Resignation procedure for employees

Under the recent employment law reform in Italy, known as the “Jobs Act”, as of 12 March 2016 employees must resign exclusively through an online procedure.

From 12 March 2016, an employee who wants to resign must obtain a PIN code by accessing a specific section of INPS’ website and following the instructions on the website.

Once the employee has the PIN code, he/she must fill in and send an online form on the website of the Labour Ministry The employee can resign autonomously, or through and with the assistance of employment consultants or regional offices of the Natio nal Labour Inspectorate, in addition to the Labour Office (DTL) in charge.

The completed form will then be sent via email to the employer and to the DTL in charge.

The form contains a box for resignation (which the employee should tick). If the employee wants to revoke his/her decision within 7 days, the same form must be filled out and submitted and the appropriate box for revocation should be ticked. Resignations submitted through any other form would be ineffective.

Doubts around the application of the procedure to the sport sector

In the light of the above, does the online procedure for resignations apply to athletes in the sport sector?

This question received an answer only on 24 August 2016, when the Ministry of Labour and Welfare replied to an official question raised by the association of Italian Labour Legal Experts (AGI).

The answer is YES.

Initially, doubts arose regarding the possibility of applying this new procedure to the sport sector due to the sport sector being specifically regulated by Law n. 91/1981, and also because employment relationships in the sport sector are not included in the categories of employment relationships for which the application of the online procedure is not allowed, according to the communication of the Ministry of Labour and Welfare n. 12/2016.

For this reason, in order to receive clarification on this issue, on 22 July 2016 the Lega Calcio, which manages the most important football league in Italy, urged all teams playing in the Italian highest league, Serie A, to use the online procedure to resign, according to Article 26 of the Legislative Decree n. 151/2015, for the employment relationships with the players, coaches, sports directors and trainers.

Further doubts remained until an official clarification from the competent authorities was published on 24 August 2016.

On such date the Ministry of Labour and of Welfare stated that the query had been already resolved by the previous communication of 4 March 2016, n. 12 which did not include the employment contracts of the athletes within the categories of employment contract expressly excluded from the application of the online procedure.

The Ministry of Labour issued a new response, confirming that the categories of employment contract excluded from the online procedure are those already provided within the communication n. 12/2016.

Therefore, by reading such communication of March 2016, the Ministry has implicitly confirmed that, because they are not included in the categories for which the online procedure cannot be applied, the employment contracts in the sport sector are subject to this online procedure for resignations.

Further doubt

Having resolved the issue of the possibility of also applying the online procedure of resignation to the sport sector, it is now necessary to understand whether this procedure can also be applied in cases of transfer of employment contracts in the sport sector.

In this respect, further clarifications are needed on whether the transfer of employment contract occurs when two professional teams agree, with the athlete’s consent, for this transfer from a team to another team (so to change the employer) despite the athlete already being bound by the employment contract with the first team.

Considering that the Ministry has not yet ruled on this point, it should be clarified whether the transfer of the athlete from one team to another team qualifies as a mere transfer of contract, under Article 2112 of the Italian Civil Code, in which case the procedure would not apply. Or, alternatively, if the transfer hides effective resignations of the athletes, in which case the online procedure seems apply.

To answer to this query, we wait for the next intervention of the Minister of Labour to clarify the perimeters of the resignation procedure in the transfer of a professional athlete’s.