FIXED-TERM CONTRACTS – NEWS
Between the end of last April and the first half of May, 2 regulatory measures proposed some important changes in terms of fixed-term contracts; these are the Law converting Decree Law 18/2020, so-called Cura Italia, and the new Relaunch Decree, Decree Law 34/2020.
Below are the main ideas.
News from D.L. Cura Italia
The Law converting the Italian Care Decree introduced article 19-bis from scratch, opening some exceptions to the regulation of the contractual type, in 2018 revised in many aspects by the so-called Dignity Decree, in an attempt to offer a balance between the granting of emergency social shock absorbers and the simultaneous need for flexibility of companies.
Employers eligible for such derogations are identified in those who have and are using one of the various forms of emergency wage subsidies provided for by Decree 18/2020 (causal COVID-19). They are offered, within the time limits regarding the use of the social shock absorber, the following exceptions regarding the extension or renewal of the term contract, also in administration:
- deactivation of the ban on concluding a contract of the type undergoing the redundancy fund, specifying how in this period (causal COVID-19) extensions or renewals of fixed-term contracts can be carried out by the company;
- deactivation of the necessary contractual detachment periods, 10 or 20 days, in the case of renewals in the presence of COVID-19 redundancy fund.
News from the D.L. Relaunch
|The Relaunch Decree, on the other hand, by means of Article 93, allows, in order to deal with the restart of activities as a result of the epidemiological emergency by COVID-19, that it is possible to renew or extend the fixed-term employment contracts in place on 23 February 2020, until 30 August 2020, even without the application of the causes where normally due.|
It should be noted that this is a temporary derogation, expiring on 30 August, from the provisions of current legislation on the need for reasons for cases of extension or renewal of fixed-term contracts; this derogation is granted, in this case, not only for employers involved in the use of wage subsidies, but for any employer.
There are some interpretative aspects that will have to be dissolved, or perhaps settled during the conversion into law: think of the renewals of short-term contracts that expired recently, therefore not in existence on February 23, 2020, but that would like to be renewed; or the way in which the date of August 30, 2020 should be evaluated, i.e. whether as the last expiry date of an acausal agreement or as the last date for its stipulation.
In the new temporary regulatory maze on futures contracts, we will therefore have to move very cautiously.
PERMITS AND PAID LEAVE – NEWS OF THE RELAUNCH DECREE
Disabled assistance permits (Law 104/1992)
As you will recall, Article 24, Law Decree 18/2020, provided that the 3 days of paid leave, covered by imputed contributions, granted to the worker to assist a family member with disabilities (ex Article 33, paragraph 3, Law 104/1992), were increased by a further 12 days in total, usable in March and April.
The new Decree Law 34/2020, pursuant to Article 73, provides for an additional total of 12 days to be used in May and June 2020.
Also in this case, Article 23, Decree Law 18/2020, had provided, for the year 2020 and from 5 March last, a period of continuous or fractioned leave, in any case not exceeding 15 days, for parents employed in the private sector in relation to the care of children not older than 12 years. An indemnity equal to 50% of the salary, calculated in accordance with article 23, Legislative Decree 151/2001, was paid with notional contribution coverage.
The new Legislative Decree 34/2020, in article 72, extends the duration of this period of leave. It is, in fact, provided that for the period from 5 March to 31 July 2020, on a continuous or fractioned basis, parents employed in the private sector are entitled to a leave not exceeding 30 days for the care of children not older than 12 years. An indemnity equal to 50% of the salary, calculated in accordance with article 23, Legislative Decree 151/2001, is paid. The above periods are covered by notional contributions.
It is recalled that any periods of parental leave (ex Articles 32 and 33, D.Lgs. 151/2001), taken by parents during the period of suspension, are converted into the special leave referred to above, with entitlement to the established allowance, and will not be counted or compensated as parental leave.
