The ‘Employment Decree’ (Italian Decree Law No. 48/2023) was converted into Italian Law No. 85 of 3 July 2023, which introduced important innovations for employers.
Below is an analysis of the main changes introduced in the field of: (i) forward contracts; (ii) staff-leasing contracts; (iii) the right to ‘remote’ working.
As regards fixed-term contracts, the converting law confirms the new grounds that employers shall be required to use in the event that the duration of a fixed-term contract exceeds 12 months (also as a result of extensions or renewals). The new grounds concern:
- the cases provided for by the national collective bargaining agreements referred to in Article 51, Italian Legislative Decree No. 81/2015;
- failing any provision in the national collective bargaining agreement, any technical, organisational or production requirements identified by the parties;
- reasons for replacement.
The converting law also provides for more flexibility regarding renewals. In particular, without prejudice to the maximum time limit for fixed-term contracts (i.e., 24 months), a fixed-term contract can be renewed ‘freely’ within the first 12 months of the relationship’s duration (thus, de facto equating the rules on renewals with those on extensions).
Lastly, it is clarified that only contracts entered into after 5 May 2023 are to be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the twelve months.
Other new features concern the regulation of open-ended staff leasing, for which the converting law of the ‘Employment Decree’ provides for workers hired by the staff-leasing agency with apprenticeship contracts and ‘disadvantaged’ jobs to be excluded from the 20% quantitative limit.
Finally, on the subject of ‘remote working’, the converting law further extends the right to ‘remote working’ for certain categories of workers and, in particular:
- until 30 September 2023 for vulnerable workers suffering from illnesses identified by the Decree of the Italian Ministry of Health of 4 February 2022;
- until 31 December 2023 for workers who are at greater risk of Covid-19 infection due to age or immunodeficiency resulting from cancer-related illnesses or life-saving therapies or, in any case, dual diagnosis;
- until 31 December 2023 for workers who are parents of children of under 14 years of age, provided that the remote working is compatible with the nature of the work and that the other parent does not receive social security benefits or is not working.
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