On 23 September, Decree Law 144/2022 ( Aiuti-ter (Aid ter) decree) was published on the Official Gazette. The Decree introduced significant changes which benefit workers and established new and different allowances for employees, self-employed workers and other categories. This is additional to the provisions of the Aiuti (Aid) decree (Decree Law 50/2022) and modifies the rules introduced by the Budget Law 2022 on production termination of large companies.
Among the many important changes introduced by the aiuti-ter decree, relocations are the most significant.
Budget Law 2022 (Law no. 234 of December 2021), introduced a new and complex procedure into our legal system, for companies with at least 250 workers. This preserves the employment and production fabric. During business termination or reduction, the employers must initiate a consultation procedure and submit and discuss a plan for limiting the employment and financial fallout, with trade union representatives, the involved regions, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Economic Development and ANPAL.
With the entry into force of the aiuti-ter decree, the government made some restrictive changes to the budget law procedure. The decree requires the reimbursement of public subsidies, grants, and financial aids or advantages by the beneficiary production plants which terminate or downsize their business.
Decree changes analysis.
The “relocation” procedure timeframes were extended.
The period following the consultation procedure commencement was doubled (from 90 to 180 days). During this period any dismissal notified by the employer is null and void.
The period during which the employer and trade unions, regions, ministries of labour and economic development, and ANPAL must discuss the above plan was quadrupled (from 30 to 120 days).
A provision contained in the original rule was removed. This stated that, if a collective dismissal procedure was initiated following the failure to sign the plan, the ordinary duration of the mandatory consultation would have been reduced from 75 to 30 days. With the aiuti-ter decree, any collective dismissal procedure under Law no. 223/91 must be followed.
The penalty for the increased dismissal tax is raised by 500 per cent if the trade unions do not sign the plan.
The regulation introduced an obligation to repay public subsidies received in the previous ten years by production plants subject to layoffs or downsizing and calculated proportionally to the staff reduction percentage. The provision applies if the staff reduction is more than 40 per cent of personnel employed on average in the last year, nationally or locally, or in the department subject to relocation or closure.