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Hire in Moldova

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Moldova.

Evening view of Chisinau the capital city of Moldova

Moldovan Currency

Moldovan Leu (MDL)

The Capital of Moldova

Chișinău

Time Zone in Moldova

GMT+3

Important Facts About the Country of Moldova

Introduction to Moldova

Moldova, officially recognized as the Republic of Moldova, is positioned in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania and Ukraine. With a landmass covering about 33,846 square kilometers, it is considered one of the smaller European nations. Chișinău, the capital city, serves as the focal point for political, economic, and cultural activities within the country. Moldova is home to a population exceeding 2.6 million individuals.

What to Know about Moldova's Geography

Moldova is a landlocked nation in the northeastern part of the Balkan region in Europe. The capital, Chișinău, is located in the south-central region. The country shares borders with Ukraine to the north, east and south, while Romania lies to the west. The majority of Moldova is situated between the Prut and Dniester rivers, which wind through the region.

Climate in Moldova

Moldova experiences a warm and moderately continental climate, characterized by a prolonged frost-free period, relatively mild winters, notable temperature fluctuations and extended droughts in the southern regions. The average annual temperature ranges from the mid-40s °F (about 8 °C) in the north to the low 50s °F (about 10 °C) in the south. July temperatures typically reach the upper 60s and low 70s °F (about 19 and 23 °C) in the respective regions, while January rarely sees temperatures below the low 20s °F (about −3 °C). The climate exhibits extremes, with recorded lows near −30 °F (about −36 °C) in the north and highs nearing 100 °F (about 41 °C) in the south. Moldova receives variable precipitation, averaging around 20 inches (500 mm) annually, slightly lower in the southern areas. Winter snow cover is typically light and prevailing winds tend to come from the northwest or southeast.

The Culture of Moldova

Moldova, predominantly an Eastern Orthodox country, observes Christian holidays. Different ethnic groups within Moldova adhere to their own customs and culinary traditions. Independence Day on August 27 commemorates Moldova's separation from the Soviet Union. This event is not celebrated in Transdniestria, which retains many Soviet holidays and symbols. Moldovans participate in a calendar marked by planting and harvest fairs with traditional dance, music and folk arts. Notable centers for these cultural activities include the village of Ivancho near Chișinău and the Orheiul Vechi, a restored monastery close to the capital. Chișinău stands out as a musical hub, hosting numerous theaters, nightclubs, discotheques and concert halls.

Religions Observed in Moldova

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a revival has taken place across all churches, as they strive to regain their former significance. The majority of ethnic Moldovans, Russians, Gagauz and Ukrainians identify as Eastern Orthodox Christians. In addition, there are other Christian denominations and smaller communities of Muslims and Jews.
The primarily urban Jewish community settled in present-day Moldova in significant numbers after 1800. However, this population has dwindled due to wars, pogroms, the Holocaust and emigration. Following the establishment of the Moldovan republic, a considerable number of Jews have emigrated to Russia, Ukraine and Israel. Nonreligious individuals comprise less than one-tenth of Moldova's population.

Languages Spoken in Moldova

The constitution designates Romanian as the official language of the country. Around the mid-2000s, it became widely accepted that Moldovan and Romanian were essentially identical languages. Despite this recognition, Moldovan pride in the language remains evident through symbols like the country's national anthem "Limba Noastra" ("Our Language") and the national motto "Limba Noastra-i o Comoara" ("Our Language is a Treasure").

Moldovan Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Moldova

It is required to have a legally registered organizational form within the Republic of Moldova. Forced labor, defined as any work or service imposed upon an individual without their consent, is strictly prohibited. Key employment legislation includes:

  • Labor Code (Law No. 154-XV, 2003) regulates the relationship between employers and employees, addressing contracts, working hours, wages and employee rights to ensure fair labor practices.
  • The Social Insurance Law (Law No. 489-XIV, 1999) oversees Moldova’s social insurance system, including pensions, unemployment benefits and other social protections.
  • The Gender Equality Law (Law No. 5, 2006) aims to eliminate gender discrimination and promote equal opportunities in various areas, including employment.

Employment Contracts in Moldova

Employment agreements should be duplicated and must carry the genuine signatures of both the employer and the employee. However, in the case of remote work employment agreements, it is currently permissible to sign them through the exchange of electronic documents using a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) acknowledged in the EU.

