How can Romanian companies reduce their procurement costs while acting socially responsible

A fiscal facility that few companies in Romania use is the settlement of purchases from authorized protected units.

According to Law no. 448/2006, companies and public institutions with more than 50 employees can use half of the disability tax, due monthly, to make purchases from authorized protected units. Companies that do not use this facility are in one of two situations:

  • have employed persons with disabilities in a percentage of at least 4% of the total number of employees (obligation established by Law 448/226);
  • pay monthly to the state budget an amount representing the minimum gross basic salary in the country multiplied by the number of jobs in which they did not employ people with disabilities; for a company with 50 employees, this means a monthly payment obligation of 4,460 lei.

The purpose of this fiscal facility is to solve a social problem - the socio-professional integration of people with disabilities and ensuring the transition to the free labour market. Unfortunately, many companies misuse this facility when making purchases from phantom protected units, whose actual operating model does not consider the law's social purpose. At the same time, most companies pay the monthly fee due, either because they have information about this facility or how to apply it, although the procedure is effortless.

What are protected units

According to the law, the authorized protected units represent entities under public or private law in which at least three disabled people are employed, which represent at least 30% of the total number of employees, and their cumulative working time represents at least 50% of the total working time of all employees. The products/services that can be marketed within the activity of the authorized protected units must be realized through the own activity of the employed disabled persons, the intermediation being forbidden.

Be aware! There are more and more cases of fraud of the law-protected units that sell intermediary products on the disability tax. Unrealistic turnovers are related to the number of employees and the authorized object of activity. Authorities have already started carrying out checks and suspending permits. There is an official list of authorized protected units on the ANPD website.Still, companies should decide who they work with after a brief analysis of the provider - information they should find on the protected unit's website - how many people with disabilities are employed, the social and economic impact according to the report to be published on the site. The guide for collaboration with protected units, developed by ADV Romania, lists the main criteria that may be useful in making the decision.

UtilDeco - a reliable partner for socially responsible companies

Profit for good - a change in the way we do production and do business.

UtilDeco is a social business founded in 2008 as an employment solution for young people with disabilities, those who come from the child protection system or families with problems.

Since 2008, over 350 companies from all industries, public institutions from all over the country have chosen UtilDeco services and products!

UtilDeco's mission is to provide customized products and services for companies and organizations that decide to play an active role in transforming communities, which understand that socially responsible procurement supports positive impact and economic performance.

  • UtilDeco is the only protected unit in the country that produces textile work equipment, ensuring the entire technological process - making patterns, tailoring, customization and packaging;
  • The document archiving and storage service offered by UtilDeco is the most efficient service of this kind in the Moldova region.

UtilDeco offers a wide range of products and services for companies:

  • Textile work equipment and uniforms
  • Professional digital printing, offset printing, custom and standardized printing services
  • Storage and archiving of documents (digital and physical)
  • External Prevention and Protection Service (SEPP)
  • Premium coffee roaster - Opya - product launched in 2021 that allows the creation and maintenance of jobs for people in vulnerable groups.

UtilDeco is a protected unit that is also authorized as a social insertion enterprise. This means that in addition to the legal provision to employ at least 30% of people with disabilities out of the total number of employees, 90% of the profit must be invested in the social mission of the company, and employees in the vulnerable group must benefit from a package of services. 

UtilDeco's commitment to social impact goes beyond the legal provisions:

  • 19 out of a total of 32 employees are people from vulnerable groups, most of them hard-to-employ people (HIV-positive people, people with locomotor or hearing impairments);
  • The working norm for people with disabilities is 59% (compared to the minimum provision of 50%);
  • 100% of the profit is invested in social programs (compared to the legal provision of 90%
  • The work environment is adapted to various needs - flexible schedule, ramp and elevator for people with locomotor disabilities, providing free transport for these people;
  • Employees in the vulnerable group benefit from a complex package of services - counselling and career guidance, testing native and cognitive skills for a better job match, professional qualification, social and psychological assistance, and housing.

This integrated approach to inclusion has brought the organization numerous national and international recognitions. UtilDeco is a model of good practice offered by the European Commission and, in 2021, took second place at the European Social Economy Awards. Angela Achiței, founder of the social enterprise and president of ADV Romania - the foundation that is the sole partner of the enterprise, took the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2016) award, was nominated in the Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise 2022 and won the award for Performance in social economy campaigns within the Capital Gala “Excellence in Management” 2022.

Acquisitions play a central role in effectively anchoring the social impact within the company. For companies that want to align with the latest trends, strengthen their reputation and create sources of differentiation, collaboration with social inclusion enterprises and ethical protected units can support these goals. In addition, it may mean harmonizing the CSR agenda with the procurement department.

In this presentation video you can learn more about the UtilDeco offer and the social business model.

Interview with UtilDeco co-manager.

2021 Annual Report


Contact details:

UtilDeco Co-manager / Production - Mădălina Sauciuc


UtiDeco Co-manager / Archiving - Irina Isăcilă



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