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Job description and employee handbook exceptions

Emergency Ordinance no. 37 dated 5 May 2021 ("EO 37/2021") amending and supplementing Law no. 53/2003 - The Labour Code was published in the Official Gazette no. 474 on 6 May 2021.

EO 37/2021 introduced some exceptions into the Labour Code in favour of micro-enterprises, regarding the obligation to prepare job descriptions and the internal regulations for those companies.

Pursuant to Law no. 346/2004 on stimulating the establishment and development of small and medium enterprises, with subsequent amendments and supplements, a micro-enterprise is an enterprise with up to 9 employees (inclusive) and has a net annual turnover or total assets of up to 2 million Euros or the equivalent in RON.

These amendments are meant to create more favourable conditions for the business environment, owing to the fact that there are approximately 500.000 micro-enterprises in Romania.

Pursuant to EO 37/2021, micro-enterprises are no longer required to prepare job descriptions for their employees and will now be able to determine their duties and responsibilities verbally or, if the employee requests it, in writing.  In this latter case, the employer must comply with such a request from the employee. 

Additionally, micro-enterprises are exempt from the obligation to draw up an employee handbook.

EO 37/2021 also amends the provisions regarding recording the working time of employees, this now being possible by written agreement with the employees, depending on the specific activity carried out by them.

In conclusion, even if these changes do in fact help the dynamics of the workforce, they will also have some disadvantages: for example, in the case of the dismissal of an employee who has violated his work duties, it will be extremely difficult to prove because there is no job description to show what these duties actually were. With this in mind, employers registered as micro-enterprises might well consider that, in the end, it is more beneficial to all parties to prepare written job descriptions for every employee.

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