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Snacks: Digestible Weekly Labour News – Issue 701 September 2022

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WEEKLY ITALIAN LABOUR UPDATES

"If the transfer of business includes a company in financial crisis, the trade union agreements in certain cases are allowed to modify in pejus the economic and regulatory conditions of the employments. "

Deadline for online communication of smart working agreements postponed until 1 November 2022
The Ministry of Labour has confirmed that the new rules concerning the online communication of smart working agreements will come into force on 1 September 2022 (as of 1 September, there will also be a return to individual written agreements). However, in order to allow employers to adapt and update their information systems, the deadline for phase one of the application process has been moved to 1 November 2022. The new communication obligations (to be fulfilled via an online form) concern new agile working agreements and the extension (as well as amendments) of previous agreements. For existing smart working agreements, the simpler communications requirements in the old rules remains valid. Once fully operational, employers have a five-day period to communicate new smart working agreements, with the Ministry considering the rules on changes to employment relationships set out in Article 4-bis, paragraph 5, Legislative Decree 181/2000 apply.
Communication from the Ministry of Labour 27/08/2022

Compulsory attendance at safety meetings for all competent medical practitioners
The Ministry of Labour has confirmed that qualified doctors must attend scheduled review meetings with their employer. The meetings in question examine risk assessments, verify any accident trends or instances of occupational disease and explore training and information programmes covering health and safety. These meetings take place according to Article 35(1) of Legislative Decree 81/2008 and apply to all healthcare companies with more than 15 employees. The rules state that all relevant doctors attend said meetings, not just those they are assigned as coordinator of, as their purpose is to ensure the necessary conditions are in place for them to perform their duties effectively and safely.
Ministry of Labour, Question No. 1/2022

Dismissal valid without direct notice
Article 2 of Law 604/1966 prescribes a written form of dismissal but does not provide for any particular form of communication beyond this. A case in which an employee was not given a formal written notice of dismissal but had knowledge of their dismissal through the acquisition of an informal copy of the decision was deemed valid by the Supreme Court. It was irrelevant that the copy acquired by the employee did not bear the signature of the writer of the dismissal, because knowledge of the dismissal may occur aliunde by any means making known the employer’s intention to terminate the relationship. In other words, the intention to dismiss can be communicated to the employee indirectly, provided that it is clear.
Supreme Court 05/08/2022 no. 24391

Prohibition on dismissals during pandemic
The prohibition on redundancies introduced during the pandemic emergency phase (Decree-Law 18/2020, art. 46) applies to executives not only in relation to collective redundancies, but also individual dismissals. References to emergency provision for economic dismissals under Law 604/1966 should not be interpreted in a literal sense.
Court of Appeal of Rome No. 2712/2022

Holiday scheduling clashes
If holidays arranged by an employer prevent an employee from scheduling leave at the same time in order to recover from any physical or mental strain, the relevant holiday entitlement must be reinstated. The employer must, in fact, distribute employee holidays in a way that balances company needs with the interests of employees, communicating the period of leave allocated to each one with sufficient notice to allow them to plan their time off. If this requirement is not met, the employee is entitled to have an equivalent period of holiday time restored.
Supreme Court (ord.) 19/08/2022 no. 24977

Disciplinary dismissal unlawful if investigation coincides with working hours
An investigating agency’s inspection cannot be confined to an employee’s work activity but must relate to any unlawful acts that go beyond a mere breach of employee duties. An external investigator cannot investigate actual work activity since it such investigations are reserved to employers. A disciplinary dismissal imposed on an employee as a result of an investigation based on working hour activity is therefore unlawful.
Supreme Court (ord.) 24/08/2022 no. 25287

Expansion agreements also available to non-entrepreneur employers
An expansion agreement may be used by employers who are not, strictly speaking, entrepreneurs. Thus, the scope is broadened to include associations that do not engage in economic activity and social security agencies. The doubt arose from the expression used in Art. 41 of Legislative Decree 148/2015, which refers to numerous beneficiaries as “companies” and not to the broader notion of “employers”. The INPS clarified the reference and confirmed that the number of persons eligible for the expansion agreement, subject to the size requirement of 50 employees, also includes non-entrepreneurial employers.
INPS, Circular 25/07/2022 no. 88

Brawl with colleague results in dismissal
An employee who instigated a quarrel that led to a brawl with their supervisor that resulted in injuries that required medical attention was found by the Court of Catanzaro to have violated their obligations of loyalty and engaged in inexcusable conduct. The employee’s dismissal is, therefore, a measure supported by just cause.
Court of Catanzaro, Judge Leuzzi, 17/05/2022

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