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Living and working conditions

Romania

Source: EURES The European Job Mobility Portal. For up-to-date information visit the Living and Working Conditions section about Romania on the EURES Portal.

How to find a job

Jobseekers who are EU or EEA citizens can contact the National Employment Agency (ANOFM), which is Romania’s public employment office, through its local branches. They have free access to the Romanian labour market. Nationals of other Member States of the European Union are employed under the same conditions as Romanian nationals and have to complete all the formalities for starting employment, from obtaining a medical certificate issued by an occupational doctor confirming that the future employee is fit for work, to the notification by the employer to the Labour Inspectorate of the individual employment contract. It is recommended that sufficient time is allowed between signing the individual employment contract and starting work at the Romanian employer, so as to enable the EU national to complete all the required formalities.

Interested persons may contact and register with one of the 41 employment agencies in the counties or in Bucharest, or with one of the 70 local employment agencies spread throughout the country.

County agencies provide information, advice and mediation services for jobseekers or unemployed persons, as well as information and advice for potential employers. The services offered are free of charge.

County employment agencies and the ANOFM have a database with all the vacancies offered by Romanian employers. Employers are required by law to declare all their vacancies to the National Employment Agency. Interested persons can view job vacancies under the ‘Persoane fizice/Locuri de muncă’ (Individuals/Jobs) section on the ANOFM website. Details of the vacancies are displayed only in Romanian.

EU/EEA citizens who are unemployed and are receiving unemployment benefits in another EU/EEA state, and who are seeking a job in Romania, may export their unemployment benefits (for a maximum period of 3 to 6 months), provided that they register as jobseekers with the county employment agency covering the area where they have established their residence in Romania.

Jobseekers may also contact one of the 45 EURES advisers available with each county employment agencies. Contact details of these advisers can be found on the ANOFM website under the 'EURES' section, subsection 'EURES Romania'.

Providers of specialised services for boosting employment, both Romanian and from other EU/EEA Member States, also operate on the national labour market, in accordance with the law. On the ANOFM website, you can consult under the Registre (Registers) section the National Register of Private Employment Services Providers who are accredited to operate on the national market.

Another way of finding a job in Romania is to check various web portals that are a major source of vacancy notices. Job vacancies published directly by employers can be viewed here and jobseekers may also upload CVs into the database of these portals.

The national, regional and local newspapers also contain many classified job advertisements (both job offers and requests for work).

If the vacancies listed in the different publications or on the internet do not meet jobseekers’ expectations or if jobseekers wish to work for a company that has not advertised the position they are interested in, jobseekers can still apply by sending an unsolicited application (CV, possibly accompanied by a photograph and a cover letter) to the human resources department of the company concerned.

How to apply for a job

Any application should meet the job requirements and provide an initial overview of the applicant's profile. The most common way of applying is to send a CV, which may be accompanied by a cover letter (maximum 1 page) describing the reasons for applying for the job concerned. The CV should be written in Romanian. If one of the requirements is knowledge of a foreign language, the CV should also be submitted in a language widely spoken internationally.

The CV should have a well-defined structure. Standard CV templates can be used, and the EURES network in Romania recommends the use of the Europass CV model. A CV contains the applicant’s skills, qualifications and experience, presented chronologically (when filling in the ‘Work experience’ section, it is customary to begin either with the current job or the most recent one).

The Europass model of CV and the directions for completing it can be found both on the Europass website and on the website of the National Qualifications Authority.

At the interview, the applicant should bring along a CV as well as any other supporting documents: high-school diploma, university degrees (authenticated), training certificates, criminal record, medical examination certificate, certificates or credentials from previous jobs. Employers may ask applicants to take a psychological test.

Finding accommodation

In order to avoid any complications, it is advisable to know where you are going to live in Romania before you leave your own country. There are many possibilities for finding accommodation, depending on your budget and individual preferences.

