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New rules and obligations designed to ensure equal opportunities and treatment between men and women in the field of employment relationships

Government Decision no. 262/2019 regarding the approval of the Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of Law no. 202/2002 on equal opportunities and treatment between men and women was published in the Official Gazette no. 333/02.05.2019. The Decision entered into force on May 2, 2019.

In order to prevent, fight and eliminate any behaviors defined as discrimination based on gender and ensuring equal treatment and opportunity between men and women (in accordance with the provisions of Law 202/2002), employers have the following obligations:

– Amending internal regulations of entities in order to explicitly state that discrimination based on gender is prohibited and to ensure that all employees are informed and made aware of these provisions;

–  Ensuring that all employees are constantly informed of their rights in terms of respecting equal opportunities and treatment of men and women in employment relationships through all possible means of communication (meetings, memos, emails or posts on intranet networks, on entity-owned accounts opened with various social networks, sms, and by displaying in visible places via classic or electronic panels located inside/ outside the building);

–  Creating an internal procedure for informing the public authorities empowered to enforce and control the observance of the legislation on equal opportunities and treatment between men and women.

At the same time, there are a number of preventive measures and actions that employers have to apply, such as:
a)  the development of a clear internal policy in the field of employment relations aimed at eliminating tolerance of harassment at work and implementing anti-harassment measures. The Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of Law no. 202/2002 establish what is the guideline structure thereof and which are the elements to be included.
b)  implementing projects, training programs, actions, information, education and awareness campaigns for employees in order to ensure a shared understanding of the internal policy on harassment at work and knowledge of the modalities to report such situations;
c) providing specialized information and training sessions in the field of equal opportunities and treatment between men and women for the management staff of the entity and the other leading positions;
d)  promoting an attitude based on mutual respect and good collaboration that generates professional behavior at any time, including meetings outside the office and outside of working hours, as well as in the on-line environment;
e)  informing employees of the procedure for filing a complaint of sexual harassment/inappropriate behavior at the workplace and how to solve the complaints made by the persons injured by such facts.

According to the Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of Law no. 202/2002, central and local, civil and military institutions and authorities as well as private companies with more than 50 employees have the possibility, in order to ensure equal opportunities and treatment between men and women, to:
– select an employee to assign tasks to in the field of equal opportunities and treatment between men and women;
– hireanexpert/technicianspecializedinequalopportunities;
– analyze the compliance of action plans (which can have both an annual and multi-annual approach) on the implementation of the principle of gender equality with specific strategies approved at entity level, with the support and guidance of the designated persons with responsibilities in the field equal opportunities and treatment between men and women or with the support of the equal opportunities experts/technicians.

The action plans for the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities between men and women shall be drawn up by the designated person with responsibilities in the field of equal opportunities and treatment between men and women or, as the case may be, by the equal opportunities expert/technician, in consultation with the department of human resources. Subsequently, the action plans must be subject to the approval of the trade union organizations (if they are set up at entity level) and submitted for approval to the management of the company/institution or public authority.

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