Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
Labour and Employment
5.
Dismissals and terminations
5.1
Must a valid reason be given to lawfully terminate an employment contract?
 
Italy
During the probationary period, an employment contract may be terminated without giving a valid reason.

Once the probationary period has ended, an employment contract may be lawfully terminated by the employer only:

  • for just cause – that is, a breach by the employee whose seriousness prevents continuation of the employment relationship, even on a temporary basis (eg, theft of the employer’s goods);
  • on subjective justified grounds – that is, a less serious breach by the employee (eg, unjustified absence from work); or
  • on objective justified grounds which relate to the production, the work organisation or its regular operations (ie, individual redundancies).

Moreover, employers with more than 15 employees are entitled to dismiss employees through a collective dismissal procedure. This applies whenever the employer – due to the reduction, transformation or shutdown of activities – intends to dismiss, within a 120-day term, at least five employees employed at the same production unit or at different production units within the same municipality (ie, collective redundancies).

Employment contracts with executive employees are governed by specific rules set forth by national collective bargaining agreements applicable to this category of employee, which generally provide that their dismissal must be ‘justified’.

Otherwise, employees are entitled to resign from the employment relationship at will, conditional upon compliance with the notice period set forth by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement.

For more information about this answer please contact: from Grimaldi Studio Legale
5.2
Is a minimum notice period required?
 
Italy
Employees are entitled to the notice period specified in the applicable national collective bargaining agreement in case of the following:

  • dismissal notified through a collective dismissal procedure;
  • dismissal on justified grounds, either subjective or objective;
  • dismissal notified based on absence from work due to illness or injury which exceeds the relevant maximum term set forth by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement;
  • dismissal notified based on the employee’s supervening professional unsuitability;
  • termination of the employment relationship due to the employee’s death;
  • resignation for cause;
  • resignation served in certain protected periods (eg, during or after pregnancy, parental leave or adoption); or
  • resignation due to a change in working conditions after a transfer of business.

In these scenarios, the employer is entitled to exempt the employee from working during the notice period and pay him or her (or his or her heirs, in case of death) in lieu instead. This payment must be calculated taking into account the employee’s base annual gross salary, together with any additional monthly salaries provided for by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement, variable compensation paid over the last three years and the value of fringe benefits granted to the employee.

Employees who resign voluntarily must give advance notice whose term is set forth in the applicable national collective bargaining agreement.

For more information about this answer please contact: from Grimaldi Studio Legale
5.3
What rights do employees have when arguing unfair dismissal?
 
Italy
If the dismissal is deemed null and void (eg, if it relies on discriminatory reasons), the employee is entitled to reinstatement and payment of damages equal to at least five months’ salary.

The remedies which apply where a dismissal is found unlawful vary depending on the employee’s qualifications and seniority, as well as on the breach by the employer and its gravity.

For middle managers, white-collar workers and blue-collar workers hired before 7 March 2015, they are as follows:

  • reinstatement and payment of damages of up to 12 months’ salary in case of no misconduct or misconduct which should have been sanctioned other than by dismissal as per the applicable national collective bargaining agreement, or where an individual redundancy has clearly not occurred;
  • payment of damages of between 12 and 24 months’ salary in case of dismissal deemed unlawful for other reasons;
  • payment of damages of between six and 12 months’ salary in case of breach by the employer of rules governing the notification procedure for individual dismissals; and
  • payment of damages of between 2.5 and six months’ salary (to be increased up to 14 months for employees of a certain seniority) if the employer has up to 60 employees overall and up to 15 employees employed in the same production unit or municipality.

For middle managers, white collar workers and blue collar workers hired after 7 March 2015, they are as follows:

  • reinstatement and payment of damages of up to 12 months’ salary if it is directly demonstrated that the misconduct on which the disciplinary dismissal is grounded did not occur;
  • payment of damages of between six and 36 months’ salary if the dismissal is deemed unlawful for other reasons;
  • payment of damages equal to one month’s salary per year of service, within a minimum and maximum threshold of two and 12 months respectively, in case of breach by the employer of rules governing the notification procedure for individual dismissals; and
  • payment of damages of between one and six months’ salary, depending on the seriousness of the breach by the employer, if the employer does not meet the size requirements outlined above.

Executive employees are entitled to payment of a so-called ‘additional indemnity’ established by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement (the greater the executive’s seniority, the higher the amount of the indemnity).

For more information about this answer please contact: from Grimaldi Studio Legale
5.4
What rights, if any, are there to statutory severance pay?
 
Italy
Upon termination of the employment relationship, regardless of the reasons for termination, employees are entitled to the following severance payments:

  • end-of-service allowance, which represents a deferred form of remuneration calculated by adding up, for each year of service, the total inclusive annual remuneration paid to the employee, divided by 13.5. The employee can choose for the end-of-service allowance to be paid:
    • into a specific fund managed by the Italian Social Security Authority (where the employer has 50 employees or fewer, the end-of-service allowance must be set aside in its financial statement and re-evaluated yearly); or
    • into an additional pension fund, either chosen by the employee or, in the absence of such choice, established by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement;
  • indemnity in lieu of accrued and unused holiday and leave, whose duration is set forth by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement; and
  • pro rata additional monthly salaries set forth by the applicable national collective bargaining agreement.
For more information about this answer please contact: from Grimaldi Studio Legale