HR Consultancy

Jobs Act now in force – part 1

Key changes are as follows:

  • Fixed term contracts: 
    • no need to specify reasons justifying term of up to 36 months;
    • extensions admitted up to 8 times in 36 months;
    • no more breaks required between successive fixed term contracts;
    • fixed term employees must be maximum of 20% of the overall employee workforce, other than where carve outs are envisaged in the applicable NCBA.
  • Apprenticeship:
    • “individual training plan” does not have to be in writing but contract and probationary covenant do have to be; 
    • the salary of the apprentice is fixed at 35% of the salary of the same level of classification.
    • the hiring of new apprentices is no longer subject to the requirement to keep on at least 30% of apprentices employees at the end of the training plan.
  • Dematerialization of DURC (certificate of contributions compliance): INPS, INAIL and the Building Funds will verify contributions by electronic means.

Parliament has two months to discuss and approve the final draft of the text which is currently in force.

In addition, an act issued by the government under parliamentary delegation is expected to be approved on unemployment benefits, employment measures, simplification of procedures and types of contracts, improving the relationship between working time and free time.

On 20 March 2014, the Council of Ministers approved the first part of the Jobs Act via Decree law no. 34 containing "Urgent measures to promote increased employment and for the simplification of the burdens on businesses" which came into force on 21 March 2014. To read the text of the Decree please click here.

Dismissal of managers

The Supreme Court confirmed that a manager can be lawfully fired in case of mere default of trust. A dismissal of a manager can be justified by any fair reason excluding a discriminatory reason.

Supreme Court, 17 March, no. 6110

Renewal of NCBA for Ceramic Sector

After 9 months of negotiations, the renewal of the NCBA for Ceramic Section has been approved, providing for an increase of 112 Euro in the minimum monthly salary.

Consumer Law

Consumer Court’s competence

The case relates to a lawyer acting against his client in which he was seeking payment of his legal fees and a consumer objecting the authority of the judge. The Supreme Court rules that the authority of the Consumer Court, i.e. the court where the consumer is domiciled, should take precedence over the authority of the court (on merits) before which the lawyer has performed his services, that would have authority according to the Legislative Decree 150/2011. They stated that the specialty of the Consumer Law (including procedural rules) overrules the aforesaid rules and creates an exclusive and overarching court.

Supreme Court, 17 March 2014, no. 6175.

Tax planning and consultancy

Tax assessment in presence of tax losses carried forward - Fines for false statement

The fines for false statement are aimed at preventing malfeasance for the tax authorities. The fine for providing a false statement occurs when income lower than that assessed by the Tax Authorities is reported. 

A higher tax is defined as the difference between the amount assessed by the Tax Authorities and the amount reported in the tax return by the taxpayer (according to the article 1 paragraph 4 of the Legislative Decree no. 471/97).

The timing of the tax clearance is important as it is the point which predetermines the moment when the tax can be offset against tax losses carried forward.

In light of the above, the fines are not prevented from being charged by the fact that the assessed higher income has to be offset as a result of tax losses carried forward.

Supreme Court, 21 March  2014, no. 6663

Environment

Bortoni states 30% renewables in the Italian energy mix is a problem

Chairman of the Energy Authority, Guido Bortoni, has stated that “rapid expansion of renewables without due planning” will create problems for the grid. Renewables have reduced the hourly tariffs of energy in the wholesale market but have increased the costs for the grid and distribution systems. “A revised approach to the deployment of renewables is required” stated Bortoni. Mixed messages from Italy’s presidency regarding the European energy market reform to be finalised for the end of 2014.

White certificates guidelines published

The third edition of the white certificate guidelines are aimed at breaking down the legislation on energy efficiency and how to obtain the certificates to encourage the deployment of energy efficient technology. The 2013-2016 energy efficiency targets are ambitious and so this will be a welcome addition to market operators.