Employment guiding

Using internship in Romania – basic rules that companies must observe

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Many companies in Romania are using internship as a way of hiring temporary workforce, or are planning on using internship as part of their workforce restructuring plans in Romania, following the current economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Individuals lacking professional experience are also looking for entry or temporary jobs, where they can benefit of the opportunity to gain significant experience, without being actual employees.

Either if you are an employee looking for an internship, or if you represent a company looking to hire as part of an internship, you must know that this type of activity is officially regulated by the Romanian legislation.

Thus, the Romanian legislative framework regulating the use of internship provides for a number of conditions and obligations that a Romanian employer must comply with, as well as certain rights for the interns.

Basic rules for using internship in Romania

Applicable conditions for the intern

If an individual wants to sign an internship contract with a Romanian employer, he/she must know that there are certain conditions imposed by the applicable law, as follows:

  • the individual must be at least 16 years old;
  • as an exception, those between 15 and 16 can also sign an internship contract, but only if the written consent of the parents is given;
  • the internship can be undertaken within a company where the individual did not have any type of employment before;
  • the intern can be someone with zero work experience, or who has worked previously in other companies, but is looking to start working (and accumulate experience) in a different domain;
  • the intern may have any type of education degree, or may not have at all.

Obligations that must be observed by the employer

In addition to the conditions described above, which are applicable for the intern directly, an employer planning for using an internship in Romania must also know that the Romanian internship law (Law no. 176.2018) stipulates certain obligations that must strictly be observed by any company, as follows:

  • the company must sign an internship contract with the intern; the internship contract must be under a specific template established by law, and must document the work conditions, such as: place of work, remuneration, obligations of the parties, etc.
  • the intern must be paid an internship allowance, which must not be less than 50% of the Romanian national minimum gross salary (which is 2,300 lei for year 2021); this means that the minimum internship allowance a company must pay is of 1,150 Lei/month, gross amount, before taxes.
  • the minimum internship allowance is set for a full-time job, and can be calculated depending on the number of hours worked by the intern;
  • the internship allowance must be taxed, and the applicable tax treatment is same as for regular salary income;
  • The internship contract can be signed for maximum 720 hours of work within a period of 6 consecutive months;
  • In the hosting company the intern will have to work under the direct coordination of a mentor/coach;
  • the internship contract must be reported to the Romanian labor authorities, and registered in a specific online register, here: www.internship.anofm.ro; the registration must be done before the intern’s first day of work in the company.

Attention! If during a labor law audit the authorities identify interns working within your company that do not have an internship contract signed, they can impose fines of up to 20,000 lei for each intern. The same fine can be applied if the inspector identifies that the internship contract was not reported to the Romanian labor authorities through registration in the specific online register for internships.

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