The Republic of Moldova is an eastern European landlocked country. The official language spoken is Romanian, although Russian is another commonly spoken language. In the wake of strategic structural and institutional reforms, Moldova has enjoyed increased economic stabilization making it an ideal destination for international expansion into Europe.
Employment contracts must be in writing and executed in duplicate, with the employer and the employee each receiving one signed copy. If the contract establishes a probation period, it may not be longer than three months for most workers. It may be up to six months for managers, the head of accounting, and other high-level positions. For unskilled workers, the probation period may not be longer than 30 days, and it should be the exception rather than the rule. Workers under the age of 18, pregnant women and certain other categories of workers may not be required to complete a probation period.
Employment contracts are for either an indefinite term or for a fixed-term, which may not be more than five years. Fixed-term contracts are only permitted when there is a legally recognized reason for them, although in practice there are many acceptable reasons, some of which are filling in for a temporarily absent employee, performing work which will be completed over a definite period of time and employing creative workers in artistic fields.
Before beginning work, the employee must provide the employer with an identity card or other document establishing their identity, their official labor book, military registration documents (where applicable), documentation of education and/or other documents establishing the employee’s qualifications or skills, medical examination report (where required), a declaration of personal responsibility in which the new employee states that, while holding previous jobs, they have not violated the Institutional Integrity Assessment Act. The employer is prohibited from requiring any documents other than these.
The workweek is capped at 40 hours and is normally five days, although an employer may establish a workweek of six days if that is more appropriate for the employer’s business. Younger workers are limited to shorter hours. Employees who are 15 or 16 years old may not work more than 24 hours per week, while those between 16 and 18 years old may not work more than 35 hours per week. Workers who work under conditions that the government recognizes as harmful are also limited to 35 hours per week. The workday is normally eight hours for adults, seven hours for employees who are 16 to 18 years old or work in hazardous conditions, and five hours for employees under 16. A workday may not exceed 10 hours, although collective bargaining agreements may establish 12-hour days, which must be followed by a minimum of 24 hours of rest. Workers with disabilities may work limited hours based on a doctor’s recommendation.
Overtime work is limited to 120 hours per year, although this amount may be increased to 240 hours by a collective bargaining agreement in certain cases. An employer may require overtime without the employee’s consent in a few emergency situations, but the employee must consent to the overtime in other urgent situations, and in non-urgent situations, both the employee and the employee representatives must give their consent. Employees under 18 years old, pregnant women and workers whose doctors have indicated they are not fit to do so may not work overtime.
Workers with severe disabilities, who are a parent or guardian of a child under four years old or a disabled child, are on childcare leave or are caring for a sick family member may only work overtime if they give written consent, after being advised by the employer of the right to refuse overtime work. The first two hours of overtime are paid at 150% of the employee’s standard hourly rate, and additional hours of overtime are paid at 200% of the employee’s standard hourly rate. Work on holidays or on an employee’s day off is either paid at double the employee’s usual rate, or the employee may choose to receive their normal rate of pay and an unpaid day off on a day on which they would normally work. Shifts at night (from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) for employees who normally work full time during the day are one hour shorter than daytime shifts. This is not required for employees who work reduced daytime hours or who work only at night. Employees who work 120 or more hours at night in a six-month period must be examined by a doctor at the employer’s expense. Night work is prohibited for certain employees.
Employees in Moldova are not entitled to a particular number of days of sick leave. The employee must provide the employer with a valid medical certificate. The employer pays the employee during the first five days of sick leave, and a social security payment is available from the sixth day.
An expectant mother receives 70 days of leave before the estimated date of birth (112 days if she is pregnant with three or more children) and 56 days after the birth (70 days if she gives birth to two or more children). Following maternity leave, either parent, or another relative who cares for the child, is entitled to take a partially paid childcare leave until the child is three years old. The adult caring for the child must submit a written application for this leave and will generally be eligible to receive a social security payment. Another year of unpaid leave is available upon written request to the employer until the child turns four years old.
The father is entitled to 14 days of paternity leave when his child is born. He may request the leave within 56 days of the birth and provide a copy of the birth certificate. During his paternity leave, the father may receive a social security benefit, which must be at least as large as his average salary for the length of time he takes leave. Employers must encourage fathers to take paternity leave and are prohibited from penalizing or creating difficulties for fathers who do so.
Moldova has a minimum wage. Bonuses are often performance based or paid near the end of the year.
Employees generally receive 28 days of paid leave annually.
Moldova has universal healthcare.
Employers may terminate employees only for legally recognized reasons. Generally, acceptable reasons are either related to the employer’s economic situation, or are related to the employee’s inability to perform their job or to the employee’s conduct. An employee who fails the probation period may be terminated at any time and has no right to severance. In other cases, the employer must provide two months of notice if terminating an employee because the business is being liquidated or reducing staff, and one month of notice if terminating an employee for most performance reasons. Notice is not required if the employee is being terminated for severe misconduct. If an employer seeks to terminate an employee who is a member of a union, the employer must hold a preliminary consultation with the union before dismissing them. The union must indicate its agreement or disagreement within 10 days of the consultation.
An employee may quit their job by giving the employer 14 days of written notice. Employees who are retiring on pension, taking childcare leave, enrolling in an educational institution, moving or leaving their jobs for certain other legally recognized reasons may resign with a shorter notice period.
Fixed-term contracts normally terminate by expiration. If the employment relationship continues after the expiration date with neither the employer nor the employee terminating the contract, it is automatically converted to a contract for an indefinite term. In the event the employer is liquidating or closing down, employees receive severance pay equaling one average week of salary for every year worked.
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