The document, which passed the verification of the Constitutional Court, provides flexible and more balanced labor relations between employees and employers. Among the main changes included in the project are changing the individual labor agreement, amending the duration of leave and bonuses for extra work.
According to the explanatory memorandum to the legislative initiative, among the proposed provisions are the following:
1. The proposals to amend the Individual Labor Agreement will be communicated in writing to the employee.
“If the employee agrees with the proposed amendment of the individual labor agreement, the parties shall conclude a written addendum to the agreement within 15 days from the date of the acknowledgment by the employer of the consent given by the employee. The Addendum shall enter into force upon the signing date by the parties, even if it is completed after the expiry of the 15 days” according to the Project. If the employee does not agree with the proposal of the employer or will not provide a response within ten days, the agreement will not be changed.
2. The annual leave shall be lesser for part-time employees.
In the legislative Project it is specified that, for part-time employees, the annual leave will be granted in proportion to the actual time worked. However, it is provided that the parties can establish – through the applicable collective labor agreement – a length greater than this. Meanwhile, through the collective labor contract – or Individual Labor Agreement – it could be established a period equal to that to which are entitled full-time employees.
3. Extra overtime in some areas of work
“The duration of the working time, including overtime, may be extended beyond 48 hours per week, provided that the average hours of work, calculated on a reference period of four calendar months, does not exceed 48 hours per week”, as mentioned in the quoted Project. Specifically, the duration of weekly working time can be higher than the 48 hours in cases such as: activities of security and surveillance requiring permanent presence in order to protect the property and people (guards, security firms); activities involving the need for continuity of services / production (healthcare, media, agriculture, passenger transport); the railway sector.
4. Bonuses for extra work and leisure time availability
Overtime will be compensated by paid free hours in the next 30 days, in comparison to 60 days, as it is the current legislation, plus it will be granted automatically an increase of at least 75% of the base salary.
5. Regulation of the work done somewhere other than at the employer
Although at the moment the Labor Code contains provisions on domestic work, the new Project introduces the notion of tele-working.
It will be “a form of organizing the work through which employees, using information technologies, meet the specific tasks of the occupation or profession they hold, somewhere other than at the employer’s office or residence, as appropriate”.
Thus, the tele-workers will be able to determine their own work schedule, and the employer will be able to check their activity under the conditions established through the individual labor agreement or the collective labor agreement.
Tele-workers and employees working at the employer headquarters will benefit from the same rights.
6. Other significant measures proposed by NTB:
Apart from those presented in the citizens’ initiative adopted by the Senate there are also other notable proposals, such as:
a) Competition clause and the confidentiality clause to take effect only during the individual labor agreement, not after its termination;
b) Increasing the trial period for individuals with disabilities, from 30 to 45 days, and for unskilled workers up to ten days;
c) The individual labor agreement to be suspend when conducting military service and the employer to be prohibited to lay off the employee in this period;
d) The employer conducting collective redundancies, to be prohibited, for nine months, from hiring employees on those places;
e) To be completed no more than three individual labor agreements with limited duration within a period of 24 months and this not be concluded for a period exceeding 24 months, in comparison to 36 month, as it is the current legislation, as it is now;
f) Temporary labor agent to be a company or authorized individual, not a legal entity, as it is stipulated in the current Labor Code;
g) The net minimum wage should not to be less than 50% of the net average salary nationwide communicated by the National Institute of Statistics.
The Senate passed on 02.09.2015 the Project, as first Chamber, so that, for its provisions to apply, it is also required the approval of the Chamber of Deputies. Citizens’ initiative provisions amending the Labor Code does not apply currently. To take effect, the law must pass by the Chamber of Deputies, be approved by presidential decree and published in the Official Gazette.