Prime Minister Ciolacu has changed his mind again on sick leave and blames Parliament

Prime Minister Ciolacu has changed his mind again on sick leave and blames Parliament

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has once again changed his mind regarding sick leave, now agreeing to exempt those with chronic illnesses from paying health insurance contributions (CASS).

The government hastily approved an emergency ordinance on Thursday to exempt individuals on sick leave due to caring for sick children, pregnant women, patients with oncological conditions, and emergency cases from paying CASS.

Today, however, Ciolacu stated that even those with chronic illnesses will be exempt from paying CASS for sick leave.

Explanation: The government made a quick decision because the issue had been delayed in Parliament.


”First of all, we all pay CASS, doctors, you, everyone, everywhere in the world. You can't sustain the healthcare system without health contributions. It's not a tax introduced by Ciolacu, ever since it became a modern state, every country in the world has introduced a health tax.

We made a decision in the government and exempted this tax, in other words, those on maternity leave, caring for sick children, with chronic illnesses, cancer patients, will receive additional income due to this 10% tax exemption,” said Prime Minister Ciolacu, as quoted by

However, those with chronic illnesses are not included in the emergency ordinance adopted by the government on Thursday, so Marcel Ciolacu responded:


”Yes, they will be (..). We made a quick decision because there had been delays in Parliament regarding this legislative act, and we made a decision, there are no issues regarding chronic patients.”

Ciolacu, the vacillating one

Last week, Ciolacu was asked about the fate of the project that eliminates the CASS contribution for sick leave, which was blocked in the Chamber of Deputies after passing the Senate. Here is the dialogue as reported by ProTV:

Marcel Ciolacu: ”First of all, I, as the Government, cannot propose anything, because it is a legislative act, an ordinance that entered Parliament. I would violate a decision of the Constitutional Court. Look, it's very clear. I am firmly convinced that my colleagues in Parliament will make a decision. On the other hand, I don't understand what the overtaxation is about.”


Journalist: It's 10%.

Marcel Ciolacu: ”No, that is a level that everyone, including myself and you, pay 10% to CASS. From income. Sick leaves are income. Right? What I clearly said is that for those with chronic illnesses, for the sick... with cancer, for young mothers, I completely agree that it should be removed. I will speak with Mr. Simonis (President of the Chamber of Deputies - ed.) and we will act very quickly, hopefully this week.”

The next day, the Prime Minister decided to swiftly issue a new emergency ordinance, instead of pushing for the expedited passage of the law in Parliament, which would have completely eliminated CASS for all sick leaves.

Elimination of the sickness tax, blocked in Parliament

Employees on sick leave also pay a 10% health contribution from the allowance received during their sick period.

This measure came into effect on January 1, 2024, and applies even to cancer patients who require time off for periodic treatments.

Until now, employees received 75% of their salary during sick leave.

The Senate eliminated the 10% taxation on sick leave back in February. The law was sent to the Chamber of Deputies, where it got stuck.

The decision for additional taxation comes after last year when Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu expressed dissatisfaction that many employees were abusing sick leaves. He stated that he found medical leave claims worth 6 billion lei in 2023 for reimbursement.

Today, the Prime Minister also addressed the issue.

”Looking at the statistics, we are the sickest nation in the world. If you want me to provide higher incomes to someone who, willingly or unwillingly, catches a cold and stays home for 5 days, I won't do it. To encourage someone who is sick and stays at home to receive 10% more than those who are at work, I won't do it (...) And I will say it despite the risks, because it doesn't seem fair to me for some to work (...) and for us to find solutions to stay home and earn even more than those who work. It seems absurd to me,” emphasized the Prime Minister on Monday morning.

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