DLP Insights

Employer bears burden of proof of payment of remuneration

Categories: DLP Insights, Publications, News, Publications | Tag: Dismissal, Court of Cassation

29 May 2024

By order no. 10663 of 19 April 2024, the Italian Court of Cassation stated that the employer bears the burden of proof in proving that remuneration has been properly paid.

The facts of the case

The worker filed an application for summary judgment to obtain an order against the company to pay the amount indicated in the November 2015 pay slip.

In the first instance, the first instance Court found that the payment was due to the worker.

The company appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision, ruling that the employer had not discharged its burden of proof relating to proving in court that the sum had been paid.

The Italian Court of Cassation’s decision

The Italian Court of Cassation – confirming the Court of Appeal decision – preliminarily noted that, once the existence of an employment relationship has been ascertained, the employer is under a strict duty of proof to establish that the remuneration has been paid. The employer can do this by means of the normal documentation i.e., regulatory pay slips bearing the worker’s signature. If the employer cannot prove that it has paid the remuneration due to the employee through pay slips, it must provide appropriate documentation of the relevant payments that it has made in relation to the employee’s individual claims.

According to the Italian Court of Cassation, giving employees at the time of payment of remuneration a statement containing an indication of all the constituent elements of the remuneration does not prove payment where the worker states that it is inconsistent with the remuneration actually paid.

According to the Italian Court of Cassation, the burden falls on the worker only if he/she, after signing the pay slip, alleges that the remuneration indicated in the pay slip is inconsistent with the remuneration paid.

As the present case did not fall within the latter situation, the Italian Court of Cassation rejected the company’s appeal.

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