The New Skills Fund, introduced by the Relaunch Decree and refinanced by the August Decree, is one of the measures foreseen to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic. The Fund, set up at the National Agency for Active Employment Policies (ANPAL), can be accessed by companies that have entered into agreements with trade unions to reschedule working hours to manage the company’s changing organisational and production needs or promote reallocation of workers. In a Decree dated 22 January 2021, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, in agreement with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, extended the deadline for entering into trade union agreements and submitting ANPAL the applications to access the Fund to 30 June 2021. On 17 February 2021, ANPAL published Directorial Decree no.  69, implementing the new deadlines and modifying those for the preliminary investigation phase to allow the completion of activities, including expenditure, by 31 December 2021. There was a great deal of expectation from companies, as the previous deadline to enter such agreements had expired on 31 December. This year, the collective agreements must provide training projects, the number of employees involved and the number of hours of working time allocated to training courses (the maximum limit remains 250 hours).

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