The measures after the abolition of the state of emergency proposed in a bill amending the Health Act
Breaking Legal Newsletter (6 May 2020)
At a press conference earlier this week it was announced that no extension of the state of emergency after 13 May has been planned. In this respect, the subsequent implementation of anti-epidemic measures and measures in support of citizens and businesses will be regulated by the relevant regulatory mechanisms.
On Tuesday, 4 May, the Council of Ministers submitted to the parliament a draft
act on amendments of the Health Act. It is expected that by the end of the week the first version of the proposed texts will be voted on in plenary at first
draft bill proposes that the Minister of Healthcare, by the suggestion of the
Chief State Health Inspector, may, in accordance to the degree of danger of
spreading a contagious disease, declare an emergency epidemic situation or
temporary anti-epidemic measures on the territory of the country or a separate
region for the purpose of protecting the life and health of citizens.
The final provisions of the draft act propose amendments of the Act on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, declared by a decision of the National Assembly on the 13 March 2020. Among others the bill includes the following propositions:
- Changing the name of the act to Act on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, declared by resolution of 13 March 2020 by the National Parliament, and on Overcoming the Consequences;
- For a period of two months after the abolishment of the state of emergency enforcements on bank accounts preservation on natural persons and medical establishments shall not be imposed;
- Distrains upon remuneration and pensions, enforcement procedures on medical equipment, as well as setting up an inventory of movable property and real estate that belong to natural persons, except for maintenance obligations, for damages from tort and for claims for remuneration shall also not be levied;
- Upon abolishment of the state of emergency, the introduced restriction on notary proceedings only to urgent will no longer apply;
- Within two months after the abolishment of the state of emergency, the state and local authorities, councils, committees, commissions, including management or control bodies of funds, accounts and others who are not legal persons, to be given the opportunity to hold meetings remotely, while ensuring a direct and virtual participation in compliance with the requirements for quorum and personal voting, or to adopt decisions remotely. The same shall apply to open court hearings, including the proceedings of the Commission for Protection of Competition. It is proposed that the proceedings continue to have the option to be held remotely for up to two months after the abolishment of the state of emergency, while ensuring a direct and virtual participation of the parties and participants in the process / proceedings.
- To extend with two with months after the abolishment of the state of emergency the provided opportunity the relevant public authority, lessor of state or municipal property, to resolve and issue an order to reduce fully or partially exempt the lessee from paying the due amount for leasing or usage of property.
- To keep the simplified regime for purchase and awarding activities related to hygienic materials, medical devices, personal protective equipment and others.These activities, as well as the related transportation services, to be exempted from the application of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act for a period of two months after the abolishment of the state of emergency.
- The provision allowing for the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds to unilaterally amend grant contracts, to award grants under simplified procedural rules, and to transfer sums from one operational program to another, to remain in force for additional two months. The head of the managing authority can terminate a procedure for grant provision by a justified decision with the purpose of securing financing according to the necessity and overcoming the consequences.
- The deadline within which a tour operator shall reimburse a traveller for a tourist trip that has been cancelled due to the state of emergency is extended to two months after abolishment of the state of emergency.
- The term of the Measure 60/40, introduced with the Act on Measures and Action during the State of Emergency, is fixed from the date of imposing the state of emergency to 30 June 2020. The employers who can benefit from the financial support of the measure have to meet the procedural criteria, introduced by Decree No. 55 of the Council of Ministers from 30 March 2020.
- For a period of additional two months after the abolishment of the state of emergency, the employers and appointing authorities, depending on the specific nature of the work and the possibility for securing it, will be able to unilaterally assign working from home to their employees. During this extended period the employers are also allowed to provide ½ of the paid annual leave to an employee without his/her consent.
The final provisions of the draft act propose amendments to a number of acts. Of key importance are the ones proposed in the Labour Code and the Social Security Code, namely:
- It is proposed that when an emergency epidemic
situation is declared by an order of the Minister of Healthcare, employers have the same rights and obligations as those arising from the provisions currently in force during a declared state of emergency, for example the right to unilaterally assign work from home, to suspend work in the whole enterprise or a part of it, to unilaterally implement part-time working hours, the obligation to pay the full remuneration of the employees in the event of suspension of work during the declared emergency epidemic situation, etc.
- The unpaid leave up to 60 working days under Art. 160, para. 1 of the Labour Code used in 2020 of to be considered as years of work experience.
- The period during which the employee was in unpaid leave for up to 60 working days should be counted as contributory service for 2020 under Art. 9, para.2, item 3 of the Social Insurance Code.
- Applications, claims and other documents related to cash benefits, aids and pensions under the Social Insurance Code, submitted by insured persons and pensioners within two months after abolishment of the state of emergency in the relevant territorial division of the National Social Security Institute, are considered as submitted on time.
An entirely new text is proposed, according to which for beach concession the
grantor or the Minister of Tourism can reduce, fully exempt or postpone until
31 December 2020 the payment of concessional or rental payment that is due for 2020 under existing beach concession or lease agreements or under contracts that enter into force in 2020.
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