« Arrière
09.062015

CONTRACTS WITH INCREASED PROTECTION BASED ON SENIORITY AND STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The enactment of the contract with increased protection based on seniority raises interpretation questions regarding the statute of limitations for remuneration due for employment. The Civil Code provisions state that the statute of limitations starts from the day where the right can be exercised, however, in employment relations the employee’s inferior position in relation to the employer has been considered, which would not guarantee the full freedom of exercising the rights during the employment. In other words, the employee would waive his rights due to fear of repercussions. Due to the above, following certain rulings from the Court, in the past the law had created a dual regime for the statute of limitations, differentiating based on the degree of employment “stability”: immediate start for employment guaranteed by real protection, and starting only after termination of employment for employment not backed by this type of protection. Starting with the Fornero Reform, the introduction of the indemnity protection based on article 18 of the Labour Statute had resulted in problems in applying this principle and it was hoped that the Government, Court or law would promptly intervene. This occurred with Italian Legislative Decree 23/2015 for employees hired on or after 7 March 2015, which decreases the real protection which only covers cases where the alleged material fact does not exist and cases of wrongful dismissal. We feel that this additional limitation on the application of real protection will result in application of the principle whereby the dies a quo of the statute of limitations starts from termination of the employment for all types of employment regardless of the protection they are covered by.