The Italian Law Decree no. 41 of 22.03.2021, so-called Decreto Sostegni (Support Decree): among the other confirmations and novelties, we point out what follows with reference to labor issues
1) Instruments for containing labor cost:
• The Italian Covid Redundancy Fund is confirmed for 13 weeks, to be requested between April 1st and June 30th, 2021;
• The Redundacy Fund by way of derogation and the Wage Subsidies Fund (“FIS”) are confirmed for 28 weeks, from April 1st to December 31st, 2021.
The difference between the various wage subsidies reveals the expectation by the Italian Government that the Industry sector (which benefits from the Covid Redundancy Fund) will fully restart from July and that the Trade and Services sector (which normally benefits from the Redundacy Fund by way of derogation and the FIS) will suffer throughout 2021.
2) What you cannot do:
It is confirmed that until 30.06.2021 it will not be possible neither to dismiss for objective justified reasons nor to commence or reactivate collective dismissals.
This prohibition is extended until October 31st, 2021 for employers who benefit from FIS or Redundancy Fund by way of derogation.
3) What you can do:
The prohibition of dismissal does not apply to:
- workers employed by a contractor, if hired again as a result of a new contractor’s takeover;
- workers employed by a company that has definitively ceased operations or has been liquidated (if there is no provision for any continuation of activity);
- domestic workers, for whom the principle of free withdrawal applies;
- disciplinary dismissals, i.e. just cause dismissals or subjective justified reason dismissals;
- workers who exceed the time of respite (art. 2110 of the Italian Civil Code);
- apprentices at the end of the apprenticeship pursuant to art. 2118 of the Italian Civil Code;
- workers who reach the retirement age;
- professional sportsmen;
- short-term workers (who can be dismissed only for just cause);
- workers on probation.
It is also possible to enter into collective agreements which provide for an incentive to leave, granting the mandatory Unemployment Benefit (“NASPI”).
4) What you can do from July 1st, 2021:
The prohibition of dismissals will no more apply to employers benefiting from the Covid Redundancy Fund.
Industrial companies will no longer benefit from the Covid Redundancy Fund, but they will be able to start restructuring operations or to dismiss redundant workers.
5) What you can do from November 1st, 2021:
Companies in the Trade and Services sector will have the possibility to dismiss redundant staff either through individual dismissals or through collective procedures.
6) What you have to do now:
Analyze, understand, plan the actions that will allow companies to continue staying on the market.
It is not just about waiting for the start of the dismissals, but it is about getting ready for the post-Covid world, which is already here.