Romanian bureaucracy isn’t “at its finest” these days because the legislation is so complicated that it hurts the labour sector more than it helps it, according to Mircea-Catalin Roman, Senior Associate at Noerr, who was one of the speakers at BR’s Working Romania conference on Tuesday.
“Nowadays, it is very difficult to bring labour from non-EU countries because it takes an employer 3-6 months to complete such a task. Even if the annual quota was recently tripled from 7,000 to 20,000 work permits per year, it has not solved the whole problem that employers encounter when they want to bring workers from abroad,” said the lawyer.
Mircea Roman also noted that we must not forget about the excessive bureaucracy that we encounter every time we want to bring workers from abroad. “In addition to this bureaucracy, we also find an under-staffed Immigration Office, and they’re not even properly trained, because every Immigration Officer has their own interpretation of legal provisions, and you find yourself needing a future employee’s signature on their resume or being asked for proof that you have posted three job ads in national newspapers to show that you were not able to find a worker inside the country,” said Mircea Roman.
He also recounted that a County Agency for Employment asked him for a certificate showing the available workforce for a sector and the specific roles.
“If that certificate exceeds the 60-day period since you have accessed it and you have not applied for a work permit, you have to restart the process. From my point of view, the state should make work relations more flexible because today we are not talking about that. In order to be able to bring on an employee for a fixed period, you must meet certain conditions. Moreover, one person is not allowed to sign more than 3 fixed-term employment contracts,” according to the Noerr representative.
Legislation must allow employers to have the flexibility to engage Romanian or foreign citizens in Romania.
“On the other hand, I have noticed issues at the level of secondary legislation, both in terms of bringing foreign labour and classifying occupations in Romania. Equally important is the way in which the work is done and how employers provide attractive programs for employees. A future employee is not only interested in a salary, but also if they have a gym or healthcare subscription,” said Noerr’s Senior Associate.
However, we can see that employers rely on such opportunities, but it is very difficult for them to meet all the legal conditions for both foreign labour force and Romanian labour force because there are new requirements at every step that take numerous documents and an unreasonable amount of time, Mircea Roman explained.