As per Article 56 of the Labor Code, an individual employment contract can be executed with a holographic signature or a qualified advanced electronic signature, provided that both parties agree to conclude it through the exchange of electronic documents. Therefore, electronic means of contract conclusion are considered equivalent to a written agreement.

The individual employment contract should be written in Romanian. However, the language used should be understandable to the employee and the authorities responsible for labor legislation compliance.

Moldova's Contract Terms

The content of the individual employment contract is determined through mutual agreement of the parties, in accordance with prevailing legislation, and encompasses the following aspects:

  • The employee’s name and surname
  • Identifying information of the employer
  • Contract duration
  • Commencement date of the contract
  • Employee’s specialty, profession, qualification and function
  • Duties associated with the position
  • Job-specific risks
  • The designation of the work to be performed, particularly in contracts for a specific work period
  • Employee’s rights and obligations
  • Employer’s rights and obligations
  • Terms of remuneration, covering salary, supplements, bonuses/material aids (if part of the company’s wage system), payment forms and frequency
  • Compensations and allowances, especially for work in difficult, harmful and/or dangerous conditions
  • Workplace (If not fixed, it is mentioned that the employee may have different workplace, and the legal address of the company or the employer’s domicile is specified)
  • Work and rest regime, including the duration of the employee’s day and workweek
  • Applicable trial period
  • Duration of annual leave and conditions for its allocation
  • Social insurance conditions
  • Medical insurance conditions
  • Specific clauses (as applicable)

The individual employment contract may also include other provisions that do not violate existing legislation. It is prohibited to establish any conditions for the employee through the individual employment contract that fall below the standards set by prevailing regulations, collective agreements and collective employment contracts.

Pre-Employment Checks

Employers in Moldova retain the right to seek references from an employee’s previous workplace. However, there are specific exceptions to this rule, and employers can request the presentation of a criminal record only in cases explicitly stipulated by law. An instance of this is with civil servants, wherein the law may explicitly authorize the employer to request a criminal record as a component of the employment procedure.

Moldova's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period

At the start of the individual employment contract, a probationary period of up to 6 months can be set to evaluate an employee’s professional capabilities, as outlined in Article 60. Nonetheless, for unskilled laborers, this probationary period is an exemption and must not exceed 30 calendar days.

Throughout the trial period, the employee maintains all rights and adheres to the obligations specified in labor laws, internal company regulations, as well as both collective and individual labor contracts. An individual employment contract permits only one trial period.

Employees hired under a fixed-term individual employment contract may undergo a trial period that does not exceed:

  • 15 calendar days for contracts lasting between 3 and 6 months
  • 30 calendar days for contracts exceeding 6 months in duration

Under Article 62, certain categories are exempt from being subjected to a trial period, including:

  • Individuals under 18 years old
  • Individuals employed through competitions, as per special laws, unless stated otherwise
  • Individuals transferred from one company to another
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals elected to elective positions
  • Individuals hired under individual employment contracts with a duration of up to 3 months

As per Article 63(2), if the outcome of the probationary period is considered unsatisfactory, the employer must issue a decision to terminate the employee before the probationary period ends, without the requirement to offer severance pay. The employer is not obliged to justify the decision regarding the unsatisfactory trial period outcome. The employee retains the right to challenge the dismissal in court.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Moldova

In general, the standard duration of employees’ working time in the company is capped at 40 hours per week. In exceptional circumstances like a state of emergency, siege, war or a public health emergency, the relevant authorities may permit varied working hours for specific categories of employees.

People with disabilities have their daily working time set according to a medical certificate, within the boundaries of the normal daily working time.

The standard maximum daily working time is 10 hours, based on a 40-hour workweek. However, certain activities, companies, or professions may implement a 12-hour daily working period, followed by a mandatory rest period of at least 24 hours, as agreed upon through collective bargaining.

During the daily work schedule, employees are entitled to a lunch break of at least 30 minutes.

Moldovan Laws Regarding Overtime

Employees can engage in overtime work at the request of the employer for up to 120 hours in a calendar year. In exceptional situations, the duration of overtime work may be extended to 240 hours within one calendar year subject to agreement with employee representatives.

Overtime compensation is provided at a rate of 150% of their regular salary for the initial two hours and at 200% of their regular salary for the subsequent hours worked beyond regular working hours.

