The agreement reached between the parties under the assisted negotiation procedure will be incontrovertible and subject to the same stability regime for conciliation agreements signed under any “protected procedure”, under Art. 2113, fourth paragraph of the Italian Civil Code.

The Reform of the Civil Process, (Legislative Decree 10 October 2022, no. 149 of 10 October 2022, published in the Official Gazette on 17 October) implemented a long-awaited change in the industry. It extended the “assisted negotiation” to labour disputes. From 30 June 2023, this will allow parties who are assisted by lawyers or labour consultants to stipulate final and non-appealable conciliation reports (referred to in jargon as “dead and buried”) without the need to apply to conciliation committees or the authorities under Arts. 410 et seq. of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure.

Assisted negotiation was introduced in civil proceedings in 2014, as an alternative dispute-resolution tool. This will streamline litigation and decongest Court workloads. 

The legislation, before the amendments made by the current reform, explicitly excluded labour disputes from the assisted negotiation’s remit. 

The procedure will start with the parties signing an agreement, as in civil disputes. The signatures must be certified by party lawyers. The parties agree to cooperate in good faith to settle the dispute amicably through the assistance of registered lawyers. 

The agreement includes: (i) the deadline agreed by the parties for the procedure completion, which must be between a month and three months. It may be extended by a further 30 days by agreement between the parties; (ii) the dispute subject matter, which cannot involve inalienable rights. 

The procedure may be initiated by one of the parties, by sending an invitation to stipulate the agreement to the other party. This must include the dispute subject matter and a warning that failure to reply to the invitation within 30 days of its receipt or its refusal may be assessed by the court for costs purposes. 

The agreement reached under assisted negotiation (which, under the changes introduced by Legislative Decree no. 149/2022 may be carried out electronically) signed by the parties and their lawyers, who certify its authenticity and compliance with mandatory public order provisions, shall be final and (like final and non-final rulings and conciliation reports signed in the venues under by Arts. 410 et seq. of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure) enforceable and valid for the registration of a judgement mortgage. 

Continue reading the full version published on Norme e Tributi Plus Lavoro of Il Sole 24 Ore.