Post Hiring and Firing – What Are Your Rights as an Employer

“People are definitely a company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps” - Mary Kay AshMoldova labor legislation and employment regulations can be considered very strict and in most cases employees protective. The Labor Code of Republic of Moldova is based on the Soviet Union Labor Code, and is designed in a way protecting employees and allowing them more rights comparing with the employer`s rights. All employment particularities such as basic regulations related to employment agreements, working and rest regime, reasons for dismissal, holydays and vacations, wages and compensations, rights and obligations, special protection measures and provisions for certain categories of employees and employment disputes should be treated by the employers (companies) in strictly correspondence with the Labor Code and other normative acts containing norms of labor law.The Moldovan legislation is relatively complicated and requires a great number of documents to be prepared during the process of hiring people. The local companies and international ones which have decided to enter the Moldovan market, have to face confusing requirements determined by uncertainties contained in normative acts. The problems related to staff and employment in general occur during the two main levels of the employment process, as follows:
  • Recruiting and hiring personal;
  • Firing staff determined by different reasons.
In the Republic of Moldova, labor relations act under the principle of equal rights for all employees. Any discrimination, direct or indirect, regarding the employee's gender, age, race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, political opinion, social origin, residence, disability, infection with HIV / AIDS, association in unions activity and the other criteria unrelated to employees` professional qualities is prohibited.The refuse to hire the applicant for employment has to be reasonable motivated and has to be in a written form. The applicant for employment, whose application was rejected by the employer, may appeal in a court.
 As mentioned above, the Moldovan labor legislation is employees protective, therefore the Labor Code stipulates a few rights and a lot of obligations that have to be respected by employers, as follows:
Employer`s rights and obligations according to Labor Code
Employer`s rightsAccording to Labor Code the employer has the right:
  • to conclude, amend, suspend or cancel individual employment contracts with employees in the manner and conditions established by Labor Code and other regulations;
  • to require the employees to work in good faith and to manifest careful attitudes towards assets of the employer;
  • to promote the employees for performing efficient and conscientious work;
  • to draw employees to disciplinary and material liability as established by this Code and other regulations;
  • to issue internal normative acts at the entity level;
  • to create and to adhere patronages for representing and defending its interests.
Employer`s obligationsThe employer is obliged:
  • to respect the laws and other regulations, collective agreement and the terms of collective conventions;
  • to comply with the terms of individual employment agreements;
  • during the first month since the set-up of the entity, and following - during the first month of each calendar year, to approve the staff list of the entity and, within 2 months from the date of their approval, to submit (in writing or electronic), a copy of the staff list to the Labor Inspection;
  • to provide employees the work stipulated by the individual employment agreement and to permit the access to the workplace;
  • to ensure appropriate working conditions for employees' according to safety and health requirements;
  • to provide employees with equipment, tools, technical documentation and other means necessary to fulfill their job;
  • to ensure equal opportunities and equal treatment of all employees according to the profession, to ensure equal opportunities for training and promotion, without any discrimination;
  • to apply the same criteria for assessing the quality of work, sanctioning and dismissal;
  • to take measures to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace, and measures to prevent persecution for submitting complaints related to discrimination to the competent body;
  • to ensure equal conditions for women and men to combine work and family obligations;
  • to introduce the internal regulation prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment;
  • to ensure the respect of employees dignity;
  • to ensure equal pay for work of equal value;
  • to pay the full salary in terms established by Labor Code, the collective agreements and by individual employment agreements;
  • to negotiate and conclude collective agreements as prescribed by Labor Code;
  • to fulfill the requirements of state bodies, to pay fines for violating laws and other normative acts containing norms of labor law;
  • to examine employees and their representatives complaints on violations of legislative and other normative documents containing norms of labor law, to take steps to remove them and to inform the persons mentioned in the terms established by law;
  • to create the conditions for employees participation in the management of the company;
  • to ensure the sanitary requirements;
  • to carry out the mandatory social and health insurance;
  • to repair material and moral damage caused to employees in connection with the performance of work duties, as established by Labor Code and other regulations;
  • to fulfill other obligations established by Labor Code, other regulations, collective agreements etc.
