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Snacks: Digestible Weekly Labour News – Issue 2521 October 2021

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WEEKLY ITALIAN LABOUR UPDATES

"The collective company agreement is very useful to regulate the employees’ training and the career paths, rewarding the best through a mechanism aimed to measure the acquired skills."

Ministerial clarification on mandatory use of Green Passes on land and maritime transport The Ministries of Infrastructure and Health have provided clarifications on the mandatory use of Green Passes on sea and road transport. The main measures are:

Haulage sector
Road hauliers coming from abroad without a valid Green Pass (or overseas equivalent/exemption certifications) are allowed to access the locations for the loading/unloading of their goods, provided that the operations are carried out by other personnel.

Maritime sector

Ships flying the Italian flag, whose port of departure, stopovers or final destination are located within Italy, are considered a place of work pursuant to art. 9 of Legislative Decree 22 April 2021, no. 52. Workers boarding or disembarking such vessels are impacted as follows:

  • workers who boarded a ship before October 15 2021 without a Green Pass (or equivalent) must remain aboard and can only disembark on Italian territory if they can provide a negative Covid test; and
  • workers who board a ship from October 15 to December 31 2021 must have a Green Pass (or equivalent) (i) at the time of boarding; as well as (ii) in the event of disembarkation on Italian territory and subsequent return on board.

Ministry of Transport Circular, 14 October 2021, No. 37420

Business operations can be suspended if 10% of workers irregular
A company’s business operations can be suspended if over 10% of a company’s workforce is made up of so-called “irregular” workers. Previously, a suspension would be ordered only if 20%+ of the workforce was made up of irregular workers. Operations can only be resumed on payment of a fine (amount varies) for each irregular worker. The fine is doubled if the company has already been suspended in the previous five years.
Council of Ministers Decree 15/10/2021

“Cassa Covid” support extended for certain industries
A further 13 weeks of the “Cassa Covid”  salary support scheme have been approved for companies in the hospitality and commercial sectors as well as for craft and journalism related businesses. To be eligible for the extension, a company must have used the previous 28 weeks of support provided for by the original decree (so called, “Decreto Sostegni”). The extra 13 weeks must be used between 1 October and 31 December 2021. Companies in the textile, clothing and leather goods industries can request an additional nine weeks of support available to those that used the 17 weeks previously provided. In all these cases, the use of “Cassa Covid” prevents companies from beginning collective or individual dismissals save for previously permitted reasons  including termination of business activity or bankruptcy, which remain valid.
Council of Ministers Decree 15/10/2021 

Special leave pay adjusted for parents of under 14s
The special leave entitlement for workers (employees and self-employed) with children under 14 in “DAD” (distance learning), testing positive for Covid-19 or in quarantine has been adjusted until  31 December 2021. An employee is now entitled to 50% of  salary while absent from work for the reasons mentioned above. Those with children aged between 14 and 16 in DAD, are permitted to be absent from work but without pay. The sickness benefit for workers in quarantine was also extended until the end of the year.
Council of Ministers Decree 15/10/2021

24-month maximum on using temporary workers  before offering them full-time employment cancelled
The rule that prevented companies from using workers hired on a temporary basis from employment agencies for longer than 24 months before offering them full-time employment has been eliminated (it was originally in place until 31 December 2021)
Council of Ministers Decree 15/10/2021

Dismissal lawful  for faking illness
The Supreme Court found that an employee carrying out alternative work while on sick leave breaches his contractual obligations of diligence and loyalty and is not in good faith. If the alternative work confirms the employee’s illness was faked, he can be lawfully dismissed.
Supreme Court 01/10/2021 No. 26709

No indemnity in lieu of notice if employer waives resigning employee’s notice period
The Supreme Court has stated that an employer who renounces the notice period of a resigning employee is not required to pay him economic indemnity in lieu of said notice. The notice period is binding and the withdrawing party can choose to either continue the working relationship (for the length of notice period) or pay the indemnity in lieu of notice. In this scenario, the non-withdrawing party has a credit right which can be freely waived. Therefore, if the employer, who is the creditor regarding the notice period, waives to use it, the employee is not entitled to claim payment of the indemnity in lieu.
Supreme Court 13/10/2021 No. 27934

Labour Relations Committee can challenge checks
Checks made by officers from the National Labour Inspectorate  concerning employment rules implemented by an employer pursuant to Article 2 of Legislative Decree 81/2015, can be challenged in front of the Labour Relations Committee set up by the Italian Labour Authority. The Committee has no authority to verify the working hours of part-time employees.
National Labour Authority 13/10/2021 No. 1551

Early pre-birth maternity leave rules
Early and compulsory pre-birth maternity leave due to serious pregnancy complications or environmental conditions detrimental to the health of the mother and child begins from the date of Labour Authority approval. Maternity leave can also begin if an employer deems that there are roles a pregnant employee can safely carry out within the business.
National Labour Authority 13/10/2021 No. 1150.

Employer always responsible for accidents at work
The Supreme Court determined employers always have responsibility –in civil proceedings –  when a fatal injury occurs in their workplace, regardless of whether they had delegated health and safety measures to a third party.  As such, an employer cannot use delegation as an excuse for not taking responsibility.
Supreme Court 21/09/2021 n. 25512

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