Our expert in Italy details a new form of rapid settlement that has been introduced into the legal system.
The enactment of the Legislative Decree on Increased Protection Open-Ended Contracts has seen regulation on terminations partially revised as per Art. 18 of the Workers' Statute or Law no. 604/66.
It applies only to employees who began work with a company on 7 March 2015 or, in other special cases for example, all workers at a company that had more than 15 employees after 7 March 2015; in the case of an intern, after the training period, after 7 March 2015.
The settlement offer must occur within 60 days from the termination or within the term given to the employee to challenge the employer's termination notice extra-judicially.
In essence, the employer, in order to avoid challenges to the termination, may offer the employee, as settlement, "an amount equal to 1 month of remuneration to calculate the severance pay for each year of service with an amount of no less than two months' remuneration but no more than eighteen months, paid to the employee by cashier's cheque".
This agreement must be drafted in a protected setting. In the case company employees are not covered by the provision of Art. 18, Law no. 300/70 (normally companies with less than 15 employees), the amounts offered shall be halved with the maximum amount not exceeding 6 months' salary.
With the recent note no. 2788/15, the Ministry of Labour has spoken on a new communication requirement for the employer regarding this settlement process.
In fact, it wanted to monitor the trend of this type of settlement in the future and, to do this, it placed a further burden on the employer. Within 5 days of the termination, the company must send the competent Employment Centre the UniLav Employment Termination form using the online platform. Moreover, with these new features, the company will be required to send, within 65 days of the termination (60 days for the procedure plus 5 days to comply) another notice to the Employment Departments specifying whether the settlement occurred.
After reading the regulatory texts, it is not clear whether this additional notice is always required or if it is only required if the settlement takes place, regardless of whether it is completed, and if this settlement must only be opened or must actually be completed within 60 days.
We look forward to receiving clarifications from the Ministry on this point considering the additional notice is subject to pecuniary administration sanctions ranging from €100.00 to €500.00 for each employee involved.
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