A new electronic procedure for resignations

On March 12th, 2016, a new electronic procedure for effecting resignations and terminations of the employment relationship by mutual consent came into force.

Since this date, Legislative Decree no. 151/2015 requires that, with very limited and specific exceptions, the electronic procedure provides the only legitimate way for employees to resign. Resignations communicated through any other means are deemed invalid.

According to this new electronic procedure, an employee wishing to resign his or her employment must complete an online form and submit it to the employer and to the competent Local Labour Office ("Direzione Territoriale del Lavoro"). The relevant form can be downloaded exclusively from the web site of the Italian Ministry of Labour, the intention being that, in this way, submissions cannot be falsified or counterfeited.

Any attempt to falsify a resignation could potentially constitute a crime but, even where it does not, an employer engaged in such activity is liable to an administrative fine of between Euro 5,000 up to Euro 30,000.

The procedure permits an employee to withdraw his or her resignation within 7 days by once more submitting an online communication to the employer and to the competent Local Labour Office.

The introduction of this new electronic procedure now renders obsolete the two previous procedures by which resignations could be validated –ie before the Local Labour Office or, alternatively, by confirmation from the Labour Office of receipt of a resignation.

The very limited exceptions to this new regime are that the new procedure does not apply to domestic workers. In addition, resignations and consensual terminations of employment are still permissible via settlement agreements concluded with a Trade Union or approved by the Commissions of Labour Offices.