Increased sanctions for unlawful overtime

√     Fines for unlawful overtime to be applied for each employee and not overall at the level of the employer

The Romanian Chamber of Deputies has adopted on 18 September 2019 a law amending the provisions of the Labour Code (Law no. 53 of 24 January 2003, as republished and further amended), providing that the breach of the legal provisions regulating overtime may trigger fines between RON 1,500 and RON 3,000 for each employee performing overtime. Prior to this amendment, the Labour Code sanctioned such breach with fines in the same amount, applicable by the labour authorities at the level of each employer, without considering the total number of the employees identified as unlawfully performing overtime for the respective employer.

According to the Labour Code, overtime represents the work performed by employees outside the normal working time of 40 hours per week. The maximum period of the working time (including overtime) cannot exceed 48 hours per week (as average by reference to four calendar months). Limited derogations are possible but subject to specific conditions negotiated in the relevant collective bargaining agreements and within the maximum limits imposed by the Labour Code.

The legislative amendment is aimed to correlate the amount of the fines which can be applied at the level of a certain employer and the effective number of employees performing overtime, considering the significant number of companies where the total number of overtime hours exceeds the maximum legal threshold, as well as the effects of excessive overtime over health and productivity of employees.

The new sanctioning regime must be promulgated by the Romanian President and published in the Official Gazette of Romania before entering into force.

 

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