With its publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (‘Official Gazette’) on October 17, 2022, Legislative Decree No. 149/2022 has extended the possibility of resorting to the assisted negotiation procedure for labor disputes as well. This will enable the parties, with the assistance of lawyers or labor consultants, to sign final and non-appealable conciliation agreements, for all intents comparable to those signed in “protected premise”.
- Labor conciliations no longer only in the so-called “protected premises”
Article 9 of Legislative Decree No. 149/2022 amended Legislative Decree No. 132/2014 by inserting Article 2-ter, which introduces the possibility of assisted negotiation in labor matters as a new and alternative tool for the resolution of disputes arising between employer and employee.
Therefore, based on the provisions of Article 9 of Legislative Decree No. 149/202:
- The parties may rely on assisted negotiation for labor disputes;
- Resorting to assisted negotiation does not constitute a condition for the admissibility of the legal claim;
- the parties must necessarily be assisted by at least one lawyer and may also be assisted by an labor consultant;
- the agreement reached between the parties, within the framework of the assisted negotiation procedure, must be considered non-appealable and benefiting from the same regime of stability provided for conciliation agreements signed in front of one of the so-called “protected premises,” pursuant to Article 2113, paragraph 4, of the Italian Civil Code.
A further provision, pursuant to Article 9 of Legislative Decree No. 142/2022, relates to the burden of one of the two parties to arrange for the agreement to be sent, within ten days, to one of the authorities provided for in Article 76 of Legislative Decree No. 276/2003, in which are included:
- The bilateral authorities established in the relevant local area or at the national level;
- Provincial labor directorates and provinces;
- Public and private universities, exclusively within the framework of collaboration and consulting with tenured labor law professors;
- The Ministry of Labor and Social Policies – General Directorate for the Protection of Working Conditions, exclusively in cases where the employer has its places of work in at least two provinces, even of different regions, or for those employers with only one place of work associated with business organizations that have prepared nationwide schemes of agreements certified by the certification commission established at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies;
- Provincial councils of labor consultants exclusively for employment contracts established in the relevant local area and, in any case, only within the scope of agreements defined between the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies and the National Council of Labor Consultants.
The provisions of Article 9 of Legislative Decree No. 149/2022 allow the employer and employee to settle out-of-court any dispute that has arisen between them, without the need to sign a conciliation report in a protected premise, for example, before the Conciliation Commissions at the Local Labor Inspectorate, or at the trade union, or even at the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards.
This novelty allows the parties to resort to the tool of assisted negotiation if there are claims with reference to any differences in remuneration during the employment relationship, mobbing, or incorrect classification level of the employee.
- Entry into force
According to the provisions of Legislative Decree No. 149/2022, it will be possible to resort to the assisted negotiation procedure in labor matters only from June 30, 2023.
LDP is already organizing a dedicated team to ensure maximum and prompt assistance to clients who need to sign this type of agreement.