Work-from-home legislation exists in Romania already since 2018, but employers did not rush to take advantage of its provisions until the pandemic forced many of us to work from home. Data obtained by The Economedia from the Ministry of Labour show how employers have adopted this way of work with the outbreak of the Covid-19 health crisis.
In the year the telecommuting law was passed, only 3 employees had telework contracts, all of them working in the private sector, data for 31 December 2018 from the Labour Ministry shows.
In 2019, the private sector began, albeit slowly, to have more employees in work-from-home type of arrangements, with the number rising to 13,744 at December 31. By the end of 2019, there were also 91 employees in the public sector working with telework contracts.
The number of teleworking contracts continued to rise steadily in the first two months of 2020, but in March, when the pandemic was declared in Romania, the number of people working from home in the private sector tripled, while the public sector had seen an even greater increase.
If by the end of February 2020 there were almost 15,000 employees working from home in the private sector, in March their number increased to over 53,000. In the public sector, the increase was even higher, from only 171 employees working from home before the outbreak of the pandemic to a whopping 5,679 after the onset of the health crisis.
The end of 2020 saw a record number of employees working from home: over 300,000 in the private sector, and over 31,000 in employees in the public sector, with a trend that indicates a potential permanent adoption of this style of work.