Moldova's Requirements Regarding Notice Period

Employees are required to inform their employer in writing of their departure, providing a notice period of at least 14 calendar days. However, executives such as company heads, their deputies and chief accountants are required to provide a longer notice period of one month, beginning from the day following the submission of the resignation request.

Employees can resign with less notice in certain cases such as retirement, disability certification, childcare leave, education enrollment, relocation, childcare for children under 14 or with disabilities, elective position election, job competition elsewhere or employer contract breaches.

Termination

Under Article 81 of the Labor Code, the termination of an individual employment contract can occur on the following grounds:

  • There are unforeseen circumstances that can terminate an individual employment contract, such as the death of the employee or employer, withdrawal of the company’s activity authorization by relevant authorities, etc.
  • The contract can be terminated in writing at any time by mutual agreement of the parties.
  • The employee can notify the employer of a voluntary resignation by submitting a written request at least 14 calendar days in advance.
  • Termination can occur at the employer’s initiative for reasons such as unsatisfactory trial period results, company liquidation, termination of the employer’s activity (individual), staff reduction and repeated violations of work obligations over a year, particularly if the employee has previously faced disciplinary sanctions.

Dismissal based on these grounds is contingent upon specific conditions:

  • The employee undergoes prior evaluation, as per procedures outlined in collective bargaining agreements, collective labor agreements or internal regulations.
  • The employer provides appropriate instructions, a written warning and a reasonable period for the employee to improve his or her performance.

Upon the expiration of the stipulated terms, the employee retains the right to cease working. The employer is required to fully compensate the salary rights owed to the employee and provide necessary documents related to their activity. The employee has a window of seven calendar days following the resignation request to either retract it or submit a new request to revoke the original one.

Dismissal is prohibited when employees are in the following circumstances:

  • Medical leave
  • Annual leave
  • Study leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Partially paid leave for childcare (up to the age of 3)
  • Additional unpaid leave for childcare (from 3 to 4 years old)
  • Leave for caring for a sick family member
  • Leave for caring for a disabled child
  • Fulfillment of state or public obligations
  • Secondment (except in cases of company liquidation)

For dismissals involving union members, the employer must seek the advisory opinion of the trade union body in the company in advance, duly notifying them beforehand. The trade union body must provide its opinion within 10 working days of receiving the notification.

Aside from typical termination situations, the contract of a company head may be terminated for the following reasons:

  • Insolvency under insolvency laws
  • Issuance of a legally justified order or decision by the authorized body or company owner to terminate the contract before its scheduled end
  • The company head retains the right to resign (by providing a written notice period of one month)

Restrictive Covenants

Article 53(1) of Moldova’s Labor Code governs the non-competition clause in employment contracts, outlining the obligations of both parties. The non-competition clause prohibits the employee from engaging in any competitive activities against the employer’s interests or those of a third party after the termination of the individual employment contract. The duration of this restriction is negotiated by both parties and cannot exceed one year.

Throughout the non-competition period, the employer must provide the employee with a monthly allowance. The exact sum is open to negotiation between the parties but must not fall below 50% of the employee’s average monthly salary. Any non-competition clause that entirely prohibits the employee from exercising their profession, as specified by their educational qualifications, is deemed invalid.

The non-competition clause must explicitly state the geographic area to which it applies, the valid activities, the duration of its effect, the monthly non-competition allowance amount and the terms and method of payment.

If the non-competition clause is breached, the employee must reimburse the received allowance and compensate the employer for any resulting damages.

If the non-competition clause does not contain alternative provisions, the employer can unilaterally terminate it by notifying the employee and providing payment equivalent to 3 monthly allowances. The termination notice applies only to future periods. Likewise, if the non-competition clause lacks alternative provisions, the employee can terminate it by providing written notification if the employer delays payment of the allowance by at least one month.

Severance Pay in Moldova

Severance pay is not required as per Moldova’s Labor Code.

If the individual employment contract with the head of the company is terminated without any culpable actions or inactions, the head is given one month’s advance written notice. Additionally, compensation is provided if the contract is terminated before its scheduled expiration, with the minimum amount set at 3 times the average monthly salary. The exact compensation must be specified in the individual employment contract.