In addition to the above, parents who are employed in the private sector, with children under the age of 16 (previously this rule was provided for parents with minor children between the ages of 12 and 16 years) are in any case entitled to abstain from work, without payment of compensation or recognition of imputed contributions, but with a ban on dismissal and the right to remain in employment, for the duration of the period of suspension of childhood education services and teaching activities in schools of all levels. This is on condition that there is no other parent in the household in receipt of income support instruments in the event of suspension or cessation of work or that there is no other non-working parent.
Working parents enrolled exclusively in the Separate Administration, for the period from 5 March to 31 July 2020, are also entitled to a specific leave for children not older than 12 years of age, for which an allowance is paid, for each eligible day, equal to 50% of 1/365 of income, identified according to the calculation basis used to determine the maternity allowance.
The same indemnity is extended to self-employed parents registered with INPS and is commensurate, for each eligible day, with 50% of the conventional daily salary established annually by law, depending on the type of self-employed work performed. Both parents shall be granted leave of 30 days alternately, for an assumed total of 30 days, and shall be subject to the condition that there is no other parent in the household in receipt of income support instruments in the event of suspension or cessation of employment or other unemployed or non-working parent.
As an alternative to the leave described above, for the same beneficiary employees, or for those enrolled exclusively in the Separate Account or an autonomous Inps Management, there is the possibility of choosing to pay one or more bonuses for the purchase of baby-sitting services up to a total maximum limit of €1,200, to be used for services provided in the period from 5 March to 31 July 2020.
The bonus is paid through the Family Booklet, but also, alternatively, directly to the applicant, for the proven registration of the child in summer centres, supplementary services for children, territorial socio-educational services, centres with an educational and recreational function and supplementary or innovative services for early childhood. The use of the bonus for supplementary childcare services is incompatible with the use of the kindergarten bonus.
The bonus is also granted to self-employed workers who are not members of INPS, subject to notification by the respective social security funds of the number of beneficiaries.
AGILE WORK IN THE RELAUNCH DECREE
The main novelty is that, until the end of the state of epidemiological emergency by COVID-19, parents employed in the private sector who have at least one child under the age of 14, have the right to perform the work in an agile manner even in the absence of individual agreements and also through IT tools at their disposal, if they are not provided by the employer, subject to compliance with the information obligations under Articles 18-23, Law 81/2017, provided that this mode is compatible with the characteristics of the service. In order to be able to use the benefit, there must be no other parent in the household in receipt of income support instruments in the event of suspension or cessation of work or no non-working parent.
D.L. RELAUNCH – NEWS IN TERMS OF SOCIAL SHOCK ABSORBERS
It was published in G.U. n. 128/2020, S.O. n. 21, DL 19 May 2020, n. 34 (so-called D.L. Rilancio), in force since the day of its publication.
Among the many urgent measures contained in it, particularly awaited were those relating to support for work and, more specifically, social shock absorbers.
Below, in summary, we analyze the main innovations on these issues.
Ordinary Wage Supplement Fund and Wage Supplement Fund
The Relaunch Decree Law, modifying what is already provided for in Decree Law 18/2020, increases by a further 5 weeks, in addition to the 9 weeks already granted, the possibility to have recourse to the Cigo or to the Wage Supplementary Fund (FIS), on the grounds of “COVID-19 emergency”, in the period from 23 February 2020 to 31 August 2020. The additional 5 weeks can only be requested after the previous 9 weeks have been fully used. A possible additional period of 4 weeks to be used during the period 1 September 2020-31 October 2020 is also recognized.
For employers in the tourism, trade fairs and congresses, amusement parks, live shows and cinemas only, the aforementioned 4 weeks may also be used for periods prior to 1 September 2020, provided that the same employers have used the period previously granted up to a maximum of 14 weeks. The Decree reintroduces the obligation to inform the trade unions in advance of the use of social shock absorbers, with a possible joint examination to be completed within 3 days after the communication. As made abundantly clear by INPS, it is not necessarily envisaged that a trade union agreement will be signed regarding the way in which the redundancy fund or FIS will be used following any consultation. The time required to submit applications to Inps is greatly shortened: they must be sent electronically by the end of the month following the start of the suspension or reduction of work.
