As provided by Article 26 of Legislative Decree No. 151/2015, the new procedure to communicate resignations will come into effect on 12 March 2016. This procedure will concern all employees to whom the provisions of Article 55, paragraph 4, of Legislative Decree No. 151/2001 concerning “validation” do not apply (i.e., mothers or working fathers -­‐ who, in the latter case, availed himself of parental leave -­‐ until the child reaches his/her third birthday).

More specifically, sending a letter to the employer will no longer be sufficient for the validity of the resignation. The resignation must now be formalised through the following online procedure:

  • The employee must fill out a resignation form made available on the website of the Italian Ministry of Employment and Social Policies (at the following link: http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/do/gazzetta/serie_generale/3/pdfPaginato?dataPubblicazione Gazzetta=20160111&numeroGazzetta=7&tipoSerie=SG&tipoSupplemento=GU&numeroSupple mento=0&numPagina=131&edizione=0&elenco30giorni=);     and
  • The form must be transmitted electronically to the employer's certified mailbox and to the relevant Local Employment Office.

In this procedure, employees can be assisted by the authorised bodies (i.e., charitable labour assistance institutions (patronati), trade unions, bilateral bodies, or “certification commissions” under the Ministry of Employment), who may submit the form on their behalf. The same procedure must be followed if the parties terminate the employment by mutual consent.

This procedure aims to ensure that the resigning employee is duly identified and to establish the transmission date of the resignation, so as to allow the employee to revoke it within a seven-­‐day term.

As a result of the repeal of Article 4, paragraph 19, of Law No. 92/2012, employers who receive a resignation letter by ordinary post -­‐  or, in any event, not by certified email -­‐  may no longer overcome the employee’s inaction by inviting the latter to comply with the above-­‐described procedure. Under the previous regime, employers could invite the employee to apply to “validate” his/her resignation (either before the Local Employment Office or by signing the termination letter delivery report). If the employee failed to “validate” the resignation within seven (7) days, the employment would be considered  terminated.

Therefore, those resignations that are communicated without complying with the new procedure will be ineffective, and the employer will be entitled to decide whether to consider the resignation valid by tacit consent (without prejudice to the possibility of formally inviting the employee to complete the procedure) or to challenge the employee’s unjustified absence.