The Court of Appeals in Bologna has confirmed the sentence in the first degree – establishing a clear principle: Ryanair has duly paid contributions in Ireland, nothing is owed to INPS.
Bologna, June 14th, 2016 – The Court of Appeals of Bologna has dismissed the appeal brought by the Territorial Directorate of Labour in Bologna and confirmed the judgment of the civil court in Bologna of last September which acknowledged the correctness of Ryanair, the Irish airlines, the number one in Europe for the number of routes covered and for number of passengers carried, which subjected their Italian employees under the Irish social security system.
Ryanair was the subject of an injunction by the Provincial Department of Labour in Bologna, for “unlawfully” employing a number of workers at the Guglielmo Marconi airport during the 2009-2012 period, because they had not given the required notice to the competent authorities (the Center for Employment) in violation of obligations under Italian social security legislation. The alleged infringement, in addition to the failure to communicate the recruitment of workers, was that of not having provided documents, including the social security number of the employees, needed for enrollment in INPS and INAIL.
Ryanair, represented by Sergio Barozzi and Sofia Bargellini of the Italian employment law firm LEXELLENT, argued that ‘in employment contracts the parties (have) freely chosen Irish law as applicable to the relationship and … the place of work of their employees (should be) identified as the aircraft … (belonging) to the Irish State, with the consequent application of the legislation of that country.”
The Tribunal of Bologna, with sentence 21.081, published on September 24th, 2015, sided with Ryanair, deeming that the subject matter is covered by European regulations on social security law and recognizing, according to the Regulation no. 1408 of 1971 on “the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community’, that Irish law is fully applicable to the employment relationship in question. Therefore, the specific communication obligation to the Italian institutions has not been infringed.
The judge thus implicitly held that the obligation not to communicate the intake at the Centre for Employment (which is derived from the Italian social security regulations) is linked to the fact that the concerned workers are covered by the Irish social security system.
In making this argument, the court has referred to previous judgments of the Supreme Court (Supreme Court Sec. U, n. 9517 of 2011 and no. 18509 of 2009), which recognized that in ‘cases of workers (which exert their) activities in an aircraft, the prevalence for the criteria of work must prompt recognition that the work … is mainly carried out on the aircraft … (acknowledging) in those cases the jurisdiction of the State which the aircraft belongs to.”
The Territorial Directorate of Labour appealed against the judgment, requesting the complete revision of the case.
The Court of Appeals in Bologna, last Friday, June 10, 2016, rejected the appeal and upheld the first instance judgment.
The decision is of historical importance: It is the first time in Italy that a higher Court rules on the question of the social security scheme applicable to the employees of Ryanair operating out of Italian airports. The decision is part of a European framework of a similarly orientated judgments.
This article was originally published in Italian – to view the original version click on this LINK.