Pursuant to a binding decision of the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice on 9 January 2017, Romanian employers may now validly communicate dismissal decisions via e-mail.
There are, however, a few points explicitly raised by the High Court which must be taken into account, including:
- in order for an email communication to be valid, 2 conditions must be met (i) the relevant e-mail address must have been provided by the employee to their employer, for communication purposes; and (ii) a practice of using email communication must have been established between the respective employee and employer;
- the employer is not required to receive safe receipt confirmation from the employee; a straightforward readable/ accessible PDF copy of the dismissal decision being attached to the respective e-mail is sufficient in order to deem that the communication of the dismissal decision has been effective.
Whilst this decision has received extremely positive feedback from the Romanian business community and legal practitioners alike - being generally regarded as a fundamental step forward in ensuring Romanian employment relationships are up-to-date with (already) basic IT developments and massive e-mail use as a common communication method - following it in practice must nevertheless be done prudently. This will involve a careful case-by-case assessment of the following, for example:
- whether email communication is only valid where an employee refuses to personally receive the dismissal decision;
- the type of dismissal decision intended to be communicated (as it is somewhat debatable if disciplinary dismissal decisions may be viewed as covered by the scope of the Romanian High Court's decision);
- whether e-mail communication can be reliably extended to other types of employment documentation, alongside dismissal decisions (such as invitations to disciplinary hearings) etc.