Fixed Term Contacts for Moldovan Employees

An individual fixed-term employment contract cannot extend beyond five years, as stated in Article 54(2). In specific instances, the option to enter into a fixed-term employment contract is limited to a maximum of three consecutive agreements between the same parties, totaling no more than 60 months. Successive fixed-term agreements are allowed if there is a gap of less than 3 months between them.

An individual labor contract with fixed terms, as per Article 54(2), is allowed for temporary work in specific situations. These include situations such as when an employee’s contract is temporarily suspended (excluding strikes), short-term assignments lasting up to two months, seasonal work due to natural conditions, temporary assignments abroad, probation or vocational training at another company, daytime education, retirees for up to two years, scientific workers selected through competition, elective positions in public bodies or organizations, enterprise heads and managers, unemployed individuals engaged in paid public work, task-based employment, creative workers in art and culture, and workers of religious associations.

Data Protection

Employers in Moldova must adhere to legal requirements, ensuring personal data is used only for legitimate employment-related purposes such as recruitment, training and safety. The guidelines prohibit the disclosure of sensitive information without written consent and emphasize the need for confidentiality. Employees have the right to access and correct their personal data, appoint representatives for data protection and seek legal recourse for any violations.

Moldova is not a member of the European Union (EU), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not directly enforced in Moldova.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Moldova

Personal Income Tax in Moldova

The employer withholds 12% from the employee’s employment-related income, which includes not only the base salary but also benefits in kind. Examples of benefits in kind include meal tickets (if the value exceeds MDL 70), personal costs covered by the employer and the cancellation of employee’s debts.

The taxable income is calculated as the gross income, excluding:

  • Health insurance contributions
  • Personal allowance granted for the current month or other types of allowances (if any)

Social Security in Moldova

Types of Contribution Contribution rate % (by employer) Contribution rate % (by employee)
Social Security 24%
Health insurance 9%

The employer bears the cost of mandatory social security contributions at a rate of 24%. These contributions are applied to the employee’s gross salary and any other forms of remuneration.

The employee is responsible for a mandatory health insurance contribution at a rate of 9%. This contribution is applied to the employee’s gross salary and other forms of remuneration.

Under the public social insurance system (Article 5 of Law no. 289/2004), insured people are entitled to various benefits including:

  • Compensation for temporary incapacity due to common illnesses or accidents not related to work
  • Allowance for disease prevention (quarantine)
  • Rehabilitation benefit for regaining working ability
  • Maternity allowance
  • Allowance for raising a child up to the age of 3
  • Caregiver allowance for taking care of a sick child
  • Death benefit

Compensation for temporary inability to work (outlined in Article 4 of Law no. 289/2004) resulting from common illnesses or accidents unrelated to work is disbursed in the following manner:

  • The first five calendar days are paid by the employer, to a maximum of 15 cumulative days in a calendar year.
  • For the unemployed, the allowance is paid from the first day from the state social insurance budget.
  • On the sixth calendar day onwards (or after the 15 cumulative days), the allowance is paid from the state social insurance budget.

Important Information for Moldovan Employees

Salary Payment

An employee’s salary is paid in Moldovan Leu, the national currency, by default. If the employee works abroad, the salary can be paid in the currency specified in the individual employment contract. The parties in the individual employment contract can agree on the salary amount in foreign currency, with payment in the national currency at an exchange rate agreed upon by both parties. The agreed exchange rate must not fall below the official exchange rate of the Moldovan Leu established by the National Bank of Moldova on the date of payment.

Salary payment can be transferred to the employee’s account at a payment service provider, with the respective services paid from the employer’s account. Payment of wages in kind is prohibited in Moldova.

Timesheets & Record Keeping

The employer is responsible for maintaining a record of each employee’s working hours. This record should encompass regular working hours, overtime work as well as work performed on rest days and non-working public holidays. The method of record-keeping should adhere to the guidelines outlined in relevant regulations or employment laws.

Annual Leave

An employee working under an individual employment contract has the right to annual paid vacation of at least 28 calendar days, which excludes non-working holidays. The right to annual leave cannot be assigned, waived or limited by any agreement.

Unused annual leave does not expire. Employers in Moldova must compensate employees for all days of unused leave, especially upon termination of employment and, in certain cases, during the suspension of an employment agreement.

