Moldova: Part-Time Jobs for Students & Retirees

A legislative initiative proposing a part-time employment program for students and retirees has been introduced by Maria Lucrețeanu, a PAS deputy.

The program aims to address the labour shortage crisis in Moldova by incentivizing these two demographics to enter the workforce. Under the proposal, participants could work up to 20 hours per week and earn between 4,000-4,500 lei per month.

This initiative, dubbed the "Minijob" reform, would offer tax breaks for both employers and workers during its initial phase. The government would forgo collecting income tax on these earnings, and instead, these contributions would be directed towards the National Health Insurance Company and the National Social Insurance House.

Economic experts believe this reform would revitalise the labour market by increasing the labour pool. However, some academics express concerns that the program could lead to absenteeism among students.

The proposal outlines a flexible work arrangement with fewer hours and proportionally lower wages. Proponents argue that this program, while offering modest wages, would be particularly attractive to retirees and students seeking supplemental income. Additionally, they believe the formalisation of such work would incentivize individuals currently working in the shadow economy to come out of hiding.

The initiative's author, Maria Lucrețeanu, emphasises that the program is designed to encourage both employers to hire these demographics and to combat undeclared work.

While some students find the proposed wages unappealing, particularly in larger cities like Chișinău, the program is still under discussion. Recent public consultations included proposals for creating programs to help workers transition from part-time to full-time positions.

Moldova is drawing inspiration from a similar reform implemented in Germany in 2003. By closely monitoring this program's impact, Moldovan legislators hope to gauge its effectiveness in boosting tax collection and offering necessary protections to these workers. Their primary goal is to integrate students and retirees into the formal workforce and ensure they benefit from employment contracts and social security contributions.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

Eliza Mihalache

Eliza Mihalache


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