The Romanian government's guidelines on how to implement the equal opportunity law entered into force on May 2. Government Decision no. 262/2019 ("Law 202/2002 Norms") approved the norms for applying the provisions of Law no. 202/2002 on equal opportunity and treatment of women and men.
Employers must have in place clear internal policies for eliminating sexual harassment at the workplace, and anti-harassment measures. The proposed structure of such policies include:
- the guiding principles, and the legal framework
- the scope of the policies and proposed area of applicability
- the clear definition of sexual harassment followed by specific examples of actions that may be labeled as such
- preventive and proactive measures for both employer and employees
- confidentiality rules
- methods for resolving the complaints at the employer-level, and conclusions on the analysis of complaints and measures taken at company-level.
Also, if companies have more than 50 employees, they can opt either to assign to an employee the duties related to the equal opportunity and treatment of women and men, or to hire an expert specialized in these matters.
The designated employee or the expert will draft the action plans for implementing the principle of equal treatment between women and men, after consulting with the HR department. Further, the action plans should be endorsed by trade unions (if the company has them), and approved by the employer. Such actions plan should:
- promote equal opportunities and treatment for women and men
- prevent harassment at the workplace
- set out the recruitment procedure from a gender equality perspective
- provide an internal procedure for promotion, including management positions, based on objective criteria, without possibilities for discrimination
- set out pay policies for management and execution positions, implementing measures meant to eliminate gender discriminations and the wage gap
- provide measures for reconciliation of professional life with family life (e.g. maternity leave, parental leave, paternal leave etc.)
- develop a secure and confidential system for logging complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace and gender discrimination
- provide equal treatment for health and safety at work
In addition, the employer's internal regulations must explicitly provide that gender discrimination is forbidden, and the employer must ensure that all employees have acknowledged these regulations.
Also, employers must provide constant information to the employees over their rights regarding gender equality; this obligation may be fulfilled by organizing informative meetings, messages sent via email or posted on the intranet, etc.;
Employers must implement an internal procedure for taking the necessary steps to immediately inform the competent public authorities in cases when the employer was notified about potential non-compliance with this legislation.
Also, companies must implement projects, training programs, actions, information campaigns, education and awareness of employees with regard to sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
According to Law 202/2002 Norms, employers will also inform employees about the procedure for filing a complaint of sexual harassment / inappropriate behavior at work and about how to handle such complaints.
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