According to the Ease of Doing Business Index, Moldova ranks among the world’s easiest countries to start a business. Company registration is fairly easy and – compared to other countries – also quite cheap.
In recent years, the country has seen a strong growth of its service sector which now represents almost one third of the country’s GDP. With low wages and its geographic proximity to Western and Central Europe, the Republic of Moldova is a good place for hiring remote employees.
Both indefinite and fixed-term contracts are possible as long as the duration of the latter doesn’t exceed five years. All employment agreements must be made in writing and should contain at least the following information:
- Identification of both parties
- Date of commencement – and duration
- Job description, duties and responsibilities
- Working hours
- Total number of holidays
- Notice periods for employment termination
Probationary periods in Moldova can last up to 3 months – 6 months for certain positions. For temporary employment agreements, the probation period is limited to 15 days – 30 days for contracts with a duration of more than 6 months.
Working Hours and Breaks
A normal working week is 40 hours with eight daily hours worked Monday to Friday. Unless regulated otherwise by a collective agreement, an employee’s workday mustn’t be longer than 10 hours.
Overtime work is allowed but should not exceed 120 hours per year. The first two hours worked overtime must be paid at a rate of 150 percent of the employee’s normal wages. Any additional hour is subject to double pay.
Payroll in Moldova is run either once or twice per month.
Currently (2021), the minimum wage in Moldova is fixed at MDL 2,935 per month – applies to employees in the private sector.
The first 5 sick days are usually covered by the employer. Sick leave exceeding 5 days is paid by the Moldovan social security agency. A medical certificate is necessary for sick leave of any length.
Although not legally required, it is common practice for employers to offer annual or performance-based bonuses.
Taxes and Social Security Contribution
Employees and employers in Moldova are subject to the following tax and social security contribution rates (rates for 2021):
12% corporate tax rate
20% VAT (standard rate)
Individual income tax rate:
12% fixed rate
24% of employee’s salary:
18% social security
6% pension fund
9% of employee’s salary to health insurance
Moldovan labor law rules that employees must be granted at least 28 paid vacation days per year – please note that this is 28 calendar days, i.e. four weeks. Employees are free to use their paid days off as they please as long as they take at least one holiday period that lasts for more than 14 days. In addition, the country observes 11 public holidays on which employees don’t have to work.
Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave
Maternity leave in Moldova lasts 128 calendar days and can start 10 weeks before the calculated delivery date. In case of multiple births, maternity leave is extended to 26 weeks. During the maternity period, the mother receives an allowance from the Moldovan social security agency.
Fathers are allowed to take 14 days of paternity leave which is fully paid by social security. However, the leave must be taken within the first 8 weeks after the child’s birth.
After the child is born and maternity leave is over, either one of the parents or a close relative can go on a partially paid childcare leave until the child is 3 years old. Further unpaid leave can be taken until the child reaches the age of 4.
Additional Leaves and Benefits
Employer and employee may agree on extra benefits.
In addition to employment termination by default – i.e. in case of a fixed-term contract – resignation and mutual agreement, the employment relationship may be terminated due to one of the following reasons (non-exhaustive list):
- Summary dismissal due to repeated disciplinary offences
- Drug abuse at work
Employers must respect a one or two months’ notice period when terminating an employee – length depending on the reason for termination. No notice is required in case of a summary dismissal. Under certain circumstances, employers may have to get permission from the employee’s workers union. For employees wishing to resign, the notice period is 14 days.
Unless they are terminated for misconduct, Moldovan employees must receive a severance pay equal to one week’s wages for each year of service. If the employee is terminated due to business reasons such as liquidation or redundancy, severance pay is raised to one month’s pay per employment year.
Hiring in Moldova?
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