Finance minister Eugen Teodorovici said on Friday that Romania’s labour market has a deficit of one million workers, and that the first measure that should be taken is removing the legislative provision that forces employers to pay foreign workers at least the national average salary.

“At least one million people are missing from the Romanian market. I’ve discussed it with the government, with the Labour minister, with the EU Funds minister. The first decision is to eliminate  the provision of a 2010 ordinance that forces business owners to pay the national average wage to each foreign employee. How can you make employers do that when Romanian workers can be paid the minimum wage? At the time it was justified, because unemployment was high and they had to protect the market through this clause. Now it has to be removed from the law as soon as possible. That’s the first step. After that, a higher number of people from outside the country will come to Romania. Let the business owner decide how much to pay them. The state should only observe the market and if there are issues it can offer support, but it shouldn’t intervene directly on the market,” said Teodorovici.

The minister also said that a series of taxes should be eliminated, such as the tax for the visa received by foreign workers. He added that a government should do everything it can to make its people stay in the country. Secondly, it must ensure that those who have left can come back to a better environment if they want to return. Finally, in the case of Romanians who want to stay in other countries, the government should fight so that those states respect Romanian citizens as they would their own.

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