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Short-time working to apply to certain public sector employees


 Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Thursday asked the Government to analyze the Government Emergency Ordinance that says public employees should work half a month, while the other half of month they should be placed under a form of furlough.

"I ask you to analyze the Government Emergency Ordinance draft initiated by Mr Minister Violeta Alexandru. I believe that we should show solidarity in such situations. We all need to take over a part of the burden generated by the crisis caused by this epidemic. There are more than 1.5 million employees in the private environment right now, plus those who work as freelancers, have their own small businesses or practice a liberal profession. Basically, we cannot leave the whole burden of this crisis on their shoulders, which is why we decided, together with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Finance, to find a solution so that the public sector too will take over part of the burden, as a form of solidarity," said Orban, at the beginning of the Government meeting.

He mentioned he chose this version including "out of epidemiological reasons," to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus. "Employees in the public institutions will be divided into halves - every office, department - so that to ensure the functionality of the institutions, ministries, agencies, authorities, mayoralties, county councils. Half of the employees will work for 15 days and the other half the rest of 15 days, meaning 10 business days. Basically they will work ten days and be under a form of furlough the other ten days," explained the Prime Minister.

The highest expenditures of the budget are those for social assistance and personnel so that we must reassess these sectors or that part of the budget with high expenses, to see whether we can postpone them for 2021, Public Finance Minister Florin Citu told Realitatea Plus private television station on Thursday.

"The expenditures with the personnel of the public sector are 109 billion lei per year. (...) The highest expenses in the budget are social assistance and expenditures with the personnel," Citu said.
He did not comment on the measures which Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and Labour and Social Protection Minister Violeta Alexandru have recently announced, through which the employees of the budget system are to enter technical unemployment by rotation, mentioning only that such document doesn't exist at the Finance Ministry.

Labour and Social Protection Minister Violeta Alexandru announced on Wednesday evening, through a Facebook post, that a draft normative act has been prepared which is aimed at technical unemployment for public institutions, with employees having the possibility to stay home, by rotation, an equal number of days per month.