management positions. The employer can waive this totally or partially
  • tax aspects: the obligation to compute, declare and pay salary income tax and SSC lies with the employer (Romanian entity)

By Elena Monica Preotescu, Counsel, and Diana Nacuta, Associate, DLA Piper

Romanian Knowledge Partner

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații is a full-service independent law firm, employing cross-disciplinary teams of lawyers, insolvency practitioners, tax consultants, IP counsellors, economists and staff members. It also operates a secondary law office in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and has a ‘best-friend’ agreement with a leading law firm in the Republic of Moldova. In addition, thanks to the firm’s dedicated Foreign Desks, the team provides the full range of services to international investors seeking to gain a foothold or expand their existing operations in Romania. Since 2019, the firm and its tax arm are collaborating with Andersen Global in Romania.

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is providing legal services in every aspect of business, covering all major areas of practice: corporate and M&A; litigation and international arbitration; corporate tax; public procurement; TMT; employment; insurance; banking and finance; capital markets; competition; healthcare and pharmaceutical; energy and natural resources; environmental; intellectual property; real estate; regulatory legal services.

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is a First-Tier law firm in all international legal directories and a multiple award-winning law firm both locally and internationally. It received the CEE Deal of the Year Award (DOTY Awards 2021) and the Law Firm of the Year Award: Romania (IFLR Europe Awards 2021). 

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