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Italy: Amendment to Law on Employment Contracts

(Apr. 21, 2017) On March 17, 2017, new employment legislation entered into effect in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 25 of March 17, 2017, Urgent Provisions for the Repeal of Provisions on Accessory Work as well as for the Amendment of Provisions on Joint Liability in Government Procurement (D. L. No. 25), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) (Mar. 17, 2017), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) The new Decree-Law amends a 2015 decree-law on employment contracts and a 2003 legislative decree on employment.

The Decree-Law repeals articles 48 to 50 of Legislative Decree No. 81 of June 15, 2015, the Organic Law on Employment Contracts and Review of the Regulations on the Issue of Tasks, Pursuant to Article 1, Paragraph 7, of Law No. 183 of December 10, 2014 (G.U. (June 24, 2015), NORMATTIVA (in Italian)).  The repealed provisions contained a definition of “accessory work” applicable to both the public and private sectors, which referred to additional work activities that entitled workers or employees to a maximum extra compensation of €2,000 (about US$2,119) during a calendar year.  (D.L. No. 25, art. 1(1).) Other repealed provisions referred to the obligations of employers and employees for the implementation of accessory work and to employers’ obligations with respect to social security regulations in the case of accessory work.  (Id.) However, accessory work benefits already accruing at the time of entry into effect of the new legislation will be valid and payable until December 31, 2017. (Id. art. 1(2).)

L. No. 25 also amends a legislative decree on employment and the job market, with reference to the liability of employers and entrepreneurs. (Legislative Decree No. 276 of September 10, 2003, Implementation of Delegated Legislation on Employment and the Job Market Referred to in Law No. 30 of February 14, 2003, G.U. (Oct. 9, 2003), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) The amendment eliminates the exception established in article 29 on the joint and several liability of employers and entrepreneurs, along with the contractor and any eventual sub-contractors, for compensation and other benefits owed to workers under the terms of contracts for labor or services. (D.L. No. 25, art. 2(1).)  The exception to the joint and several liability of employers and entrepreneurs consisted of provisions contrary to those set forth in national collective bargaining agreements between nationally representative employers’ and workers’ associations provided that such agreements included methods and procedures to control and verify compliance with existing contracts. (D.L. No. 25, art. 2(1).) D.L. No. 25 also repeals paragraphs two, three, and four of article 29, which dealt with the hiring of new contractors and with the judicial recourses available to contractors arising from infraction of contractual provisions outlined in the other repealed provisions.  (Id.)