Law No. 273/2004 which governs adoption procedures has recently been amended through Law No. 57/2016, published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 283 of 14 April 2016 (Amendment Law). The Amendment Law enters into force on 12 August 2016.
The main relevant change on the employment front is the introduction of a new type of leave and a corresponding indemnity, namely 'adoption-related leave and indemnity'. The main purpose of this reform is to support the adopted child's transition into his/her new family, especially if child-raising leave is no longer available (as a result of the child being older than 2 years of age when adopted).
Without intending to provide an exhaustive overview of the Amendment Law, we highlight below an outline of the core changes and their impact on the employment front.
Adoption-related leave and indemnity
Who is entitled?
The foster parent (or one of the spouses of the adopting family) who earns taxable income according to Law No. 227/2015 on the Fiscal Code, from salary/salary-assimilated income, independent activities or agricultural activities, may benefit from adoption-related leave, upon his/her request.
As a specific note, when it enters into force, the Amendment Law will also apply to foster parents who already have custody of the child (proportionally with the remaining calendar days), subject to the maximum duration of the leave of 1 year.
During adoption-related leave, foster parents are not entitled to benefit from child-raising leave or indemnity.
What is the leave duration?
This is a maximum period of 1 year, starting with the day following the date of the court decision under which the child is taken into custody with a view to adoption.
The monthly indemnity amounts to 3.4 times the social reference indicator (Romanian, ISR - indicatorul social de referinta) - now RON 1,700. The indemnity is paid directly by the competent public authorities.
Main implications for employers
- adoption-related leave represents a new case of suspension of the individual employment agreement at the request of the employee (regulated by the Labor Code);
- the employer is obliged to approve and grant adoption-related leave. Not observing this obligation triggers the employer's administrative liability, sanctioned with fines up to RON 2,500 (approx. EUR 560);
- during adoption-related leave, the employer is not permitted to terminate the individual employment agreement, except for dismissal determined by judicial reorganisation, bankruptcy or winding-up of the employer.
Additional paid time off
- the employer is obliged to grant the employee or, where appropriate, the employees (husband and wife), who adopt, time off (up to a maximum of 40 hours per year) in order to undertake the required assessments for obtaining the adoption certificate and assessing practical suitability, without salary reduction;
- time off is granted at the employee's request (on the basis of the meetings calendar or the visits schedule, as issued by the competent authority);
- not observing these obligations triggers the employer’s administrative liability, sanctioned with fines up to RON 2,500 (approx. EUR 560).