 
The process of hiring personnel requires a great number of documents to be prepared individually for each employee. For being hired, the applicant must submit the following documents:
  1. the ID card or other ID;
  2. the labor book, unless the individual is being hired for the first time or undertakes to work part time;
  3. military record documents - for recruits and reservists;
  4. diploma, the qualification certificate confirming the special preparation - for professions that require special knowledge or skills;
  5. medical certificate, in cases provided by law;
The law prohibits the employers to ask the applicants to provide other documents than those referred above.The next step, the employer has to prepare the employment documents. The legislation obliged the employers to perform a considerable list of employment documents, for each employee, as follows:
  1. employee`s request for hiring;
  2. the employer must issue an internal order for hiring the employee;
  3. the employer must inform the employee about:
  • the work to be performed, labor conditions, rights and obligations;
  • internal rules of the company and collective agreement;
  • safety rules, labor hygiene, fire fighting measures and other rules for safety and health at work.
  1. there have to be concluded the written individual employment agreement (IEA) between the employer and employee;
  2. the employee has to provide the labor book if the employee worked before, or the employer has to buy one (employee will reimburse the cost) if this is the first employee`s place. Labor books are kept for all employees working for more than 5 days;
  3. the employer has to make registrations in labor book and in registers for evidence and circulation of labor books;
  4. the employer has to prepare a document describing the job (tasks and responsibilities) called “Fișa de post”;
  5. the employer has to prepare a document containing general information about the employee called “Fișa personal MR2”;
  6. The employer must keep the Register of Employment Contracts (the employee must sign that he/she has received a copy of the employment agreement);
  7. The employer must keep the Register of all internal orders related to personnel (employment, dismissal, annual leave etc.);
  8. The employer must approve the graphic of vacations.
 
The work relations between employees and employers are regulated by the Individual Employment Agreement (IEA). The individual employment agreement is an agreement concluded between the employee and the employer, through which the employee undertakes to perform a work in a particular specialty, qualification or position, to comply with the internal rules of the company, while the employer is obliged to ensure work conditions and to pay wages on time and in full amount. The IEA is the basic document which regulates the labor relations between the employer (company) and employees.
General informationAll aspects related to the employment of an individual by a company should be fixed in details in the individual employment agreement. It is mandatory for all employers to conclude employment agreements in a written form in two copies: one for employer and one for employee.When negotiating, elaborating and signing an individual employment agreement, the employers are required strictly to respect the Labor Code. Any contractual clause inserted in the individual employment agreement will be considered invalid if it is in contradiction or violates the employees’ rights and interests. The IEA`s provisions should not create employment conditions that are worse than those specified by Labor Code.
Who can be hired?
  • Individual employment agreement parties are the employer and the employee;
  • An individual acquires physical working capacity at the age of 16. So, the employer (company) can hire an individual of at least 16 years old;
  • An individual may sign an individual employment agreement at the age of 15, with the written consent of parents;
  • It is prohibited the employment of individuals under the age of 15 years.
Duration ofemployment
  • As a general rule, all employment agreements have to be concluded for an indefinite period.
  • Employment for determined period of time is allowed only in limited cases, strictly determined by law, and for a term not exceeding 5 years.
In conclusion, if there are not sufficient reasons, the employer can not conclude with the employee and IEA for a determined period of time, even the employee agrees to be hired for a determined period of time.
