Italy: Employment Law newsletter | March 2023

New laws and regulations

Fixed-term temporary workers: extension until 2025

The Italian Parliament recently approved a new law according to which a company may engage temporary workers on a fixed-term basis for periods exceeding twenty-four months (i.e., the ordinary maximum term), where said temporary workers are employed with an open-ended employment contract by their agencies. In this case, as a derogation to ordinary rules, user companies are not required to employ the temporary worker should the maximum term be exceeded.

Remote work for employees with children under age 14

A recent law provided that working parents, with children below the age of 14 are once again entitled to work remotely, even without a specific individual agreement with their employer. This right will be enforced until 30 June 2023 provided that: (i) there is no other non-working parent in the household or other parent benefitting from salary support schemes; and (ii) the remote work is compatible with the duties to be performed by the employee.

Company doctor for remote workers

The Ministry of Labour clarified that companies employing employees working remotely under an agile work scheme (known as “smart working”) could appoint company doctors for said employees, in addition to the one responsible for the employees who work on-site. Each appointed company doctor will have independent health and safety obligations as provided by related laws.

Case law developments

Bullying: copying third parties in an e-mail exchange may trigger it

If an employer writes to an employee, complaining about their performance, and copies other people in the same e-mail, this would be enough to trigger a case of bullying. In fact, according to a recent ruling by a local labor court, a communication of this kind has the sole purpose of discrediting the employee and may entitle the employee to be awarded with economic damages.

Undue compensation: after-tax recovery

The Italian Supreme Court ruled that where the employer pays an employee more than what is contractually due, hence making greater withholding tax deductions, the employer can claim back overpaid amounts but not sums related to withholding taxes that are excluded from recovery.

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