Almost 6 months have passed since we have been facing, globally, one of the strongest challenges of humanity, both in terms of health and economy. At an extremely difficult time for all of us, support measures for employees and employers are expected more than ever.
The Romanian business environment, and not only, is trying to recover the financial deficit generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and, to this end, efforts are being made, both at the European level to implement measures to support the economic recovery in the Member States and also at the national level.
With the entry into force of the Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) no. 132/2020, the measure to encourage employers to implement teleworking procedures for a longer period was also introduced. At this moment, only the financial allowance procedure is still under discussion, with the Ministry of Labour requesting feedback from the Romanian business community. The incentives are good, but the measure needs some clarification to support the local business environment.
Limitations of the financial allowance procedure
As well as in some other cases, this measure, too, comes with some restrictions, but we hope that, following the discussions with the Government, solutions will be found to eliminate it. At this time, the settlement procedure refers only to existing employees, who worked during the state of emergency, although the measure also addresses stimulating new employment.
„Basically, companies wishing to hire young graduates cannot purchase new teleworking equipment for those employees since they did not work with that employer during the state of emergency. This contradicts the stated aim of the measure, while another limitation in its wording is that it rather focuses on the past, although one of the stated objectives is to continue to stimulate this way of working as a measure to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”, mentioned Andreea Georgescu, Head of HR Advisory, Mazars Romania.
Until the end of the year, companies can only settle purchases already made and can no longer make acquisition scenarios for the remaining months. This is another limitation generated by the wording.
How can an employer benefit from this financial allowance?
For the 2500 lei per employee, the company must submit a request for financial support, a statement on its own responsibility, and a list of employees from whom they request the amount. Employers can only apply for this financial support if they have purchased new technologies to equip employees so that they can telework in normal conditions. By technology, we do not refer to laptops and phones, but also to any other tools that help them connect to the internet.
„Thus, an employer who started teleworking on 16th March and bought 18 new laptops for employees who normally had carried out the job only on workstations, can settle the amount of 45,000 lei based on supporting accounting documents. This, of course, can be achieved only if the value of a purchased laptop exceeds the individual value of 2500 lei.”, mentioned Andreea Georgescu, Head of HR Advisory, Mazars Romania.
As the order has been designed so far, the implementation procedure establishes clear control keys for the employer, to prevent abuse and stimulate the transparency of accounting transactions. The body responsible for the implementation of the procedure will be The National Agency for Employment – ANOFM, and the good news is that the process will be entirely electronic.