The House of Representatives voted as first chamber of Parliament the legislation initiative of the RMDSZ which would allow employees belonging to different denominations to have days off during their own ecclesiastical holidays.
Easter and the Pentecost are „moving holidays:” in the ecclesiastical practice of western Christianity, which uses the Gregorian calendar the date of Easter varies between the 22nd of March and 25th of April. The Orthodox Church calculates the date of Easter and the following Pentecost according to the older Julian-calendar, which has a 13 day-lap compared to the Gregorian one.
This means that in Romania the Orthodox majority usually does not celebrate these two holidays at the same time as the Catholic or Protestant communities, yet the official days off are given during the Orthodox holidays.
The bill passed in the lower house gives a solution to this issue: people belonging to other denominations then the Orthodox could have days off during their own ecclesiastical holidays. The legislation initiative also points out that if the employer gives leave to the employees during both the Orthodox and the Catholic/Protestant holidays, then one of these dates will have to be recovered some other time as a working day; Labor Code allows only one day off during Easter and one for the Pentecost.
The bill mentions students as well: in majoritarian schools there were situations when unjustified absences were recorded if non Orthodox students did not attend classes during their own religious holidays. The bill proposed by the RMDSZ provides that the structure of the school year and school attendance has to be adjusted keeping in mind their rights as well. The final decision on the initiative will be made by the Senate.
Title image: The Easter and Pentecost is usually not celebrated on the same date by every Christian denomination in Romania, but everyone should be allowed to have a day off