Romania's top unemployment benefit is worth 1,700 Eur

Publish date: 21-08-2009
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With a monthly RON 7,078, just short of €1,700, Mircea Ionescu (aged 53) is the Romanian with the highest unemployment benefit. Ionescu headed Romtelecom Timis, where he had a monthly salary of some RON 66,000, or over €15,000. But the company included him in its restructuring program and, as of April, the former manager began to receive unemployment benefits proportional to his income in his last year of activity. If he does not find a job to match his studies and professional experience, Ionescu will continue to receive unemployment aid until July 2010.

Contacted by Business Standard, the best-paid unemployed person in Romania said that he is currently looking for a job. "But it is almost impossible. For communications, the market is dead. You saw that Mister Bedros [Ed. n. - the former manager of Alcatel Romania, who left the company after running this for 18 years) left as well," Ionescu said.

Ionescu worked for 27 years in Romtelecom. He said that he previously had job offers, which he turned down, because these "involved violating the loyalty principle." The former Romtelecom employee added that he has own businesses, companies of which he is a shareholder, and that the crisis has generated huge opportunities. "For example, a private jail. Yes, this is what I would like to do," Ionescu said.

Referring to the employees and managers who do not have enough money to develop their own business, Ionescu advises these to "stay put, because the worst will begin in March, after the elections."

Managers are one of the categories most affected by Romania's soaring jobless rate, caused by the economic recession. The share of laid off managers is expected to rise to 20 percent of the total employees that will be made redundant by year-end. The time necessary for an applicant to find a managerial level job has tripled, to nine months from three, considering that the market provides increasingly fewer management positions. "More and more companies are taking advantage of the current situation to replace their employees, either weak or mediocre ones, or even good ones with better ones. They usually either replace an employee with a better one, who comes on board for the same salary, or with an employee who is just as good but accepts a lower salary," said George Butunoiu, executive search specialist.

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