Renting

If you wish to rent an apartment, you are advised to browse the property sections of newspapers. You can also contact an estate agent (check the ‘Pagini Aurii’ -Yellow Pages). Rents depend on the size of the property, its location and the furnishings (furniture, appliances, etc.). You need to have a valid identity document to rent accommodation and to sign an agreement with the owner. The agreement must be official, in writing. As a rule, rent does not include utilities (electricity, gas, water, heating, telephone), which must be paid separately by the tenant. Owners must ensure that tenancy agreements are registered with the tax authority with which they are registered as taxpayers and that the applicable taxes are paid. When you pay your rent by means other than a bank transfer, you are advised to make sure that you get a receipt from the owner proving that you have made the payment.

Student accommodation

Students travelling for study or work in Romania can live in student residences or rent studios or apartments. Information on accommodation availability in student residences can be found on the websites of the universities.

Finding an apartment on the internet

Along with the traditional ways of finding an apartment (in the written press or through estate agencies), we also advise you to access property portals where offers by both estate agencies and individuals are advertised.

Buying a property

In Bucharest, large cities and tourist areas, properties are more expensive than in the rest of the country. Based on the Imobiliare.ro index, in March 2020 the average price of an apartment was EUR 1 395/m2 in Bucharest, EUR 1 826/m2 in Cluj Napoca, EUR 1 310/m2 in Timișoara and EUR 1198/m2 in Brașov. When buying a property, all the documents must be authenticated at a notary’s office. As part of the purchase procedure, buyers must sign contracts with suppliers for the following utilities: electricity, gas, water, telephone and heating, etc. They must also contact their building managers to have their names changed on the common maintenance bills. Invoices for utilities have to be paid by the due date, usually on a monthly basis, or the supply of such services may be interrupted.

Recognition of diplomas and qualifications

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in any decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in the different Member States. Only such a system will prevent a lack of recognition of professional qualifications becoming an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

The main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to practise his or her profession freely in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements governing access to certain professions in host countries.

To overcome these differences the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. This system distinguishes between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards the transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention of combining all instruments for the transparency of certificates and diplomas into one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or the Europass Training.

The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond differences in the education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still reveal substantial differences. The latest enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has enacted a series of instruments aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

1.The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee the smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

2.The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

 A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role in the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

3.The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

 The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

4.Europass

 Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It comprises five standardised documents:

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

Recognition of diplomas and qualifications in Romania

The recognition of diplomas and qualifications for the recognised professions in Romania applies to any citizen of an EU Member State or of the EEA who wants to work in Romania independently or as an employee. The institution responsible for the recognition of diplomas is the National Centre for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas in the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport. The Centre also recognises the diplomas and study documents of foreign citizens requesting  work permits.

A diploma is a document or set of documents certifying the level of training, which:

  •  was issued by a competent authority in an EU or EEA state;
  •  certifies that the holder has completed a cycle of higher education of at least 3 years or of an equivalent duration in a longer term form of education or in a university, a higher education institution or another institution at a similar level, following training courses alongside the higher education cycle, where the state of origin imposes such conditions;
  •  certifies the fact that the holder has the professional qualification required for a regulated profession or for occupying a job in the state of origin, only if the training certified by the documents mentioned in this paragraph was mainly obtained in the EU or EEA or where the holder of such documents has acquired professional experience of at least 3 years, certified in a Member State which recognises a diploma issued by a non-EU state.

Likewise, any document issued by a competent authority in a Member State is considered to be a diploma if it refers to training acquired in the EU or EEA. Diplomas should also be recognised by the competent authority of a Member State with an equivalent level to the above-mentioned ones, only if that State stipulates the same access rights to a profession regulated in the Member State of origin.

Kinds of employment

According to the Labour Code, an individual becomes able to work at the age of 16. However, with the consent of their parents or legal guardians, an individual may sign an employment contract as a salaried person at the age of 15, with a view to carrying out activities that are appropriate for their stage of physical development, skills and knowledge, and provided that this does not jeopardise their health, development or professional training. Difficult, harmful or hazardous jobs may be performed only by persons aged 18 or over. These jobs are determined by Government Decision.

The employment contract may be permanent or fixed-term, with full-time or part-time working hours. For full-time employees, a full-time employment contract involves 8 working hours per day (40 hours/5 days a week). The distribution of the working time per week is usually even and it includes two days of rest. Depending on the profile of the company, one may opt for an uneven distribution of the working time provided that the normal working period of 40 hours/week is complied with. The maximum number of legal working hours may not exceed 48 hours per week, including overtime. There are exceptions allowing an extension of the maximum period, but they are subject to strict legal rules.

The Labour Code also includes provisions on temporary agency work. This work is provided by a temporary employee who has concluded a temporary employment contract; the employee is made available to a user for temporary work under that user's management and supervision. A temporary work mission cannot exceed 24 months.

Employers may require employees to pass a probationary period of 90 calendar days for operational positions and of no more than 120 calendar days for management positions. Graduates from higher education establishments undergo an internship in the first 6 months. This does not apply to professions for which the internship period is governed by special laws. Any probationary period counts as length of service.

EU citizens may occupy any position, except that of a civil servant, which requires Romanian citizenship.

Collaboration contracts are called service provision contracts, and they may only be concluded for independent activities, for persons registered with the National Trade Register Office as having a form of legal personality, such as a sole trader (PFA).

More information about labour relations, work safety and occupational health and security can be obtained by accessing the website of the Labour Inspectorate or of the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice.

The Romanian legislation on the employment of seasonal workers applies both to foreign citizens and Romanian citizens. In both cases, an individual full-time fixed-term labour contract is drawn up for seasonal workers, in order to perform an activity that takes place according to the succession of the seasons. The labour contract specifies the expected duration of the individual labour contract.

The definition of “seasonal worker”, according to Ordinance No.25/2014 on the employment and secondment of foreigners on Romanian territory: “Seasonal worker” - the foreign citizen who maintains his/her main residence in a third state, but lives legally and temporarily on the territory of Romania, being employed on the territory of Romania based on an individual fixed-term labour contract concluded with an employer, based on an employment notice, in order to perform an activity that takes place according to the succession of the seasons.

The seasonal activity that takes place according to the succession of seasons is an activity that depends, during a certain period of the year, on a regular event or a succession of events related to seasonal conditions during which the required labour force exceeds considerably the usual level for current operations.

According to the Romanian Labour Code, the fixed-term labour contract may be extended as many times as the parties agree, even from month to month, provided that it does not exceed 36 months. The employer can successively conclude, with the same employee, up to 3 fixed-term individual labour contracts.

These definitions have been transposed from Directive 2014/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purpose of employment as seasonal workers.

Employment contracts

An employment contract is required by law. Several elements are set out in such contracts, such as: the identity of the parties, the job, the employer’s registered address, a job description, job-specific risks, the start date of the contract, the amount of annual leave to which an employee is entitled, the basic salary, any other elements included in the remuneration, the frequency of salary payments, the normal working hours (in hours/day and hours/week), the collective employment contract governing an employee’s working conditions and any other applicable clauses. A person may be employed only on the basis of a health certificate attesting that the person concerned is fit to carry out that work.

The individual employment contract has to be in Romanian, exclusively in writing, on the basis of the parties’ consent, prior to starting work. The obligation to conclude the employment contract in writing pertains to the employer.

Individual employment contracts are entered in the General Employee Register. The employer shall hand a copy of the employment contract signed by both parties to the worker, prior to starting work. Fixed-term individual employment contracts may be drawn up for a period of up to 36 months. Where a fixed-term individual employment contract has been concluded to replace an employee whose employment contract has been suspended, the fixed-term contract expires as soon as the causes determining the suspension of the latter’s individual employment contract cease.

Any amendment to the terms laid down in the employment contract shall be performed via an addendum to the contract prior to the enforcement of the amendment, except for cases where such an amendment is expressly laid down in the law or in the applicable collective labour contract.

A part-time individual employment contract is concluded when an employer employs persons on a part-time basis (less than the number of hours corresponding to full-time) under individual employment contracts for definite/indefinite periods. The remuneration rights granted are proportional to the actual working time.

It is also possible to telework. Individual telework contracts have to be concluded in writing and include the mention that the employee teleworks, the work schedule that the employer can use to check the employee's work, the method for performing such checks, etc.

Moreover, the Labour Code also includes provisions on work carried out through a temporary agent. This work is provided by a temporary employee who has concluded a temporary employment contract; the employee is made available to a user for temporary work under that user's management and supervision. A temporary work mission cannot exceed 24 months.

More information about labour relations, work safety and occupational health and security can be obtained by accessing the website of the Labour Inspectorate or of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

Working time

Full-time working hours are 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. Working time may not exceed 48 hours per week, including overtime. Working hours for young people aged 18 or under are limited to 6 hours per day and 30 hours per week.

In the case of shift work, working time may exceed 8 hours per day and 48 hours per week, provided that the total number of working hours, calculated for a period of up to maximum 3 weeks, does not exceed 8 hours per day and 48 hours per week. Working time, including overtime, may exceptionally exceed 48 hours per week, provided that the average number of working hours, calculated for a reference period of 3 calendar months, does not exceed 48 hours per week.

For certain fields of activity, entities or professions, a daily working time shorter or longer than 8 hours may be established following collective or individual bargaining, or by means of specific regulatory acts. A daily working time of 12 hours must be followed by a 24-hour rest period.

Overtime is compensated by paid time off within the following 60 calendar days after it was carried out or by granting additional pay. If compensation by paid time off is not possible within this time limit, an appropriate additional pay has to be added for the work performed. The additional pay is established following bargaining under the terms of the collective employment contract or the individual employment contract and may not be less than 75 % of the basic salary.

Work performed between 10 pm and 6 am is classified as night work. A night employee performs night work for at least three hours in the course of the daily working time or performs night work for at least 30 % of the monthly working time. Normal working time for employees who perform night work may not exceed an average of 8 hours per day, calculated for a reference period of up to maximum 3 calendar months, in compliance with the legal provisions on weekly resting time.

Employees who perform night work are entitled to:

  • either a 1-hour reduction of the normal daily working time for days in which they perform at least 3 hours of night work, without any reduction in their basic salary;
  • or additional pay of at least 25 % of the basic salary if they perform night work for at least three hours in the course of the normal working time.

Under the Labour Code, the following rest periods are granted to employees: lunch break, daily rest, weekly rest and public holidays.

Where the daily working time exceeds 6 hours, employees are entitled to a lunch break and other breaks in accordance with the terms of the applicable collective employment contract or with the terms of the employer’s internal rules. Young people aged 18 or less are entitled to a lunch break of at least 30 minutes if their daily working time exceeds 4.5 hours. Unless otherwise established under an applicable collective labour agreement or the employer's internal rules, breaks are not included in the normal daily working time. Weekly rest consists of two consecutive days, usually Saturdays and Sundays.

Leave (annual leave, parental leave, etc.)

There are several types of paid leave in Romania:

Paid annual leave is guaranteed to all employees: the minimum length of annual leave is 20 working days according to the provisions of the Labour Code, or 21 working days according to the applicable Collective Labour Agreement. In addition to the 21 days, the following are entitled to additional annual leave: employees with disabilities (3 days), blind persons (6 days) and employees working in special conditions (at least 3 days per year).

Public holidays, established by law, and the collective labour agreement, are not included in the duration of the paid annual leave.

For the annual leave period, employees receive an allowance not lower than their basic salary plus any other permanent allowances or additional payments normally due for the period in question, as stipulated in their individual employment contracts.

The annual leave allowance must be paid by the employer at least 5 working days before the commencement of the leave period.

According to the Labour Code, paid leave – not included in the annual leave – is granted for exceptional family events. The nature of exceptional family events and the amount of paid leave are established by law or in the applicable collective labour agreement.

Employees are entitled to paid leave for exceptional family events or other situations, as follows: marriage of employee – 5 days; marriage of an employee’s child – 2 days; birth of a child – 5 days (10 days in case the employee attended infant care courses); death of spouse, child, parents, parents-in-law – 3 days; death of grandparents, brothers, sisters – 1 day; blood donors – according to the legal provisions in force; upon change of employment within the same company, when relocating to another town – 5 days.

Public holidays which are non-working days are the following: 1 and 2 January, 24 January, Good Friday, Easter Day and Easter Monday, 1 May, 1 June, Whit Sunday and Whit Monday, 15 August, 30 November, 1 December, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 2 days for each of the three annual religious holidays declared by the legal religious institutions other than the Christian ones for persons who are members of such institutions.

Leave for vocational training. Employees are entitled, on request, to leave for vocational training. Such leave may be paid or unpaid.

Sick leave and social health insurance allowances to which employees are entitled are as follows: sick leave and allowances for temporary work disability caused by common illnesses or accidents which occurred outside work; sick leave and allowances for illness prevention and recovery of the ability to work, only for situations resulting from work-related accidents or occupational illnesses; maternity leave and allowances, leave and allowances for caring for a sick child, sick leave and allowances linked to maternal risks.

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for the purpose of resolving personal matters.

Payment

When salaries are established and paid, any form of discrimination – whether related to gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, race, skin colour, ethnicity, religion, political orientation, social origin, disabilities, family status or responsibilities, trade union affiliation or activity – is prohibited.

Salaries include the basic salary, allowances, increments and other supplements. Salaries are to be paid before any other financial obligations an employer might have.

The employer is under an obligation to pay a monthly gross salary at least equal to the guaranteed national gross minimum wage.

As of 1 January 2021, the guaranteed gross minimum basic salary at national level is of RON 2 300 per month (EUR 470), the net minimum monthly earnings being of RON 1 386 (EUR 283) for a full-time schedule of 169 hours per month on average. The average gross salary per month for university graduates having worked at least one year in the respective field is RON 2 350 (EUR 480), the net earnings being RON 1 413 (EUR 288). Moreover, for the period of 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2028, the Government established a guaranteed minimum national gross basic salary for the construction sector of RON 3 000 (EUR 613), the net monthly salary being RON 2 362 (EUR 483).

The remuneration scheme for the staff hired by public authorities and institutions which are financed entirely or mainly from the state budget, the public social insurance budget, the local budget and the special funds budgets, is established in accordance with the legal provisions in force, following consultation with the representative trade unions.

In March 2021, the nominal national average gross salary was RON 5 785 (EUR 1 180), and the nominal average net salary was RON 3 547 (724 EUR).

The employer is obliged to issue a monthly payslip to its employees. The payslip includes the following, in particular: the employee's basic salary, any supplements to the salary, contributions to the pension fund and health insurance, income tax. The employer is responsible for paying work insurance contributions, which include unemployment insurance contributions and the contributions for sick leave, occupational hazards and pay claims. See Incomes and taxation section.

Termination of employment

An individual employment contract may be lawfully terminated following the parties’ consent, by either the employer or the employee.

An individual employment contract is terminated de jure in the following cases:

  • on the date the retirement decision is issued according to the legal provisions in force;
  • following a sentence imposing a mandatory prison term;
  • on the date on which the relevant authorities or bodies withdraw the permits, authorisations or certificates required to perform the work stipulated in the employment agreement;
  • following a court sentence which forbids the employee to carry out a certain activity or to hold a certain position, as a safety measure or as a complementary punishment, as from the date the court sentence in question becomes final;
  • on the date of expiry of a fixed-term individual employment contract;
  • in the case of employees aged 15 to 16, on the date of withdrawal of agreement to work from the parents or legal guardians;
  • on the date of the death of the employee or of the employer, where the employer is a natural person, or on the winding up of the employer, where the employer is a legal person.

Dismissal refers to termination of the individual employment contract by the employer. Dismissal may be imposed for reasons pertaining or not to the individual employee concerned.

Individual dismissal is based on: serious breaches of work discipline rules committed by the employee; the worker's preventive arrest for more than 30 days; the employee’s physical and/or mental disability which prevents him from performing his duties; if the employee is not professionally fit for the job.

Dismissal for reasons not pertaining to the employee may be individual or collective. Collective dismissal means the dismissal, within 30 calendar days, of a certain number of employees, as provided for by law, in direct proportion to the total number of employees in the company.

A dismissal decision must be communicated in writing to the employee concerned, and must contain the following: the reasons for dismissal; length of notice (20 working days); the criteria for prioritisation within the collective dismissal; the list of all the jobs affected.

Resignation is the unilateral voluntary act of an employee who, by means of a written notification, communicates to the employer the termination of his or her individual employment contract after serving a period of notice.

Notice periods are stipulated by the parties in individual employment contracts or in the applicable collective labour agreements, as appropriate, and cannot exceed 20 calendar days for employees in operational positions and 45 days for employees in management positions.

Text last edited on: 07/2020

The health system

Any person covered by insurance in accordance with the law is entitled to healthcare assistance from Romanian healthcare providers. Services are covered by insurance based on set-value contributions.

As an EU citizen, if you get sick during a temporary stay in Romania, you are entitled to any treatment that cannot be postponed until your return home. You are entitled to the same medical treatment as Romanian nationals. It is preferable that you have your European health insurance card with you. Participation in a social insurance system for nationals of a Member State of the European Union can be demonstrated using form S (formerly form E).

Social health insurance provides access for the insured persons to a package of basic services. Social health insurance is compulsory.

The public body responsible for administering the national social health insurance budget is the National Health Insurance Agency (CNAS), together with its local branches. Certain categories are insured without having to pay any contributions:

  • children aged 18 or less, or young people under 26, provided they are in higher education;
  • persons who have been victims of political persecution, war veterans, invalids and widows;
  • persons with disabilities without income;
  • pregnant women and women who have recently given birth, if they do not earn income or their income is lower than the national gross minimum wage.

All persons insured under the public health fund are entitled to medical services such as medical consultations, prescriptions and basic hospital care. Some categories of persons (e.g. pensioners, persons suffering from cancer) are entitled to subsidised or free prescriptions, or reduced consultation prices.

Primary medical assistance is provided by general practitioners. These practitioners provide medical services for insured and non-insured patients. They can provide essential medical care (e.g. primary care interventions in medical and surgical emergencies, assistance for acute cases, monitoring chronic illnesses, preventive medical care), extended medical care (e.g. family planning, certain minor surgeries) and additional medical care (e.g. procedures and techniques of medical practitioners requiring special facilities).

Medicine not requiring a medical prescription may be purchased from any pharmacy.

The private healthcare system also offers wide access to medical specialists and high-quality medical equipment. In general, private clinics offer subscriptions and private health insurance as payment options.

Incomes and Taxation

In March 2021, the nominal national average gross salary was RON 5 785 (EUR 1 181), and the nominal average net salary was RON 3 547 (EUR 724).

Incomes are generally higher in regions that are more economically developed (Bucharest-Ilfov, North-West, West). According to the projections of the National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis, the average net monthly salary for the year 2021 is higher in the Bucharest-Ilfov region (RON 4 302), followed by the one in the West (RON 3 169) and North-West regions (RON 3 149), the lowest one being estimated in the South-East region (RON 2 839).

There are only three compulsory social contributions, as follows:

  • The social contribution (pension) — the rates of social contributions are:
    • 25% of the gross monthly income for normal employment conditions, payable by the employee, of which 3.75% is assigned to the private pension fund;
    • 4% of the gross monthly income for particular employment conditions, payable by the employer in addition to the 25% rate;
    • 8% of the gross monthly income for special employment conditions, payable by the employer in addition to the 25% rate;
  • Health insurance contributions – 10% of the employee’s gross monthly income, payable by the employee;
  • Work insurance contributions – 2.25% of the gross monthly income, payable by the employer, which includes unemployment insurance contributions and the contributions for sick leave, occupational hazards and pay claims.

The contribution to the state budget is paid via income tax. Income tax for any gross salary higher than the guaranteed minimum wage is 10%. Social security contributions and income tax are calculated, withheld and paid by the employer.

Besides income tax, pensions over a certain threshold are also taxed. Tax is also paid on property, motor vehicles, land, the amount of which is determined by the municipalities, etc.

Every year, the Government establishes the guaranteed minimum gross basic salary at national level (RON 2 300 as of 1 January 2021 and RON 2 350 for employees with a higher education qualification and one year of seniority in their field of studies). A minimum gross monthly basic salary is also separately established and applies to the building sector, in the amount of RON 3 000 (approx. EUR 610). According to the National Institute of Statistics, in March 2021 the highest average net salaries were recorded in the information technology and IT services sector (RON 8 876, approx. EUR 1 810), in the insurance, reinsurance and pension funds sector (RON 8 210, approx. EUR 1 675), in information and communications (RON 7 368, approx. EUR 1 505). The lowest salaries were found in the hotels and restaurants sector (RON 1 751, approx. EUR 357), in clothes manufacturing (RON 1 892, approx. EUR 386) and in furniture manufacturing (RON 2 304, approx. EUR 470).

The standard VAT rate is 19%. There are also lower VAT rates (e.g. 9% for human and veterinary medicines, for water supply and sewage services, accommodation in hotels and food delivery, and 5% for restaurant and catering services, books, textbooks, magazines and access to school and sports events, access to museums, museum houses, fairs, exhibitions, mountain products, organic and traditional products authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture), and there are some exemptions, in accordance with the Fiscal Code.

The educational system

The national pre-university system is structured on four levels:

  1. pre-school, which includes a first year, a second year and a third year, in preparation for school;
  2. primary, which includes the preparatory year and grades 1 to 4;
  3. secondary, which includes:
  4. lower secondary school, which includes grades 5 to 8 and the lower grades of high school or trades school (grades 9 and 10);
  5. upper secondary school, which includes the upper high-school grades (10 to 12/13);
  6. post high school. This is organised based on the professional qualifications established by the Ministry of National Education, in accordance with the National Qualifications Register. High school graduates, with or without the baccalaureate diploma, may enrol in post-high-school education, admissions being dealt with in accordance with the general criteria established by the Ministry of National Education. Post-high-school education is provided in post-high-school colleges and in skilled trade schools. Both types of schools represent specialised training paths, with a duration of 1-3 years depending on the complexity of the qualification.

On completion of secondary school, the highest level of qualification is the baccalaureate examination. The baccalaureate examination is a prerequisite for access to higher education.

Higher education is structured on three levels:

  • Bachelor’s degree courses;
  • Master’s degree courses;
  • PhD studies.

Compulsory general education consists of 11 grades and includes primary school, lower secondary school and the first two grades of upper secondary school. The state education system is free of charge. Fees are charged, however, for some activities, as provided for by law. The Romanian language is used at all levels. Education may also take place in minority or international languages. State education institutions predominate compared to private schools.

The education system is organised on a full-time and part-time basis. Attendance-based education is mandatory. Home-based learning may be arranged for children with special educational needs or who cannot be moved.

The cultural and social life

Social and cultural life in Romania is rich and diverse. Natural, historical and artistic beauty makes the country unique, and getting to know it is a perfect occasion to get in touch with a special culture and society.

If you visit the historic city centres, you will be able to attend various cultural events, such as book launches, fine art exhibitions or hand-made product fairs, and concerts. At the same time, there are important events such as opera festivals, medieval art shows, festivals based on traditions and folklore, jazz festivals and city days. In large cities, you can go to the opera or to the theatre, visit museums and botanical gardens, or you can watch sports competitions.

If you go out of town, you can go on excursions to or ski in the Carpathian Mountains, sunbathe in the Black Sea resorts or visit the medieval castles and fortresses in Transylvania and the churches in northern Moldavia, which are UNESCO world heritage sites. The Danube Delta is also an ideal destination for a stay amidst fauna and flora that are unique in Europe or if you want to experience rural tourism.

Traditional Romanian cuisine and wines are famous all over the world. Traditional meals are related to the history and geography of the Balkan Mountains. Do not forget to visit Bran Castle, where Dracula’s legend was born, the caves, which are genuine speleological jewels, and the Merry Cemetery in Săpânța.

For professional advice on how to spend your leisure time and holidays in Romania, you can contact local travel agents.

Text last edited on: 09/2021

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