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ITALIAN LABOUR REFORM IN A NUTSHELL.

Il Jobs Act in poche parole. Una breve analisi sulle novità introdotte dal “Jobs Act”, dalla nuova disciplina sui licenziamenti alle novità in tema di controlli a distanza. On December 15th the first part of the so called “Jobs Act” was published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (the official journal of record of the Italian government) and […]

Il Jobs Act in poche parole. Una breve analisi sulle novità introdotte dal “Jobs Act”, dalla nuova disciplina sui licenziamenti alle novità in tema di controlli a distanza.
On December 15th the first part of the so called “Jobs Act” was published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (the official journal of record of the Italian government) and hence officially became Law (Law No. 183/2014).
With this new law the “Jobs Act” Italian government has delivered on all of the following themes:
– A review of the current social welfare system in order to ensure uniform protection and streamline wage regulations;
– A review of all different types of employment contracts that are currently in force including self-employed people;
– A review of the procedures and obligations for both citizens and businesses in order to simplify and rationalize the constitution and management of labor relations, in addition to hygiene and safety, at work;
– A review of the regulations governing maternity and working times in order to ensure adequate support for parental care.
– Data protection at work and remote control of employees’ activity
– Assignment of new job and role
In light of the topics that will be more interesting, the main changes have been implemented in the termination costs in the event of unfair/discriminatory/void dismissal and the fixed terms contracts .
Therefore, we would like give you an idea of the new scenario – also respect to the previous scheme – article 18 of Law 300/1970 (which will still be applied to employees already hired before 7.March 2015). This part of the new law, as well as the former, does not apply to Dirigenti (executives).
For the employees hired later than 7.3.2015, here below the new indemnities in the event of unfair dismissal are summarized in the following chart.
Furthermore, one of the most prominent change is the possibility for the employer to avoid all the above risks and offer to the employee – within 60 days from the date of dismissal (deadline for the employee to challenge the dismissal out of Court) – an indemnity quantified as follows:
o 1 month salary for each of service, not lower than 2 months and not higher than 18 months.
o Such sum will not be subject to tax and social security deduction.
This will affect significantly termination costs, blocking the possibility to negotiate highersums as well as to avoid the additional costs of procedure before the Labour Court. Another change regards the procedure before Ministry of Labour mandatorily applied for dismissal for economic reasons (for the company with more than 15 employees).
For the employees hired after new law is in force, the procedure before the Ministry of Labour does not apply any longer. This means that the employer can dismiss the employee immediately without implementing the procedure.
As overall view of the new termination costs, it appears that the new law has the effects to reduce significantly the minimum of indemnity and also to block the maximum of the possible cost of termination as well as to reduce the possibility of reinstatement. Moreover, I wish to recall that also the law ruling the fixed term contracts was recently changed. In fact, the employer can enter into a fixed-term contract in the absence of the specific technical, organizational, production or replacement-related reasons which were required until the reform.
A fixed term contact can be of a maximum duration of 36 months, period which can be divide into 6 different contracts (obviously of maximum. 6 months each). Fixed-term employees may account for no more than 20% of the total headcount, unless collective agreements introduce different rules. Fixed-term contracts entered into to replace employees on leave of absence, to meet seasonal needs, with employees over 55 or for start-up reasons ( and some other specific areas) do not fall within the calculation of the above 20%. The limit is reduced to just one fixed-term employee for employers with less than 6 employees.
In addition the law ruling the control on the working activity (art 4 law 300/70) was also amended.
The law still prohibits the use of instruments and equipment which are specifically aimed at controlling employees and it confirms that those instruments and equipment which are potentially able to monitor employees (E.g. CCTV) are admitted only to the extent they are required to address organizational, production-related or security needs, and
provided that their use is agreed upon with the Work Council or authorized by the Minister of Labor.
Conversely, now the company can use all the devices provided to the employees to carry out their activity to control them ( e.g. mobile phone, lap top, car, tablet etc). However, the employer must duly inform the employee of the possible control. In fact, the employees have to be adequately informed on how instruments must be used and how the employer’s controls can be carried out, in compliance with the data protection legislation.
Employers are now entitled to unilaterally change the employee’s job, to the extent the new role fall within the same contractual level, which is defined by the Collective Bargain Agreement, and category (i.e. dirigente, quadro, clerk, worker) . Therefore employees are not entitled to be assigned to an equivalent job (a job where they continue to use the professional skills set and the specific competence acquired at the time of the change) any longer.
Moreover, employers are also entitled to unilaterally assign lower job to employees if the decision is either on ground of organizational changes also affecting the employee’s position and in the cases which may be established by CBA either at national or company-level. However, the employee is entitled to maintain the previous salary.
Finally, for the specific purpose of safeguarding occupation, allowing the employee to acquire new professional skills, or improving the employee’s life conditions, employer and employee can agree, at any time but at specific venues, on the assignment of lower duties entailing inferior statutory qualification and contractual level, as well as a reduction in salary.