Littler Global Guide - Italy - Q2 2022

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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Welfare for Employees 2022

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler Italy

The government enacted Law Decree No. 50/2022, which provides a one-time payment of EUR 200 for employees hired on an open-ended or fixed-term basis (including those with part-time working hours). This benefit is granted to employees who receive a taxable salary not exceeding EUR 2,692 and who have benefited from the 0.8% exemption on the monthly social contributions due to the INPS (National Institute for Social Security Contributions). Employers will issue the payment in July 2022, unless the employee declares that the allowance would not be beneficial.

The allowance is designed to supplement family incomes and reserved for individuals who meet employment and income requirements. Additionally, the bonus is payable to employees only once, even if they hold more than one employment relationship. It is not transferable nor does it constitute income for tax and social security purposes. The employer can carry over this amount when paying social security contributions.

Personnel Supply Services in Italy

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler Italy

In Italy, the supply of personnel in favor of third parties can be legitimately undertaken only by agencies authorized by the Ministry of Labor (so-called agenzie per il lavoro or agenzie di somministrazione) and subject to a series of strict guarantees provided by law and by the national collective agreements applied to the agency and to the “end client” (so-called utilizzatore). The peculiarity of this three-party relationship is that there are two contractual relationships: one between the agency and the leased employee (which is the actual employment relationship), and the other between the agency and the end client, which is a pure business relationship. The agency may hire the leased employee either on an open-ended employment contract (subject to the ordinary rules) or on a fixed-term basis. The fixed-term employment relationship is again subject to the ordinary discipline of the fixed-term contract with the exception of certain provisions: it is subject, among others, to the duration limits that are indicated by law and by the more common NCLA applied by the agencies (NCLA for Personnel Leasing Agencies). This NCLA provides that the leased employee may not work in favor of the same end client for more than 24 months (unless other terms are provided by collective agreements), considering only for the work performance of tasks of the same level and legal category.

Law No. 51/2002 of May 2022 introduced an important change in the regulation of personnel leasing, extending until June 30, 2024, the possibility for agencies to employ leased employees hired on an open-ended basis on temporary assignments with the end client for periods exceeding 24 months, even if not continuous. Of utmost importance is that the agency notifies the end client of the existence of the open-ended employment relationship between the agency and the employee.

Periodic Report on Gender Equality in the Workplace

New Order or Decree

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler Italy

Within the implementation of Article No. 46 of the Gender Equal Opportunity Code (so-called Codice per le pari opportunità), the Interministerial Decree of March 29, 2022, (published in the Official Gazette in April 2022), defines the procedures for public and private companies with more than 50 employees to draw a biennial report on gender equality in the workplace. The report must be submitted electronically through the new software available on the Labor Services website, which is operational as of June 23, 2022. For the 2020-2021 biennium, the submission deadline is September 30, 2022. For subsequent years, the deadline will be April 30 of the year following the end of each biennium.

Failure to submit the report - even after a solicitation for regularization by the competent Labor Inspectorate - results in the application of pecuniary administrative fines; if the noncompliance continues for more than 12 months, any social contribution benefits enjoyed by the company are suspended for one year. The National Labor Inspectorate verifies the truthfulness and completeness of the reports, and in case of a false or incomplete report, a fine of EUR 1,000 to EUR 5,000 will be applied.

Dismissal for Objective Reasons

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler Italy

The Constitutional Court in its decision No. 125/2022, published in the Official Gazette in May 2022, declared specific language in Law no. 300/1970 to be unconstitutional. As a result, the word “manifest” as an objective reason for dismissal is expunged from the law. This decision applies to actions brought by employees hired before March 7, 2015, where the workforce consists of more than 15 employees.

In Italy, dismissals that are based on justified objective reasons, such as change in production activity or work organization, are lawful if the employer provides the relevant evidence. Under the old language of the law, a court could find the dismissal to be unlawful – and order remedies, such as reinstatement or indemnity – if there was a “manifest lack of existence” of the objective reasons for the dismissal. For the nonexistence to be “manifest,” it had to be evident, self-expressed, and incontrovertible. By removing the requirement for the “lack of existence” to be “manifest,” the Constitutional Court’s decision makes it easier for dismissed employees to meet a lower standard of proof to be reinstated to the employment.

COVID-19 at Workplace: The Latest News

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler Italy

On June 30, 2022, the social parties updated the Protocol for the management of the COVID-19 emergency in the workplace. The protocol provides various key points, including: (i) employer’s informational duties to manage COVID-19 risks in the workplace and any measures that can be applied; (ii) access to the workplace can be conditioned on the control of body temperature, always in full compliance with the data protection laws and regulations; (iii) the obligation to ensure adequate cleanliness in corporate premises; (iv) the obligation to comply with hygienic precautions within the workplace, such as hand cleaning; (v) although masks are no longer mandatory in indoor places, with the exception of some areas, the employer must still ensure their availability; (vi) health surveillance must continue to be conducted by the company doctor in cooperation with the employer and other professionals provided for in the H&S workplace legislation; (vii) agile work (i.e., smart working) remains a strongly recommended instrument for the containment of the spread of the virus.

In this regard, Law No. 52/2022, published in May 2022, extended the so-called simplified “smart working” until August 31, 2022.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.