New regulations on labour contracts in Italy

The Ordinary Supplement no. 34 to Legislative Decree no. 81 of 15 June 2015 was published in Official Gazette no. 144 of 24 June on the organic regulation of labour contracts and the revision of the regulations on duties, enacted in implementation of the provisions of Delegate Law no. 183/14 (the so-called Jobs Act).

The provision came into effect on 25 June 2015. The new features of this provision are summarised below.

Regulation on Duties and Transfers

The employee may be tasked with duties for the same legal level and category and not just equivalent duties. If company restructuring occurs and in the cases identified by the CCNL (national collective labour agreement), the company may task the employee with lower level tasks without, however, modifying his/her level or remuneration (except for additional payments related to the specific methods for performance of the work).

There is also the option of signing, in protected settings, individual agreements to modify the tasks, legal category, level and remuneration in order to maintain employment, acquire different professional skills or improve quality of life. If superior duties are assigned, they shall become final after the period set forth in the contract or, lacking this, after six continuous months, unless otherwise requested by the employee and so long as this does not involve replacing another employee.

In terms of employee transfers, so long as there are proven technical, organisational and production needs that legitimise the transfer, with regard to the invalidation of contrary agreements, the possibility of using the conditions indicated above in terms of assigning lower level tasks is not applicable, notwithstanding that set forth on the individual agreements in protected settings.

Project-based Contracts

The provisions of the Biagi Decree on project-based employment are repealed and, starting on 25 June 2015, these contracts may no longer be used although those still in effect may continue until they expire.

In any case, from 1 January 2016, partnerships that become continuous, organised services for the employer shall be subject to the laws on employment; a stabilisation mechanism will be implemented for consultants and freelancers who have worked for a company.

Partnerships regulated by collective agreements shall remain in effect, signed by comparatively more representative unions on a national level, which provide for specific regulations on economic and regulatory treatment based on the specific production and organisational needs of the sector and a few other types of cooperation.

Overstepping the Partnership with Service

In the case where a partner is an individual, his/her contribution may not consist, even in part, in service. The current contracts remain in effect until their termination.

Fixed-term Employment

No essential amendments were made.

Staff leasing

The scope of application of staff leasing has been extended, eliminating the reasons and setting, at the same time, a percentage limit on the use calculated on the total number of permanent employees that a company may use (20%).

Intermittent Employment

The prior communication method of email or sms for the duration of the service is confirmed.

Auxiliary Employment

The maximum annual amount per employee is increased to €7,000.00 per calendar year and the option to have people who receive integrated services or income support perform these services was reintroduced for up to €3,000.00 per calendar year. A tracking system was also introduced where the business person or professional may acquire vouchers online, first reporting how it will be used, indicating the employee's tax code and the place where the service will be provided within 30 days.

Internships

The regulation on internships by position or diploma was revised and renamed "internships for the professional title and diploma, the secondary higher education diploma and the higher technical specialisation certificate" and the higher training and research internship.

Part-time Employment

The terms and conditions were defined with which, lacking the provisions of the applied CCNL, the employer may ask the employee to perform additional work not exceeding 25% of the weekly hours agreed upon and for which a 15% raise is owed. Overtime is allowed.

The parties may agree to flexible clauses for the change in the work schedule based on the collective contracts. Lacking collective bargaining, certification commissions may be used, stipulating the terms and conditions for the amendments, in compliance with the 25% limit for normal annual service for a total 15% salary raise and increase.

The employee also has the option to request a change to part-time work if necessary due to serious illness or, alternatively, the use of family leave.

Got any questions? Get in touch with our experts in Italy.

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Sonia  Piazzoni
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