Sick Leave

Sick leave is granted based on a medical leave certificate that verifies the employee’s inability to work due to illness or health-related reasons. Sick leave is subject to a maximum limit of 180 days per calendar year.

Sick leave may be extended by an additional 30 days in severe or critical cases, allowing for a maximum total of up to 210 days.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Women employees, women apprentices and wives in the care of employees are entitled to maternity holidays. Maternity holidays include prenatal leave with a duration of 70 calendar days and postnatal leave with a duration of 56 calendar days (extended to 70 days in cases of complicated births or births of two or more children). Grants are provided during maternity leave.

Following maternity leave, employees can apply for partially paid childcare leave until the child reaches the age of 3. The grant for this period is paid from the state social insurance budget.

Employees are required to notify the employer in writing at least 15 business days in advance if they intend to return earlier from partially paid childcare leave or additional unpaid childcare leave.

Since September 1, 2022, new provisions for parental leave have been implemented:

  • Partial childcare leave can be granted to one of the parents, one of the grandparents, another relative directly caring for the child or the guardian.
  • Both parents have the option to use this leave alternatively and in parts, without overlap, within 30 days of the request.

Paternity Leave

Husbands of women on maternity leave are entitled to annual paid holidays upon their written application. These holidays can be taken simultaneously with the holidays of their wives who are on maternity leave.

The partially paid holiday on childcare is not limited to the parents but can also be utilized by caregivers, including the father of the child, grandmother, grandfather or other relatives directly involved in caring for the child.

Caregivers, including the father of the child, grandmother, grandfather or other relatives, can apply for additional unpaid holiday for child nursing. This additional unpaid holiday applies to nursing a child between the ages of 3 to 6 years.

Adoption Leave

Employees who adopt a newborn child directly from the maternity hospital or establish guardianship over the child are entitled to a paid holiday. This paid holiday lasts from the date of adoption (or establishment of guardianship) until 56 calendar days following the child’s birth. If multiple children are adopted simultaneously, the paid holiday duration extends to 70 calendar days.

Employees, under their written application, are eligible for a partially paid holiday on child nursing. This partially paid holiday on child nursing is granted until the child reaches the age of 3. Grants for these holidays are paid from the budget of the state social insurance.

Employees have the option to request, in writing, an additional unpaid holiday for child nursing. This leave is applicable for caring for a child aged 3 to 6 years.

Other Leave

Employees, upon their written application and with the employer’s consent, can take unpaid leave of up to 120 calendar days.

Women who have two or more children under the age of 14 (or a child with a disability under the age of 16) and single parents who are not married and have one child of the same age are granted special annual holidays. These holidays are granted under the written application of eligible individuals. The holiday duration is not less than 14 calendar days. This special holiday can be attached to the annual paid holiday or used separately, either in full or in parts, during agreed-upon periods with the employer.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Moldova

General Information

Citizens of certain countries are required to apply for and obtain a visa to enter, exit or travel through Moldova. The visa application process typically takes about one month.

Foreign citizens intending to work and stay in Moldova must obtain residence documents, including work and residence permits. The application process for residence documents takes approximately one month.

EU citizens enjoy privileged status for residence in Moldova for work purposes, as stipulated in the 2014 Association Agreement between the European Union and Moldova. This legislation simplifies the residency procedure for executive officers, temporarily transferred employees and others.

When an employee is assigned to work abroad, the employer must provide specific information, including the duration of work, currency/method of payment, compensation/benefits, insurance conditions, accommodation arrangements and travel details.

Citizens of the Republic of Moldova, foreign citizens and stateless persons can be engaged in individual employment contracts. The employment of foreign citizens in Moldova is subject to the provisions of labor migration legislation and applicable international treaties.

There are no distinctions between the employment of foreign nationals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries and those from non-EEA countries.

Public Holidays Recognized by Moldova in 2024

  Occasion Date
1. New Year Day January 1
2. Orthodox Christmas Days January 7 – 8
3. International Women’s Day March 8
4. May Day (International Solidarity Day of Workers) May 1
5. Easter May 5 – 6
6. Victory Day May 9
7. The second Monday after Easter (Memorial Easter) May 13
8. International Children’s Day June 1
9. Day of Republic (Independence Day) August 27
10. “Limba Noastra” (Romanian Language Day) August 31
11. Christmas Day December 25

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