Last updated: 2 August 2021
- Filed under:
- Legal News
- Mihaela NITU
Resuming work from the office without mask wearing, in the new sanitary context, is possible in Romania under some very strict conditions and after the entering into of the Government’s Decision no. 730 of July 8, 2021 and the Common Order of the Health Ministry and of the Internal Affairs Ministry no. 1.204/99 of July 9, 2021.
TELEWORK / HOMEWORK VERSUS FACE-TO-FACE WORK
According to the Government Decision No. 730/2021 - extending the state of alert in Romania for 30 more days from July 12, 2021 - employers are required to comply with all sanitary measures imposed in the context of the pandemic.
They have an obligation to place their employees in telework / work from home. However, if the working place is not suitable for remote activity, face-to-face work is allowed conditional upon employers’ taking specific occupational health and safety measures.
For all employers with more than 50 employees, the aforementioned normative act expressly provides for the obligation to organize work in successive teams and to provide a one-hour delay between the start and the end of the working program for these teams.
MASK WEARING INDOORS
According to Order No. 1.204 / 99/2021, mask wearing is no longer mandatory for employees working indoors, if the following conditions are cumulatively met:
- The space concerned accommodates maximum 10 vaccinated persons who have received the 2nd dose at least 10 days before;
- Keeping 1 meter social distance ;
- Access of the public and other persons is not allowed in that area.
WARNING! This exception does not apply to common indoor space & open space.
MEASURES TO BE OBSERVED BY EMPLOYERS
We remind you here below the measures to be observed by employers at the workplace. According to Order no. 832 of May 15, 2020 on the measures aimed to prevent contamination by the new coronavirus SARS CoV-2 and to guarantee the safety of economic activities during the alert period, applicable for offices organized in indoor common open spaces:
- Plan a staggered work schedule for employees, in order to avoid congestion when entering / leaving the workplace and restrain the number of employees present at the same time in the same space; (applicable notwithstanding the number of employees, if they work in open space);
- Organize the workplace in such a manner as to ensure a distance of at least 1.5 meters between “face to back” and “back to back” workstations;
- For "face to face" workstations it is necessary to provide partitions which must be cleaned every day with alcohol-based products;
- Ensure the disinfection of workplaces at the beginning of the work schedule, thereafter, once every 4 hours;
- Organize staggered lunch breaks to ensure a physical distance of at least 2 meters between employees;
- Ensure periodic ventilation of workplaces;
- In air-conditioned spaces with recirculating air systems, nebulization once a week and disinfection of the air conditioning system should be provided, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Furthermore, the employers shall set up epidemiological triage according to the provisions of Order no. 874/2020.
It should be noted that the protective mask is deemed protective equipment and, therefore, the employer must provide / make available this type of equipment for the employees, the vaccinated included.
Finally, given the low rate of infection cases recorded in Bucharest, depending on the size of the space each employer has available, a prospect of hybrid work system can for example be considered. This could also help teams to overcome a certain feeling of isolation and a loss of meaning that remote work can give rise to.