Labour Decree: News for companies and employees in Italy
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News: 05 December 2023
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On 4 May 2023, the Legislative Decree no. 48/2023, so-called “Labour Decree”(the “Decree”) was published in the Official Gazette, introducing, with immediate effect, measures to support the income of employees and to revise some institutes of particular interest for companies.
Among the main innovations, we highlight:
Fixed-term contracts and their grounds
The provision redefines the grounds upon which a fixed-term employment contract of a duration exceeding 12 (and in any case not exceeding 24) months can be stipulated. It is, in fact, established that a term exceeding 12 months can be applied only in the following cases:
- in the cases provided for by the collective agreements referred to in article 51 of the Legislative Decree no. 81/2015 (National Collective Bargaining Agreements, Territorial or Company Agreements which are comparatively more representative and the company collective agreements signed by their work councils);
- in the absence of regulation through the aforementioned collective bargaining, in a supplementary way and only until 30 April 2024, for technical, organizational or productive needs identified by the parties; or
- in substitution of other workers.
The Decree provides, until 31 December 2023, for the expansion contracts of groups of companies regulated by article 41 of the Legislative Decree no. 148/2015 stipulated by 31 December 2022, the possibility of remodeling with an integrative agreement at the ministerial level the terminations of the employment relationships 12 months following the original term of the expansion contract itself, to allow for the full implementation of the recovery plans of those groups of companies that employ more than 1000 employees.
Exceptional wage guarantee fund for business crisis and reorganization
The Decree establishes the possibility for the Ministry of Labour to authorise additional periods where the extraordinary wage guarantee fund applies, until 31 December 2023, for those companies that request it in situations of lasting business crisis and reorganization and where they have not been able to fully implement during 2022 the reorganization and restructuring plans originally envisaged for prolonged unavailability of the business premises, for reasons not attributable to them.
Simplification of information obligations
The measure establishes that some of the information obligations (including those related to the various types of leave that the employee can benefit from, notice period, etc.) introduced by the so-called "Transparency Decree" (the Legislative Decree of 27 June 2022, no. 104), can also be fulfilled by referring to the legal or collective bargaining provisions that regulate them. However, it has been clarified that, in this case, the employer is still also required to deliver to the employees electronically or, at least, make available to them the national, territorial and company collective agreements and any company regulations applicable to the employment relationship. Finally, it is also specified that the information given to the employees on the use by the employer of automated decision-making or monitoring systems in relation to different aspects of the relationship (assignment of tasks or duties, surveillance, evaluation, performance and compliance with the contractual obligations of the workers), must be provided only in the presence of systems that are "entirely" automated.
Fringe benefits and corporate welfare
In accordance with what was envisaged for 2022 but only for employees with dependent children, the Decree provides for the increase of the tax exemption threshold for goods and services from EUR 258.23 to EUR 3,000 for the 2023 year only. The new threshold of EUR 3,000, for 2023, also includes the sums paid or reimbursed for the payment of domestic utilities such as water, electricity and gas.