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Snacks: Digestible Weekly Labour News – Issue 2628 October 2021

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"Ban on economic dismissals will expire on 31 October also for the companies not entitled to CIGO. However, employers how decide not to start redundancies are entitled to use 13 additional weeks of special salary support scheme due to Covid."

New provisions on gender parity approved
Measures approved by the Italian Senate (to be published in the Official Gazette) introduce new provisions to the equal opportunities code, extending the scope of both private and public companies that must regularly produce a report on the difference in working conditions of their male and female employees (including salaries, seniority, retention and hiring figures). The reports will be public and therefore available to trade unions, the Labour Inspectorate, etc. and must be drafted every two years by employers hiring over 50 employees. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to €5,000. Companies that obtain a gender parity certificate will have access to a 1% tax benefit relief amounting to an annual maximum of €50,000.
Bill No. 2418 approved by the Italian Senate on 26/10/2021

Employment agencies responsible for employees they place across EU
Cross-border employee postings can be either inbound or outbound. In the former instance, an employee is sent to Italy under a contract between an employment agency and a company based in another EU country, which then sends them to an Italian company on a service contract. In the reverse case, an employee supplied to an Italian company is then posted to one based in another EU country. The Italian National Inspectorate clarified that, in both cases, the employee is considered employed by the agency that initiated the contractual work relationship who are therefore responsible for ensuring they receive all rights and prerogatives (economic, legal and formal)
National Employment Inspectorate, Circular 19/10/2021 No. 2

Excessive criticism of superiors amounts to insubordination
Excessive criticism aimed at superiors breaches an employee’s obligation to use formal and “correct” language and can undermine the authority of senior and middle managers, as well as negatively affect the reputation of the business. In a case before the Supreme Court, an employee’s criticism exceeded that of “fair criticism” and was considered insubordination with the employee critiquing their superiors in an offensive tone and attributing extremely inappropriate qualities to them.
Supreme Court 13/10/2021 No. 27939

Full indemnity for damages for 65-year-olds at retirement age
Compensation for damages linked to being reinstated at work pursuant to Article 18 of Law 300/1970, should be paid in full even if the employee has reached the age of retirement. Being 65 and meeting retirement conditions allows an employer to withdraw “ad nutum” from the employment contract, but does not allow for automatic termination of the employee’s contract. The Supreme Court deemed, therefore, that reaching retirement age does not excuse an employer from paying the employee damages equal to their monthly salary from the date of their (unlawful) dismissal to that of their reinstatement.
Supreme Court 21/10/2021 No. 29365

Tax-Employment Law Decree in the Official Gazette
Law Decree No. 146/2021 was published in the Official Gazette containing measures approved last week by the Italian Government. The following employment-related provisions are to be introduced:

  • The special salary support scheme (“Cassa Covid”) introduced for businesses negatively impacted by the ongoing ban on dismissals has been extended for 13 weeks, having previously been due to expire on 31 October 2021. The additional support can be used between 1 October and 31 December 2021 providing the employer was eligible to claim (and had done so) the previous 28 weeks of “Cassa Covid” support introduced by Law Decree No. 41/2021 (“Decree Sostegni”). If an employer chooses to use the extra 13 weeks, they cannot initiate individual or collective redundancies during said period;
  • Nine additional weeks of “Cassa Covid” support are available for businesses in the textile, leather, clothing and fur industries, to be used between 1 October and 31 December 2021. Taking advantage of the additional nine weeks supports requires having done so also for the  previous 17 weeks support available to the industries in question. As above, the employer cannot initiate individual or collective redundancies during this period;
  • In cases of quarantine, current sick pay coverage is extended until 31 December 2021;
  • Special leave is provided for vulnerable workers who do not have access to smart working until 31 December 2021;
  • A one-off (“una tantum”) €600 reimbursement for employees in quarantine unable to work remotely has been agreed for all INPS-registered employers without sick leave insurance coverage. The payment that covers 2020 and 2021 will be paid to those employers that previously made sick leave payments themselves;
  • Special parental leave is available to employees with children under 14 in remote learning, quarantined or who have tested positive for Covid-19. Pay during this period of parental leave will be equal to 50% of the employee’s salary with full social security contributions. The same benefits are available to employees who are parents of a child with a severe disability;
  • Parental leave is also available to parents of children aged between 14 and 16 in remote learning, quarantined or have tested positive for Covid-19. However, in these cases, parental leave does not include salary compensation and social security coverage;
  • The provision which allowed agencies to supply their permanent staff on a temporary basis (for up to a maximum of 24 months) until 31 December 2021 has been cancelled.
    Law Decree 21/10/2021 No. 146

Online Green Pass monitoring available
It is now possible for companies with 50+ employees to monitor the latter’s use of their Green Passes through an online service managed by INPS – “GreenPass50+”. The person(s) appointed by the employer to monitor employees’ Green Pass use can have daily access to the portal and monitor the Green Passes of employees in the workplace (smart working employees are excluded). If the system flags that an employee does not have a valid Green Pass they can ask to have one verified through the VerificaC-19 app.
INPS, Message 21/10/2021 No. 3589

Domestic servants and carers without Green Pass to lose accommodation
Domestic servants and other carers that live with the family that they work for will lose their accommodation if they do not have a valid Green Pass. Nor will they be paid or receive any social security contributions as they are deemed to be absent from work without valid justification.
FAQ Italian Government

Excessive overtime causes psycho-physical damage
The Supreme Court found that ‘excessive’ overtime (overtime that has continued far beyond the limits of the law) causes psycho-physiological damage to the affected employee. The court noted that such damage must be distinguished from general health damage (“danno biologico”). Said psycho-physiological damage is deemed to have occurred if the overtime was prolonged excessively,  while the quantification of said damage is calculated based on the number of hours overtime carried out in a specified time period, taking into account the provisions of collective agreements aimed at regulating compensation.
Supreme Court 29/09/2021 No. 26450

Tax assessment  not enough to prove extra contributions owed
The Tribunal of Syracuse found that a request made by INPS for a taxpayer to pay higher contributions cannot rely solely on an assessment by the Tax Agency which deemed they should be paying more tax than declared.  The judge ruled that the tax assessment – whose validity the taxpayer in question  rejects and which remains  a subject of dispute – is not enough on its own to justify the INPS’ demand for increased contributions. Therefore, the INPS’ request was withdrawn.
Tribunal of Siracusa 23/09/2021, Judge Favale