Direct recruitment for the disabled (Il Sole 24 Ore, 7 october 2015)
Article written by Enrico De Luca and Giovanni Iannacchino.
Job Act: The labour reform changes the rules for mandatory employment.
Numerous new measures regarding mandatory employment of people with disabilities were introduced by Legislative Decree 151/2015, which became effective 24 September. The new decree makes significant changes to the Law 68/1999 and is aimed at rationalising and simplifying the laws on employment of the disabled and to enhance assistance and support to people with disabilities in order to facilitate their employment.
The Decree states that the legislation applies the targeted hiring of the disabled with working ability reduced permanently to less than a third due to disease or physical or mental disorder.
In terms of the mandatory number of workers of protected classes, the graduality system will be eliminated starting 1 January 2017. This means the obligation to hire disabled workers for certain employers, including private sector ones who employee between 15 and 35 employees, is no longer subject to new hirings. Therefore, if the legal conditions are met, this obligation is automatic without having to wait for a new hiring.
On the other hand the obligation was introduced to calculate in the portion the workers disabled before being hired if they have a reduction of their working capacity ability than 60%, or with cognitive or mental reduction greater than 45 percent.
In terms of suspensions, exclusions and partial exemptions, there are two significant changes. The first is the total exemption of obligatory employment for private employers and state-controlled companies that employ employees working in jobs that entail the payment of a premium rate for Inail equal to or greater than 60 per mille.
The second innovation is the extension of the automatic territorial compensation to public works employers. Thus the requirement for previous authorisation has been eliminated and the right is granted to compensate excess workers with reductions in the number of disabled people at production units in the same region.
Hiring procedures have also undergone a major restyling. Specifically, it is possible to hire through a direct request or agreement. Consequently, the company will have greater freedom in choosing people.
In order to encourage hiring of the seriously disabled, tax breaks for employers have increased, but this concession will be limited to a period of 36 months. The percentage of the incentive has been raised:
to 70% of the social security taxable base for the disabled with at least 80% reduction of working ability;
to 35% of the social security taxable base for those with a reduction between 69% and 79%;
to 70% of the social security taxable base for the mentally disabled with a reduction greater than 45% (the contribution is extended to 60 months). These incentives will apply to hirings after 1 January 2016.
Lastly, in order to make the system more effective, services for targeted employment will become responsible for maintaining the list of employed disabled, and a specific section called “Targeted hiring database” will be established in active and passive policy databases to collect information on obligated employers and involved workers.