IEA contentThe content of the individual employment agreement is determined by agreement of the parties (employer and employee), but according to Labor Code must include:
  • name and surname of the employee;
  • identification of the employer;
  • duration of the agreement;
  • the date on which the contract is to have effect;
  • there have to be mentioned the employee`s specialty, profession, qualification, function;
  • duties of the job position;
  • specific position risks;
  • name of the work to be performed (if the individual employment agreement was concluded for a period to perform a particular task);
  • the rights and obligations of the employee;
  • the rights and obligations of the employer;
  • conditions of remuneration, including the basic salary, supplements, bonuses and material aid (if these are part of the employer`s payroll policy), and the frequency of the payments;
  • compensations and allowances for work in heavy, harmful and / or dangerous conditions;
  • work and rest regime, both for working day and working week;
  • the trial period, if applicable;
  • the duration of annual vacation and the conditions for the granting thereof;
  • the provisions of the collective agreement and the internal regulation;
  • conditions of social insurance;
  • health insurance conditions;
  • an individual employment agreement may contain other provisions that do not contradict the legislation.
In conclusion, the Individual Employment Agreement has a strict form and must include provisions stipulated by Labor Code.
Trial periodThe employer (company) can use trial periods in order to assess the professional skills of the employees upon employment. The length of the trial period is determined according to job position and term of the employment. The trial period for unqualified personnel should not exceed 30 days; for key officers (CEOs, their deputies, chief-accountants and others) 6 months. For most of job positions the trial period should not exceed 3 months. It is prohibited to use trial periods for pregnant women, disabled persons, employees under 18 years, etc.Important: If the trial period is not established in the IEA, then it is considered that the employee was hired without applying a trial period. If the employer is not satisfied by the employee`s professional skills during the trial period, the employer cannot simply fire the employee, there have to be issued an internal order showing the unsatisfied results of the trial period.
Remunerationrules
  • The amount and payment date of the employment remuneration should be indicated into the individual employment agreement (IEA).
  • The remuneration (salary) should be paid in monetary form, is binding and confidential.
  • The amount of remuneration should depend on the offer and demand existing on the job/labor market, volume, quality and complexity of work, work conditions, professional qualities of the employee, the employee’s performances and outcomes.
  • The employer (company) is not allowed by only his decision to reduce or increase the remuneration. Any remuneration (salary) change should be negotiated with the employee and should be reflected in writing into the individual employment agreement (IEA), signed by both parties.
For overtime work the employees must be paid with at least 50% over the basic rate for the first two hours, and at least 100% over the basic rate for the following hours.For night work, the employees must be paid with a bonus in the amount of at least 50% of the basic wage fixed by the company for the unit of time worked by the employee.
Frequency of remuneration paymentsThe salary must be paid periodically, direct to the employee or to the person authorized by him, based on an authenticated proxy:     a) not less than twice a month for employees paid per unit of time or per unit of manufactured production or services rendered;     b) not less than once a month for employees paid on function salary.
Minimum guaranteed salary The employer (company) has the obligation to pay its employees a basic wage in an amount that is not lower than the minimum salary level, approved by the Government.In 2017, the minimum salary level was determined in amount of 2100 lei. For certain categories of employees there can be other official minimum salary rates established by law or collective conventions.In conclusion, the employer cannot pay a lower monthly salary to an employee than:
  • 2100 lei, for a full working schedule in average of 169 hours per month
  • 12,43 lei per hour
Working timeThe normal working week cannot exceed 40 hours, and consist of 5 or 6 working days.The working week is reduced for certain categories of employees and cannot exceed:
  • 24 hours per week (employees of 15-16 years old)
  • 35 hours per week (employees of 16-18 years old)
  • 35 hours per week for employees working in harmful conditions
The working day has a duration of:
  • 8 hours for normal working day
  • maximum duration of a working day cannot exceed 10 hours within the normal working time of 40 hours per week
  • for certain types of activities, entities or professions can be fixed 12 working hours followed by 24 hours of rest
Overtime workOvertime work is allowed only as an exception from general rule and the extended working day cannot exceed 12 hours. The total overtime per year should not exceed 120 hours. The overtime per year can be extended up to 240 hours (in exceptional circumstances), but only with the written agreement of the employees.
Night workNight work is considered the work performed by employees between 10.00pm and 6.00 am. The duration of night work (shift) should be 1 hour less than normal working shift. The company is not allowed to involve certain categories of employees (minors, pregnant women, etc.) in night work.
