A new law was published in August providing for new internship rules in Romania. The new rules will have to be observed by all Romanian companies hiring interns. The new “Internship Law” (Law no. 176/2018) regulates certain internship arrangements, which had not been previously in place, such as obligation for remunerating the intern or maximum period of internship.
As of 18 August 2018, the Internship Law is applicable to all Romanian companies which organize internship programs that are designed to help interns develop their professional skills, and accommodate themselves with the transition from education system to a workplace.
Main new internship rules applicable:
The Internship Law imposes the following main rules:
- companies may only hire maximum 5% of interns out of the total number of employees (smaller organisations with up to 20 employees are permitted a maximum of 2 interns);
- internship contracts must not exceed 6 months in duration;
- interns are entitled to a monthly remuneration, which cannot be less than 50% of the national minimum wage imposed by law;
- interns are not permitted to perform activities overtime;
- companies may not rehire as interns persons previously under employment contracts;
- interns cannot be hired to perform manual labour specific to unqualified workers.
All internship arrangements must be documented under a written internship agreement, in Romanian language. Companies must provide interns with a copy of the internship agreement prior to starting the internship program.
All internship agreements must be registered in an electronic “Registry”. Once the labor authorities make the Registry available online, registration must be made not later than the working day prior to the intern’s start of activity. Until the online registration tool becomes available, companies must create an internal “Registry of Internship Contracts” and record all internship contracts internally.
The new internship rules include also a number of obligations that companies must observe on supervising, training and evaluating interns.
New internship rules, new incentives
In addition, through this law the government also introduced a new incentive for companies that enter into employment contracts with interns. More precisely, each company is eligible to receive 4,586 RON (approximately 1,000 EUR) for each intern hired. The incentive is applicable with the condition that the employment contract is signed within maximum 60 days from the end of the internship, and that employment remains in force for a continuous period of at least 24 months.
One of the purposes of this new law is to eliminate cases of “undeclared employment”, which was organized under the form of internship programs, as authorities claim.