DLP Insights

Excessive morbidity, discriminatory and retaliatory dismissal where the protected period has not been exceeded (Norme e Tributi Plus Lavoro, 23 December 2022 – Enrico De Luca, Raffaele Di Vuolo)

Categories: DLP Insights, Publications, News, Publications | Tag: Dismissal

23 Dec 2022

In the event of repeated absences – which have not exceeded the limit of the protected period – the onus is on the employer to prove the additional reasons justifying the dismissal.

Dismissal based on an employee’s repeated absences from the workplace on days close to rest days and/or public holidays constitutes an unfair and arbitrary reaction by the employer to the legitimate exercise of the employee’s right to be absent due to illness and, therefore, must be considered discriminatory and retaliatory if the protected period established by the collective agreement has not been exceeded.
This was the conclusion reached by the Court of Naples in its judgment of 14 September 2022 on the basis that the employer may not terminate the relationship before the tolerable absence limit (the so-called ‘protected period’) has been exceeded.
The case before the Court related to the dismissal for just cause of an employee who was repeatedly absent for short periods usually close to rest days, public holidays or holidays. In the company’s opinion, the absences had made his work performance objectively unusable and discontinuous and caused serious and onerous disruption to business organisation.

The Court held that the dismissal was unlawful, referring, first of all, to the legal provision governing the sickness, i.e., Article 2110 of the Italian Civil Code. That legislative provision, in essence, establishes a balance between the employee’s interest in keeping his/her job for a determined period of time and the employer’s interest in not having to bear for an indefinite period of time ‘the repercussions that such absences have on business organisation’. In fact, exceeding the protected period, usually defined by collective agreement, would have the effect of jeopardising the employer’s right to receive consistent and regular services from the worker and, therefore, to satisfy fully the organisational purposes of the business.

The full version can be accessed at Norme e Tributi Plus Lavoro of Il Sole 24 Ore.

More news