Romanian PM says some public workers will be furloughed during coronavirus pandemic

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban says some public workers will be furloughed during the state of emergency which has forced millions of employees to stay at home and led to bankruptcy and job losses in some sectors.

Orban said the measure would apply to non-essential sectors, but it was unclear how many employees it would affect. Under the plan, half of the furloughed public workers would work 15 days a month, while the other half stayed at home. After two weeks they will switch, he told B1 TV late Wednesday.

Employees will receive 75% of their salary, he said.

The prime minister stressed that some public sector employees will continue to work full-time, including healthcare sector, police, firefighters, military and social welfare employees.

“The measure …. aimed at lowering the risk of spreading the virus,” he said explaining how it would work. “ We will divide employees into two equal parts, each part being able to maintain the functioning of the public institution where they work.”

The announcement comes after business leaders said that public workers should share the cost of the healthcare crisis.

More than one million employees in the private sector have been furloughed due to restrictions enforced during the crisis.

In January 2019, Romania had 1.38 million public workers and about 7 million people employed in the private sector.


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