On Friday 21.07.2023, Law no.241/2023 was published in the Official Gazette to supplement Law no.53/2023 of the Labour Code, whereby employees who have children up to 11 years of age as carers are entitled to 4 days per month of work at home or telecommuting, under the terms of Law no.81/2018 on the regulation of telecommuting, except in situations where the nature or type of work does not allow the activity to be carried out under such conditions.
Since 5 years ago, Romania has aligned itself with the European legislation and allowed employees to work from home, with a well-defined schedule and with all salary rights and social benefits preserved. The current provision refers to the case when a parent has a difficult family situation and needs to work from home, being able to be around the children at the same time.
Many parents work from home in order to look after their children, which is a convenient solution that allows them to fulfil their professional responsibilities and be present for their children’s needs.
In order to work from home, an application must be submitted to the employer stating him of the period of time during which the work will be done from home.
The employer is not obliged to approve the request but is obliged to formulate in writing the refusal within five working days from the submission of the request by the employee.
If both parents are employees, an affidavit must be made stating that the other parent has not applied for home working or teleworking for the same period.
According to art.3 of the Law no.277/2010 published in the Official Gazette, the following categories of persons do not have to make a declaration on their own responsibility: unmarried, widowed, divorced, spouse declared divorced by a court decision, spouse arrested on remand for a period of more than 30 days or serving a sentence.
Your employer may ask you to take responsibility for the fact that you will be the person staying with the child and not a grandparent or other relative.
What are the conditions for working from home four days a month:
1) To have a child in your care;
2) The child must be up to 11 years old, i.e. you can benefit from this right until the child is 10 years and 11 months old;
3) You have to have the possibility to work teleworking in your employment contract or to sign an additional document for this purpose, but be careful to register the modification of the contract in the Revisal;
4) The nature or type of work must allow this type of work, if you are, for example, a courier, you will not be able to deliver from home;
5) The other parent should not benefit from this right for the same period. Both parents can benefit but in different periods;
6) You must have all the means necessary to carry out your duties according to your job description, as your employer is not obliged to provide you with the necessary equipment.
Teleworking should not be confused with home working:
Teleworking means performing work at the employee’s home using technological means. It is regulated by Law 81/2018 and is a form of work organisation that does not require the employee to be present at the employer’s premises. The transition to telework is voluntary through an additional act. Teleworking involves more or less the same work schedule that you would have in the office. The only difference is that instead of wasting an hour on the road to start your job at 9 am, you open your laptop at 9 am and close it when your work is done. It’s worth remembering that you will be under the supervision of your employer during this time, which means you are following their rules, including the SSM.
By contrast, home working is regulated by Chapter 9 of the Labour Code, which no longer requires a strict organisation of working hours by agreement between employer and employee, but only at the end of the day that all tasks are completed.
Working from home with children can be challenging, but with proper planning and effective communication, it can be a viable solution for parents.