Romania sets out procedure for financial support to employers for the acquisition of telework-related equipment

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The Order of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection no. 1376/2020 (the “Order”), regarding the financial support and the categories of IT assets and equipment that may be purchased using the financial support granted by the state to employers for telework, was published in the Official Gazette on September 10, 2020.

The Order sets out the procedure and the documents that employers must submit in order to receive the financial support for purchasing telework-related IT equipment and services. The state grants RON 2,500 for each employee that performed telework during the state of emergency proclaimed by Decree 195/2020 (and extended by Decree 204/2020).

Employers may use this financial support to purchase laptops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, peripheral input / output and internet connection equipment, as well as IT services.

To access these funds, employers must submit online the application in a form approved by the Order, accompanied by a list of the employees for whom the financial support is requested (also in a form approved by the Order) and an affidavit on the fulfillment of the legal conditions to access these funds. These conditions are: (i) the employees for whom the employers request the financial support performed telework for a minimum of 15 days during the state of emergency; (ii) the employer is not subject to a bankruptcy / dissolution / liquidation procedure or it did not suspend its activities; (iii) the employer is not registered in non-cooperating jurisdictions for tax purposes.

Following assessment of the above listed documents, the executive directors of the county workforce occupation agencies will approve or reject the application for this financial support. If the application is approved, the relevant amount will be wired to the employers’ bank accounts mentioned in the application within 10 days after the submission of the complete documentation and information mentioned above.

Also, within 30 days of receiving the financial support, the employer must submit to the relevant county workforce occupation agency the documents related to the purchase of the IT assets and equipment. These are: (i) fiscal invoices issued by the IT assets and services providers; (ii) tax receipts / receipts / bank statements attesting the payment of these fiscal invoices; (iii) inventory registries regarding the IT assets provided for use to teleworkers and / or records regarding the IT services provided by the employer to the teleworkers.

If the above mentioned justifying documents are not submitted to the authorities, the employers will have to return the financial support received.

According to Annex 4 to the Order, the information that must be provided by the employers to the authorities includes (i) the REVISAL (General Registry of Employees) registration number of telework addenda to the individual employment agreements; (ii) the period during which the employees performed work as telework, according to the registrations performed by the employers in REVISAL, and (iii) the number of days during which the employees teleworked during the state of emergency period, also according to the registrations performed by the employers in REVISAL.

These provisions are conflicting with the provisions of Decree 195/2020 regarding the announcement of the state of emergency (and Decree 240/2020 regarding the extension of the state of emergency), as well as the official interpretation of such provisions published by the Labor Inspection Authority on its website, according to which, during the state of emergency, the employers had the right to implement telework by unilateral decisions and did not have the obligation to register such amendments in REVISAL. The Order should be amended in order to align these conflicting provisions with the provisions of the decrees announcing and extending the state of emergency.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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