Useful info – Labor Rights in Romania
1. Legal Framework – Labor Rights of Beneficiaries of International Protection and Asylum Seekers in Romania
The laws regulating employment integration for beneficiaries of international protection include Integration Law 44/2004 and Asylum Law 122/2006, Law 157/2011 on the Status of Foreigners. These laws give refugees and people with subsidiary protection and tolerated status the same rights as Romanian citizens when it comes to employment. They also give equal employment rights to asylum-seekers under specific conditions; for instance, an asylum-seeker can seek employment three months after applying for status if he or she is still in the process of establishing a form of protection.
In Romania, beneficiaries of international protection have the same right to access the labor market as Romanian citizens and there are no differences between refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries in relation to access to employment:
GEO 44/2004, Art. 4: “Aliens who have acquired a form of protection in Romania have access to the labor market, under the conditions established by law for Romanian citizens, as well as working conditions equivalent to those of the Romanian citizens established by law for Romanian citizens.”
The working rights of beneficiaries of international protection from Romania include the right to work, access to both unemployment benefits and jobs programmes. In order to benefit from these rights, a beneficiary of international protection must register with an employment agency in his or her area within 30 days of signing the Inspectorate’s integration protocol.
GEO 44/2004, Art. 5, Para. (1): “Foreigners who have acquired a form of protection in Romania have access to the insurance system for unemployment, measures to prevent unemployment and measures to boost employment in the conditions set by the law for the Romanian citizens.”
GEO 44/2004, Art. 5, Para. (2): “The National Employment Agency shall have the necessary measures for the adaptation services offered to the specific needs of the beneficiaries of the integration programs.”
Also, as stipulated in the Law of Asylum 122/2006, persons who have been granted international protection in Romania have access to social security, have the right to associate and to carry out trade acts under the same conditions as the Romanian citizens:
Law no. 122/2006, Art. 20, Para. (1):
“Recognition of refugee status or grant of subsidiary protection confers on the beneficiary the following rights:
c) to be employed by natural or legal persons, to perform unpaid activities, to exercise free professions and to carry out legal acts, to carry out trade acts, including independent economic activities, under the same conditions as the Romanian citizens.
g) to benefit from social insurance, social security measures and social health insurance, under the conditions stipulated by law for Romanian citizens.
k) to benefit from the right to association in respect of associations with apolitical and non-professional purpose and trade unions under the conditions provided by the law for Romanian citizens
r) to receive equal treatment with Romanian citizens regarding the equivalence of studies or periods of study, the recognition of diplomas, attestations and certificates of competency, as well as of professional qualifications that give access to regulated professions in Romania, in accordance with the regulations in force.”
Moreover, the legal dispositions mentions a support system for foreigners with a form of protection to employment and adaptation of services provided by employment agencies to their specific situation and needs.
2. Actors in Labor Market Integration of Beneficiaries of International Protection
General Inspectorate for Immigration
GII is the office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for the management and organization of immigration issues. Both voluntary and forced migration fall under the auspices of the inspectorate, which is the main coordinating body for asylum procedures. The Directorate of Asylum and Integration (DAI) is a sub-directorate of GII that oversees social integration of both asylum-seekers and beneficiaries of international protection.
Serving as a mediator between national and local authorities over integration issues, GII drafts integration strategies, and is responsible for the collection and archiving of asylum records. Furthermore, the inspectorate selects partners for integration programmes and manages six reception centres for asylum seekers across the country (Bucharest, Timisoara, Giurgiu, Galati, Somcuta Mare and Radauti).
Link to the website: http://igi.mai.gov.ro/en
The Ministry for Labour, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly, through one of its agencies, the NEA, offers job-seeking beneficiaries of international protection the same service as Romanian citizens. These services include the registration of their names in the national employment database, counselling and information sessions, vocational classes, and financial support for the unemployed and people of retirement age.
Link to the website: http://www.mmuncii.ro/j33/index.php/en
The Ministry of Education provides accreditation based on a foreigner’s previous education and qualifications. The National Agency for Qualifications is responsible for the evaluation of academic and professional qualifications. These tasks include recognizing diplomas, organizing competency-evaluation exams for certain professions, and certifying vocational classes conducted by private companies or individuals. The Ministry of Education, through its local inspectorates, organizes Romanian-language classes for foreigners, issues Romanian-language manuals, and arranges the infrastructure for classes.
Link to the website: https://www.edu.ro/
Traditionally, NGOs and other partners offer services that complement the government’s integration programmes. NGOs offer language training, social and employment counselling, and assistance to beneficiaries of international protection who need accreditation for education completed abroad.
NGOs that currently run projects on labor market integration on foreigners in Romania are IOM, ARCA, Shottener Association, AIDROM.
Links to the websites: