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Romanian Constitutional Court decided unanimously that the provisions of Article no.52, paragraph 1 a) of the Law no.53 / 2003, as follows: „(1) The individual employment contract can be suspended from the employer’s initiative in the following situations: a) during the disciplinary research”, are unconstitutional.
Thus, employers will no longer be able to suspend the individual employment contract of an employee who is in the period of disciplinary research. This measure is considered as a „disproportionate restriction on the constitutional right to work” according to a press release published on the official website of the Constitutional Court of Romania
In accordance with Article 147, paragraph 4 of the Constitution, the judge’s decision will produce specific effects after it will be published in the Official Gazette of Romania: „Constitutional Court’s decision shall be published in the Official Gazette. Decisions are considered legally binding only for the future, from the date of publication.”
From the date of the decision of the Court – 5 May 2016 until the date of publication of that decision in the Official Gazette, the provisions of Article 52 (1) a) of the Labour Code, must be respected.
Also, according to the Article 147, paragraph 1 of the Constitution, „The unconstitutional provisions of laws and ordinances in force, as well as the regulations cease their legal effects within 45 days after the publication of the Constitutional Court’s decision if, in the meantime, the Parliament or the Government do not accept the unconstitutionality of the Constitution’s provisions. During this time the provisions found to be unconstitutional are suspended by law. ”
Thus, for 45 days from publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania, Parliament or the Government will have the opportunity to intervene on the decision. Otherwise, employers will no longer have the possibility of suspending the employment contract during the disciplinary investigation under the Article 51, paragraph (1) a).
Before this decision, employers were able to suspend the labor contracts of employees throughout disciplined research and the employees didn’t have the right to work or to receive their salaries. If the employee were found guilty of committing misconduct, employers were obliged by law to offer them the paychecks they were deprived unjustly during the disciplinary investigation.