On 23 December 2017, a Decree of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of the Public Administration was published. Such a Decree rules the redundancy process of the employees of the companies controlled by the State.

With the publication of the Decree, the obligation not to hire new employees by means of an open-term employment relationship has entered into force. New employment relationships with an open-term employment contract can be entered into only subject to a previous and authorized checking of the absence of similar professional roles included in the lists managed by the Regions up to 31 March 2018 and, subsequently, by the ANPAL (National Agency for Labour Active Politics).

The Decree introduced the terms and timing to check and communicate any eventual redundancy and compile the list including the redundancy employees. However, such terms were already expired at the moment of the publication of the Decree.

Please find herein below the main obligations:

a) By and not later than 30 September 2017, the companies controlled by the State should have carried out the checking of the personnel, also pursuant to the revision processes provided by Article 24 of Legislative Decree no. 175/2016 (Unique Act for controlled companies). After such checking was completed, the relevant companies identify and declare, within 60 days (i.e., the relevant date should have been 30 November 2017), the redundancy of personnel;

b) By and not later than 10 December 2017, the companies controlled by the State should have communicated the redundancy of personnel to the unions, as well as to the category associations;

c) By and not later than 20 December 2017, the companies should have communicated the redundant employees to the relevant Region, subject to the consent of such employees. The communication contains the employees' data and the relevant professional profiles, as well as the description of the professional background and the reasons of the redundancy. The communication should be sent by means of an electronic system managed by the ANPAL. Even in this case, the relevant term was already expired at the moment of publication of the Decree. Moreover, it seems that the ANPAL has not implemented the relevant electronic system yet. Therefore, the relevant companies can use an ordinary email to be sent to the competent regional offices, in order to communicate the redundancy, with the consent of the employee to the processing of his/her personal data.

The redundant employees are included in the lists when they work for the relevant company and still when dismissed for dismissal for objective justified reasons.

The employee is cancelled for dismissal for any other reasons than for objective justified reasons, and in the event he/she has a new employment relationship, even if it is a fixed term employment contract, not longer than 6 months.

Having said that, considering that the relevant terms were already expired at the moment of publication of the Decree (23 December 2017), there are strong doubts concerning the modalities of checking and management of the redundancy of personnel.

Notwithstanding the Unique Act for controlled companies has not been written in a very clear way, we deem that the general checking of the personnel should have been carried out in any case within 30 September 2017, even though the modalities were not clarified yet. However, the 60-day term in order to declare the redundancy, provided only by the Decree, should run as of the entrance into force of the Decree (i.e., 8 January 2018, such as 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette), and, therefore, granting 60 days starting from 8 January 2018 for the declaration of the redundancy.

Once the redundancy has been communicated, the other terms provided by the Decree in December 2017 (i.e., communication to the unions, to Regions and, then, to the ANPAL) must be carried out in a subsequent period.

We hope the Legislator will finally clarify the terms for the abovementioned obligations.

The ratio and scope of these new redundancy processes is (i) for the unions to be able to control the redundancy before the dismissal of the relevant employees, even if there is not a formal consultation procedure with the unions to carry on, and (ii) for the relevant Body (i.e., Region, Ministry and ANPAL) to allow the mobility of personnel among the companies controlled by the State, before hiring new employees with an open-term employment contract.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.