JOBS ACT - Fixed term employment contract: potential fines for those companies with 20% or more of their employees on fixed term contracts
Current proposed amendments by the Jobs Act include (i) replacing the fine for conversion of fixed term contracts exceeding the 20% limit into open-ended contracts with a fine to be paid to the employee and (ii) the clarification of the reintroduction of basic training for apprentices.
The Labor Committee of the Senate is shortening the timetable ahead of Friday's deadline for tabling amendments to be voted on by Monday so as to respect the term for the conversion of the law decree into law before the end of 19 May 2014.
Restructuring and insolvency
Relationship between the declaration of bankruptcy of a debtor and the arrangement with creditors procedure
The First President of the Supreme Court shall decide whether to request the Joint Chambers of the Supreme Court to pronounce on the following matter. If the declaration of bankruptcy of a debtor occurs while an arrangement with creditors procedure (“Concordato Preventivo”) is pending, as deemed by the Joint Chambers of the Supreme Court, 23 January 2013, no. 1521 or, alternatively, as most recently the First Chamber of the Supreme Court (which resubmitted the issue to the First President), the declaration of bankruptcy cannot be pronounced before the attempt to solve the crisis of the debtor by way of a Concordato Preventivo has failed (i.e. where the Concordato Preventivo is not admitted by the Court, or creditors do not approve it, or the Court rejects or revokes it).
Interlocutory Order of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court, 30 April 2014, no. 9476
France and Poland push forward with EU Energy Union
France and Poland have put forward a proposal for a European energy community to counter the dependence of some European countries on Russian gas. French President Francois Hollande and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made the proposal, against the background of the Ukraine crisis, for discussion at a European summit on energy policy in June.
France and Poland have put forward a plan with six points to convince all members of the European Union to head towards "the European energy community". Tusk raised the possibility of the EU buying liquefied gas from the US or from Australia. Countries to the south, in the Mediterranean basin could also be important suppliers. The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has expressed support for the French-Polish proposal. The proposal is to be presented at the EU Summit in June 2014.
Italian Government to tax agricultural business’ clean energy income
Following an amendment to how business income is calculated for tax year 2014, agricultural businesses’ income from clean energy will be taxed at 25% whereas up until now, such income was taxed at a lower rate.
The total income in question is around €615.5m per year (including a mix of solar PV, biomass and biogas).
Italian Government announces reduction in cost of energy bills by 10%
The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has announced that the Italian Government will cut energy bills by 10%. It appears that the cut will be financed by a retrospective cut in the feed-in tariffs by spreading the payment period over a 25 or 27 year period rather than a 20 year period.
The retrospective cut would be unconstitutional and put the banking sector in a difficult position. The enacting law is expected to be implemented in June 2014. Discussions with the various clean energy associations, banks and internal representatives of the Government are ongoing at the time of going to print.