Labor laws with profound historical, social and economic
significance have recently been changed by the Italian legislator,
following a lengthy debate aimed at reconciling employee's
protection with access to employment. Through law 92 of June 28,
2012, the newly enacted provisions have been confirmed and are now
final. Here follows a summary of the major changes.
A 20-DAY TERM TO ATTEMPT CONCILIATION FOR ANY
TERMINATION ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EMPLOYER. If a company
employs more than 15 employees, it must first notify the
governmental labor agency (Direzione territoriale del
lavoro) of any termination due to objective reasons, which
within the following 7 days will call a meeting, to be held within
the subsequent 20 days, between the parties aimed at seeking
solutions alternative to the dismissal. Absent a conciliatory
solution within such 20 days, the dismissal may be communicated by
the employer to the employee and will be effective retroactively
from the date of first notification of the dismissal.
LIMITATIONS TO THE RIGHT OF REINSTATEMENT OF THE
EMPLOYEE. Only the employee who was dismissed due to
discriminatory reasons or due to marriage,
paternity or maternity is entitled to be reinstated in its
employment position and obtain a 5- month indemnity. In alternative
to the reinstatement, the employee can opt for an indemnity of 15
HEIGHTENED LIMITATIONS TO COURT'S
DISCRETION. If the facts on which a disciplinary dismissal
is based are found to be nonexisting by a Court or if they should
have been punished with a lesser sanction, the employer
must reinstate the employee and pay an indemnity
not exceeding 12 monthly salaries. In any other cases (e.g., the
grounds of just cause or objective reason are not found), the
dismissal is confirmed and the employee is not
reinstated, but an indemnity between 12 and 24 monthly
payments must be paid.
FASTER COURT PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT
TERMINATION. If the employee judicially challenges his/her
termination, the proceedings will follow a two-phase approach. In
an initial phase, the Court will mandatorily schedule a first
hearing within 40-days from the lodging of the complaint and will
decide on the provisional acceptance or rejection of the claim with
an order issued after a summary ascertainment of the facts. In the
course of a second phase, which only occurs if the order is
challenged by any of the parties, the Court will carry out a more
in-depth assessment of the facts and issue a judgment (subject to
appeal) within 10 days from the discussion hearing.
A NEW PROCEDURE APPLICABLE TO RESIGNATIONS. In
order to avoid the phenomenon of letters of resignation signed in
advance and not truly mirroring the will of the employee, new rules
apply in order to ensure the effectiveness of resignation:
(i) within 5 days from the resignation, the employer must
communicate to a governmental labor office the received
(ii) the resignation becomes effective if it is confirmed at a
trade union or governmental labour office, or if the receipt of the
above communication is signed by the resigning employee;
(iii) if the resigning employee does not perform any of the
steps described above under (ii), within 30 days from the
resignation date the employer must invite in writing the employee
to perform such steps within 7 days from the invitation;
(iv) the resignation is effective if the employee does not
comply with the invitation or if he/she does not revoke the
resignation within the above mentioned 7-day period (note however
that the resignation is not effective if the employer does not
issue the invitation).
INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT? NOT IF 2 OF THESE REQUIREMENTS
APPLY. Independent consultants, having their own VAT
number, will be regarded as having a stable cooperation
relationships (so called, CoCoCo or COllaborazione COordinata e
COntinuativa) or, absent the requirements of CoCoCo, as an
employment relationship, provided that 2 out of the following 3
requirements apply: (i) the duration of the consultancy exceeds 8
months within a single solar year; (ii) the overall compensation
received but the same group of companies exceeds 80% of the total
compensation of the consultant within a single solar year; (iii)
the consultant enjoys a fixed workspace at one of the offices of
the company. Exceptions are made in case of contrary evidence
provided by the company, highly specialized skills acquired through
a significant educational path or considerable practical expertise,
and if the total yearly revenue of the consultant is below
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.
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