Annamaria Pedroni is a Partner in the Milan office of Stanchi Studio Legale.
The Rome Labour Court has issued a decision which extends the ban on individual dismissals due to the COVID-19 pandemic to cover executives. Previously, executives' protection in the event of dismissal was provided by collective agreements. The legislative interpretation provided by this decision reinforces the doubts of constitutional legitimacy that the ban on dismissals due to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised.
Italy has ratified the International Labour Organisation Violence and Harassment Convention, which will have a significant impact on employment law. Employers will have concrete new obligations with respect to a broader range of behaviours, involving a larger number of people and situations. This will affect the regulations that employers must implement internally and their responsibility for health and safety in the workplace (and work-related situations).
As Italy is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the national institutions responsible for occupational safety (mainly the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work and the Labour Inspectorate) have issued rules concerning health and safety in the workplace. Italian companies which have been authorised to reopen must enforce a strict set of regulations in order to safeguard the health and safety of their employees and anyone who enters their workplace during this transitional Phase 2 period.
According to case law, the Italian regulatory system allows employers to appoint private investigators to verify unlawful conduct on the part of their employees. A recent Court of Padua decision offers a useful overview of the circumstances in which this type of action is permitted.
The Supreme Court recently ruled on the scope of reinstatement protection in the event of dismissal for cause provided by Article 3 of the Jobs Act. Despite the rule providing for reinstatement to be linked to the non-existence of disputed material facts, the court considered that reinstatement should occur not only when the material facts of a case did not take place, but also when they are insignificant from a disciplinary perspective.
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a case regarding an employee's violation of the Penal Code after he had resigned. Article 615ter of the code punishes anyone who gains unauthorised access to computer or telecommunications systems protected by security measures or who maintains access against the express or implied permission of the party that has the right to block access to it.
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision regarding the termination of employment for objective reasons. Consistent with previous case law, the decision underlined the substantial prerequisites for early termination for economic reasons – namely, the existence of production and organisational factors which must be evaluated based on facts that were present at the time of the dismissal.
The Supreme Court recently rejected an employee's challenge of dismissal. The employee had invoked Article 4 of Act 300/1970 to complain about his employer's use of remote monitoring without employee consent. However, the court clarified that when an investigation is focused on the protection of a company's assets rather than an employee's fulfilment of obligations, it is outside the scope of the act.
The Supreme Court recently issued two decisions on employee rights in the event of a transfer of an undertaking. The first decision concerned the functional autonomy needed for transferred employees to organise and carry out work independently. The second decision examined the effects that the transfer of a branch of a business deemed to be ineffective has on employee rights.
Parliament recently approved the so-called 'Jobs Act', which instructs the government to enact within six months numerous decrees necessary to bring about significant changes to Italian labour law. Among other things, the law provides for contracts with increased protections for new employees and amends the rules governing the demotion of workers.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policies has issued new guidelines in relation to the recent legislative changes introduced for fixed-term contracts, temporary work administration and apprenticeships. Among other things, the circular clarifies the method for calculating the maximum number of fixed-term contracts that an employer may conclude.
The Supreme Court has issued a noteworthy decision concerning compensation under Article 32 of Law 183/2010 for unlawful fixed-term employment contracts. This decision is particularly relevant, as it affirms that Article 32 ensures that employees hired under an unlawful fixed-term contract are entitled to a permanent employment relationship and compensation.
The Supreme Court has issued its decision in a case involving a municipality that published personal data on its website relating to an employee's absence for having contracted a disease and the existence of judicial proceedings between the parties relating to alleged bullying. Among other things, the decision raises the issue of the extent of privacy protection afforded to an employee's job profile within the organisation.
In four recent decisions the Supreme Court considered employment issues arising from transfers of business. The cases involved, among other things, the dismissal of an employee following a reorganisation, the illlegitimate demotion of a group of workers transferred from one company to another and the quantification of non-pecuniary damage in case of employee demotion.
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision concerning the redundancy notice that employers must submit before laying off employees. The case concerned a company whose redundancy notice merely specified the number of redundant employees and listed their job profiles in general terms. Controversially, the company also noted the employees' eligibility for retirement in the notice.
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision that deals with two specific issues concerning employee demotion and employer 'mobbing' conduct (ie, bullying in the workplace). The decision is particularly relevant, as it excluded employer liability related to mobbing because the employee submitted no evidence of employer misconduct.
The Supreme Court recently issued an important decision that deals with two specific issues: anonymous whistleblowing and the boundaries of an employee's duty of loyalty in case of the employer's alleged illegal conduct. The decision validates the legitimacy of the whistleblowing system, allowing its use in order to collect information about the misconduct, but also underlines the system's limits.
The labour minister recently issued a circular containing practical instructions for the mandatory mediation procedure for dismissals for objective justified reason under the recent labour reform legislation. Failure to comply with these steps may be used against the employer in litigation, so companies are advised to consider them closely.
One of the most innovative changes introduced by the recent Fornero labour reform is a special streamlined procedure for cases relating to appeals against dismissals and issues of employment qualification linked to dismissals. The Milan Labour Court is now dealing with the application of this new procedure. In two recent cases brought by employees, certain procedural issues were addressed differently by judges.
Labour Minister Elsa Fornero's recent reform has introduced important changes regarding dismissals. One of the most debated aspects of the reform is Article 18 of the Workers Statute, the structure of which has been significantly revised. The new structure provides for various consequences regarding different reasons for unfair dismissal.
Recent labour reforms spearheaded by Labour Minister Elsa Fornero have introduced important changes regarding dismissal, so-called 'social safety valves' and flexible working. Among other things, dismissals are now subject to new mandatory procedures, and fixed-term employment agreements may be established with no reason given for the contract term not exceeding 12 months.
The Court of Milan has held that an employer was wrong to impose disciplinary measures on a union leader for carrying out union activities during working hours using his employer's IT systems. The decision is particularly significant because computer metadata was used as evidence to support the claim against the union leader, in an attempt to prove that he carried out union activities during working hours.