New change on paternity leave in Romania

Paternity leave represents a category of leave available to male employees following the birth of their child. Emergency Governmental Ordinance no. 117/2022 (GO 117/2022) implemented the following changes as of 29 August 2022:

  • Eligible persons
  • Duration
  • Legal conditions
  • Obligations imposed on employers

Eligible persons – the new provisions extend the benefits of paternity leave from employees (individuals that perform work based on a individual labour contract) to the following categories:

▪ individuals that perform work based on an individual labour convention; ▪ individuals that perform work based on a management contract;
▪ individuals that perform work based on a mandate contract.

Duration – the standard duration of the paternity leave is extended from five working days to 𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴.

The standard duration of ten working days of the paternity leave can be increased by up to 𝘧𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴 in case the male employee completes a childcare course (Romanian: 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘥𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢). Thus, the total duration of the paternity leave can reach up to 15 workings days.

Such extension can be applied for each birth, irrespective of the date when the course was completed.

Legal conditions

▪  paternity leave can only be requested within the first eight weeks following the birth of the child.

▪  paternity leave allowance is paid from the employer’s salary fund and is equal to the employee’ssalary for that period.

▪  the duration of the paternity leave must not be deducted from employees’ annual leave.

Obligations imposed on employers – the new amendments expressly provide that:

▪  the employer 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 employees on the existence such rights;

▪  the employer 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦 requests for paternity leave, provided that the legal conditions arefulfilled;

▪  the employer 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵 employees on paternity leave all the rights they enjoyed before the leaveand then maintain them when they resume work upon returning from paternity leave;

▪  the employer is 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘩𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘭 procedure during the time the male employee is on paternity leave. However, such prohibition does not apply in case of judicial reorganisation or bankruptcy procedure;

▪  the employee is 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘫𝘰𝘣 or to an equivalent job with equivalent working conditions and also to benefit from any improvement in working conditions to which he would have been entitled during his absence;

▪  the employer is 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘩𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺 a male employee who has requested/taken parental leave.

In case of breach of the legal provisions, labour inspector may impose administrative fines between RON 3,000 (approx. EUR 619) and up to RON 10,000 (approx. EUR 2,061).

Obligation to inform employees – GO 117/2022 provides that employers must inform their employees on their right to request paternity leave. Thus, employees can be informed by way of:

▪ provisions included in the Internal Regulation;
▪ provisions included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement;
▪ notifications transmitted via e-mail/company portal/notice board.

Requests for paternity leave submitted before the entry into force of GO 117/2022 (i.e. before 29.08.2022) shall be resolved in accordance with the provisions in force on the registration date of the request. Thus, prior requests will be limited to five workings days (with the possibility to extend the paternity leave when a childcare course is completed – provided that such extension is applied only once).

Note: Additional implementing rules are set to be issued in the following 30 days as of 29.08.2022.

This article was first published in September 2022 by our Romanian member firm Suciu – Employment and Data Protection Lawyers

For any questions related to this topic or for other employment related questions in Romania or in the UAE, contact Suciu’s expert Andreea Suciu.