Finally, the Anf will also be recognized to the recipients of the ordinary allowance.
Companies already in Cigs
Also in this specific hypothesis, the Re-launch Decree Law, modifying what is already provided for in Decree Law 18/2020, increases by a further 5 weeks, in addition to the 9 already granted, the possibility to resort to the Cigo, on the grounds of “COVID-19 Emergency”, in the period from 23 February 2020 to 31 August 2020. The additional 5 weeks can be requested only after the previous 9 weeks have been fully used. A possible additional period of 4 weeks to be used during the period 1 September 2020-31 October 2020 is also recognized.
Decree-Law 34/2020 also intervenes on the Cigd, extending its recourse for a further 5 weeks. The additional 5 weeks may be requested in the period from 23 February 2020 to 31 August 2020, provided that the 9 weeks authorized have been exhausted. A possible additional period of 4 weeks, to be used in the period from 1 September 2020 to 31 October 2020, is also recognized. For employers in the tourism, trade fairs and congresses, amusement parks, live shows and cinemas only, the aforementioned 4 weeks may also be used for periods prior to 1 September 2020, provided that the same employers have used the period previously granted up to a maximum of 14 weeks.
|Of particular importance is that, for a further 9 weeks (5+4), applications for the granting of the Cigd must be submitted, by telematic transmission with a list of beneficiaries for the entire period, to INPS and no longer to the Regions, by the end of the month following the month in which the suspension or reduction begins.|
It should be noted that, at this first stage, applications cannot be submitted before 30 days after the entry into force of Decree Law 34/2020, therefore not before 18 June 2020. The employer who makes use of the direct payment must transmit, also through its authorized intermediary, within 15 days of the suspension or reduction of activity, the necessary data to allow INPS to pay an advance for workers not exceeding 40% of the authorized hours. Subsequently, within 30 days of payment of the advance, the final statement of the hours actually used must be sent, in order to allow the Institution to proceed with any payment of the balance or to recover the amount paid. It should be noted that, now you will have to wait for instructions from the pension fund before proceeding.
Extension Of The Prohibition Of Lay-Offs For Gmo And Collective Lay-Offs
Article 80, Law Decree 34/2020, so-called Relaunch Decree, extends to 5 months from 17 March 2020 the period of prohibition to start collective dismissal procedures (Law 223/1991) and, for the same period, those still pending, started after 23 February 2020, are suspended.
Excluded from the prohibition are those cases, in the event of a change of contract, in which the personnel concerned by the withdrawal, already employed in the contract, are re-hired following the takeover of a new contractor pursuant to law, the National Collective Bargaining Agreement or a clause of the contract.
For the same period, the employer, regardless of the number of employees in force, is prohibited from withdrawing from the contract for justified objective reasons (Article 3, Law 604/1966). At the same time, it is provided for the suspension of the procedures under Article 7, Law 604/1966 in progress, for the withdrawal for gmo (companies +15 employees.
It is recalled that the prohibition of dismissal for gmo does not include dismissals for failure to pass the test, for passing the behavior and at the end of the apprenticeship period.
As a further novelty, there is the possibility, at any time, to revoke for the employer the dismissal for justified objective reason that, regardless of the number of employees, he has made in the period from 23 February 2020 to 17 March 2020, as an exception to the provisions of Article 18, paragraph 10, Law 300/1970, provided that at the same time he requests the salary integration treatment, referred to in Articles 19-22, Decree Law 18/2020, from the date on which the dismissal takes effect. In this case, the employment relationship shall be deemed to be restored without interruption, without any burden or penalty for the employer.
The study remains available for any further clarifications, inviting anyone who believes they fall within the scope of application of the standard referred to above to contact us in order to verify the conditions of application and organize the work.
LDP PAYROLL remains at your disposal for any further clarification.
De Carlo Arianna – firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Payroll Department