Rest
  • Weekly rest provided by company should be 2 consecutive days, usually Saturday and Sunday. In any case, the duration of continuous rest cannot be less than 42 hours, except situations when working week consists of 6 days.
  • Daily rest - at least 30 minutes during the working day
Annual paid leave28 calendar days except holydays
Official paidholidays
  • 1st January - New Year
  • 7th and 8th January - Christmas (old style)
  • 8th March - International Women’s Day
  • The first and the second day of Easter according to the church calendar
  • Monday, one week after Easter (Pastele Blajinilor)
  • 1st May - International Worker’s Day
  • 9th May - Victory Day, the day of commemoration ofheroes died for the independence of Motherland
  • 27th August - Independence Day
  • 31st August - Our Language Holiday
  • 25th December - Christmas (new style)
  • Feast of the place declared in the established order by local municipal, town, commune, village council
Maternity and Paternity leave
  • Maternity leave has a duration of 126 calendar days (70 days prior to and 56 days after giving birth). Maternity leave indemnity is payable by the National Social Security House.
  • The mother can require a leave until the child reaches 3 years old of age: the indemnity is partial payable by the National Social Security House.
  • The mother can require a leave until the child reaches 6 years old of age: the indemnity is not payable.
  • The father of the newborn child has the right to apply for paternity leave of 14 calendar days paid by the National Social Security House.
Sick leaveAn employee has to be paid with sick leave indemnity during any period of illness confirmed by a medical certificate. The sick leave indemnity for the first five days shall be made from the employer`s funds, but not more than 15 days cumulative, for each employee during a calendar year.
As reasons for termination of the individual employment agreement can serve:
  • circumstances beyond control of the parties;
  • by written agreement of the parties;
  • at the initiative of one of the parties.
    The problems regarding the termination of the individual employment agreement occur in cases when the ground of the termination is the initiative of one of the parties, especially when termination procedure is initated by the employer.The employee has the right to resign with or without any reason, informing the employer through a prior resignation request of 14 calendar days.   In other words, the employee can terminate his/her relationship (individual employment agreement) with an employer, by giving a minimum of two weeks (14 days) written notice. No reason have to be offered for leaving by the employee. In the situations when both parties agree, the individual employment agreement can be terminated earlier.The dismissal is allowed on specific grounds only that are strictly prescribed by law, such as a lack of qualifications for the position, noncompliance with the regulations or requirements, legal restructuring of the employer, etc. The dismissal of an employee should be motivated and should be made taking in consideration the procedure regulated by law. The dismissal without taking into consideration the prescribed procedure can represent a strong reason for the court to decide over the reinstatement of the dismissed employee, according to his/her request.In the situations of liquidation of the company or reduction of the number of personnel (staff) the employer is required to notify the employee two months in advance regarding the dismissal. In conclusion, the dismissal reasons that allow the employer to fire personnel are:
  • the unsatisfactory outcome of the trial period;
  • the liquidation of the company;
  • reducing of the personnel;
  • finding that the employee does not correspond to the held position or work due to health reasons, according to the medical certificate;
  • finding that the employee does not correspond to the held position or performed work due to insufficient qualification, confirmed by the decision of the attestation commission;
  • change of company ownership (refers only to following functions: the director, his deputies, the chief accountant);
  • repeated violations by the employee, during a year, of work obligations, if previous disciplinary sanctions were applied;
  • repeated absence from work without motivated reason for 4 consecutive hours (without considering the daily break) during the working day;
  • coming to work drunk alcoholic, narcotic or toxic;
  • committing thefts (including small scale);
  • committing by the employee who handles direct financial and material values ​​of culpable actions if these actions may serve as grounds for loss of employer`s confidence;
  • presentation by an employee of false documents when concluding individual employment agreement;
  • the employee's refusal to be transferred to another job for health reasons, according to the medical certificate;
  • refusal of the employee to be transferred to another location in connection with the company moving in this locality;
  • other reasons according to article 86 of Labor Code.