NO-POACH PRACTICES UNDER THE PURPOSE OF THE COMPETITION COUNCIL

The Competition Council has for the first time launched an investigation that considers a series of anti-competitive practices on the labor market, known as “no-poach”, belonging to companies active in the sector of motor vehicle production and other related activities in Romania. This investigation started by carrying out inspections at the headquarters and workplaces of the companies in question, in order to collect useful documents to establish or deny the existence of these practices.

The “no-poach” practices assume an understanding between the different competing companies active in this sector, regarding contacting, recruiting and/or hiring people who work and/or have worked within any of them. These can result in the elimination of real competition in terms of attracting qualified/specialized labor, by creating artificial barriers on the labor market, which consist in decreasing the mobility of the labor force by dividing the market, which is prohibited by competition law. The consequence of such practices is maintaining a salary level lower than the real one.

The steps initiated by the Competition Council are thus part of the recent trend of the European competition authorities, as well as the European Commission, to pay more attention to the labor market.

If the Competition Council concludes that the companies in question have violated the competition rules, they risk fines that can amount to 10% of the turnover. In these situations, contact should be made with a lawyer specialized in both competition law and labor disputes.

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