Moldova Rehires Laid-Off Disability Carers

More than 500 personal assistants who were laid off by the Chisinau City Hall have been rehired by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (MMPS).

According to Minister Alexei Buzu, this marks the first stage of a broader initiative. In the second phase, those who experienced salary reductions, along with the remaining assistants, will receive their full pay by the end of May.

"Our current focus is integrating all dismissed personal assistants back into service," Minister Buzu explained. "By month's end, everyone will receive their May salary. A multidisciplinary team at the ministry level is meticulously examining each case individually. Only after a case is reviewed is the employment contract signed. In April, there were discussions regarding 780 dismissed assistants and another 600 who had their salaries slashed by 30 or 50 percent. These latter assistants will be rehired in the next phase."

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, with the support of development partners and donors, provided financial assistance to the approximately 1,200 personal assistants in March. This assistance consisted of a one-time fixed payment of 5,000 lei for each affected assistant.

As a reminder, hundreds of personal assistants in Chisinau, particularly those nearing retirement age, were laid off. The City Hall, citing a lack of funds, announced it would no longer be able to afford their salaries and would not be hiring any new applicants for the program.

The municipality criticised the central government's decision to exclude Chisinau from the "Restart" social assistance reform. Implemented in January 2024, this reform shifted the financial responsibility of the "Personal Assistance" program to the state budget and placed personal assistants under the purview of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.

The central authorities, in turn, argued that both the Chisinau municipality and the Gagauz autonomy, which was also excluded from the program, possess sufficient resources to cover the salaries of personal assistants from their own budgets and state budget transfers designated for specific purposes.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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