The assessment notice issued by the Labour Inspectorate, if not opposed or confirmed by the Regional Committee, is an administrative act, which can become an enforcement order without the assessment being made final, which can be challenged.
With order no. 23744 of 29/07/2022, the Court of Cassation confirmed this, and stated that the warning notice issued by the labour inspectors which became an enforcement order, does not prevent the employer from bringing an action to challenge the assessment.
The case started with a summons served by a worker on the employer company to obtain sums based on an assessment notice issued by the labour inspectorate.
In the opposition proceedings, the Court of Appeal dismissed the worker’s claim based on the fact he signed an agreement with his employer which involved receiving a € 9,000 against the worker knowingly waiving any further employment-related claims.
In upholding the decision of the local Court, the Supreme Court noted that the assessment notice, even after becoming an enforcement order, does not prevent the employer from bringing an action to challenge the assessment.
The Supreme Court mentioned Art. 12 of Legislative Decree no. 124/2004, which is applicable to this case, and stated that, if during supervision the Labour Offices find non-compliance with contractual provisions which gives rise to pecuniary claims in favour of workers, they shall warn the employer to pay the amounts following the investigation.
After the assessment notice has been served on the employer, the latter may initiate an attempt at conciliation at the Provincial Labour Directorate within 30 days and if an agreement is reached, the notice loses its effectiveness.
Alternatively, the employer may lodge an administrative appeal against the assessment notice. Failure to appeal or reject the notice means that it takes effect as an enforcement order but does not preclude the interested party from challenging the existence of a right in court.
On these grounds, the Court of Cassation dismissed the employee’s appeal, confirming that the amount was not due.
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