Italy: Employment Law Newsletter | August 2023

New laws and regulations

International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions ratified

On 8 June, Italy ratified the ILO Conventions No. 155/1981 and No. 187/2006 on Occupational Safety and Health. Following these ratifications, we expect some changes to the law, especially on health and safety matters. We will keep you updated.

Case law developments

Training of part-time employees outside their working hours

An employer can require a part-time employee to participate in a professional training course even outside their contractual working hours. The employee can refuse to attend the course only if there are well proven work, health, family or professional training reasons. In light of the above, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that an employer can lawfully dismiss an employee for objective reasons, if they refused several times to attend training, making them unfit to perform their duties.

Negative outcome of probation: what if the contractual clause is declared null and void?

The Italian Supreme Court ruled that employees hired on or after 7 March 2015, who fail to pass the probationary period agreed with the employer, are entitled only to an economic indemnity if the clause in their contract, regulating probation, is found to be null and void. Said differently, employees are not entitled to be reinstated at work in these cases.

Working during sick leave

If the employer discovers that an employee, absent due to illness, is actually working, the same employee can be lawfully dismissed, since this delays recovery and return to work. Based on this, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that a company lawfully dismissed an employee who was found working at a pub while on sick leave.

Checking employee's email accounts

Under Italian law, an employer can lawfully monitor its employees' email accounts only to avoid wrongdoing and only when there is a reasonable suspicion that such wrongdoing is actually taking place. In any event, the employer must strike a fair balance between the company's needs and the employee's privacy. In this respect, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that when an employer runs a general check on an employee's laptop for an indefinite period of time and without informing the employee that their conversations may be monitored, such behaviour is unlawful.

Copyright © 2024 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Ownership: This documentation and content (Content) is a proprietary resource owned exclusively by Baker McKenzie (meaning Baker & McKenzie International and its member firms). The Content is protected under international copyright conventions. Use of this Content does not of itself create a contractual relationship, nor any attorney/client relationship, between Baker McKenzie and any person. Non-reliance and exclusion: All Content is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal and regulatory developments. All summaries of the laws, regulations and practice are subject to change. The Content is not offered as legal or professional advice for any specific matter. It is not intended to be a substitute for reference to (and compliance with) the detailed provisions of applicable laws, rules, regulations or forms. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action or refraining from taking any action based on any Content. Baker McKenzie and the editors and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the Content and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the Content. The Content may contain links to external websites and external websites may link to the Content. Baker McKenzie is not responsible for the content or operation of any such external sites and disclaims all liability, howsoever occurring, in respect of the content or operation of any such external websites. Attorney Advertising: This Content may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. To the extent that this Content may qualify as Attorney Advertising, PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME. Reproduction: Reproduction of reasonable portions of the Content is permitted provided that (i) such reproductions are made available free of charge and for non-commercial purposes, (ii) such reproductions are properly attributed to Baker McKenzie, (iii) the portion of the Content being reproduced is not altered or made available in a manner that modifies the Content or presents the Content being reproduced in a false light and (iv) notice is made to the disclaimers included on the Content. The permission to re-copy does not allow for incorporation of any substantial portion of the Content in any work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form or for commercial purposes.