The new provisions of the Labor Decree as amended

With the publication of Law No. 85 of 03.07.2023, effective from 04.07.2023, Decree Law 48/2023 has been confirmed with amendments. Below a summary of the main matters of labour law that have been reviewed.

Safety at Work covered by INAIL (Arts. 14 – 18)

Obligations of the employer and safety manager

The employer’s and safety manager’s obligation to appoint a competent doctor is extended to cases required by the company’s risk assessment document (amendment of Art. 18 TUS).

The employer who makes use of equipment requiring special knowledge must provide his own specific training to ensure that the equipment is used in a suitable and safe manner (amendment of Article 73 TUS).

Obligations of the competent doctor

At the preventive medical examination or pre-employment medical examination referred to in Article 41 TUS, the competent doctor requires the worker to produce a copy of the health and risk file issued on termination of the previous employment relationship and assesses its content for the purpose of formulating a suitability opinion, unless it is objectively impossible to find it; in the event of a serious impediment temporarily preventing fulfilment of the legal obligations, he must notify the employer in writing of the name of a replacement (amendment of Article 25 TUS).

Family business and self-employed workers

The direct application of all health and safety protection measures provided for temporary or mobile construction sites is extended to all self-employed workers who use such works, starting with scaffolding. (amendment of Article 21 TUS).

Work equipment

It is provided that whoever hires or leases unmanned work equipment must attest to its good state of preservation, maintenance and efficiency and acquire and keep on file, for the entire duration of the hire or lease of the equipment, a self-certification by the person hiring or leasing the equipment, or by the employer, attesting to the specific training and instruction of the persons identified for use (amendment of Article 72 TUS).

It is also provided that the employer who makes use of the equipment requiring special knowledge referred to in Article 71(7) TUS, shall provide his own training and specific training to ensure that the equipment is used in a suitable and safe manner (amendment of Article 73 TUS).

Strengthening of inspection activity

The sharing of information held by National Inspectorale with the Guardia di Finanza is provided for, subject to the opinion of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, in order to direct inspection action against companies that highlight risk factors in terms of health and safety in the workplace, irregular work or evasion or omission of contributions, as well as to be able to have immediate access to all useful elements for the preparation and definition of inspection files.

Economic support to family members of deceased students and extension of INAIL protection

Financial support is established for the families of students engaged in vocational education and training who died after 1 January 2018 as a result of accidents during their training activities.

INAIL insurance protection is extended, for the school year 2023-2024, to the following categories:

– school staff of schools of the national education system and non-parity schools;

– staff of the vocational education and training system, of higher technical education and training courses, of vocational tertiary training courses and of provincial adult education centres;

– external experts employed in teaching activities

– assistants employed in technical-scientific exercises and laboratories;

– teaching, technical-administrative and auxiliary staff of higher education institutions;

– researchers and holders of research contracts or grants;

– instructors of vocational qualification or retraining courses;

– pupils and students of schools of the national education system and non-participating schools, of the vocational education and training system, of higher technical education and training pathways and of vocational tertiary training pathways and of provincial adult education centres

– students of universities and institutions of higher artistic, musical and coreutical training, for events occurring within the places where teaching activities are carried out or their appurtenances

– students of vocational qualification or retraining courses or vocational training courses, including company courses, or worksite schools.

Fixed-term and temporary workers (Art. 24)

Fixed-term contracts

The ruling of the requirements provided by the law has been reviewed.

In particular, fixed-term contracts with a duration of less than 12 months do not require a reason to be specified. Fixed-term contracts with a longer duration (in any case not exceeding 24 months) may be executed only in the following cases:

– (a) in the cases provided for in the collective agreements referred to in Article 51, Legislative Decree 81/2015;

– b) in the absence of provisions in the collective agreements applied, and in any case by 30 April 2024, for needs of a technical, organizational or productive nature identified by the parties; 

– b-bis) for the replacement of other workers.

The fixed-term contract may therefore be freely extended and renewed during the first 12 months and, thereafter, only in the presence of the above-mentioned reasons. 

Temporary workers

The existing quantitative limit for the use of temporary personnel (20 per cent of the workforce) does not include employees hired under apprenticeship contracts. 

Unemployed persons who have been receiving non-agricultural unemployment or social security benefits for at least six months and disadvantaged or very disadvantaged workers who fall into the categories identified by a special EU regulation (the 651/2014 of 17 June 2014) and specified by decree of the Minister of Labour are not counted in the reference threshold.

Expansion contracts (Art. 25)

For group expansion contracts entered into by 31 December 2022 and not yet concluded, in order to allow for the full implementation of the recovery plans of groups of companies employing more than 1,000 employees, it is possible, by supplementary agreement at ministerial level, to reschedule the terminations of employment relationships, within a time frame of 12 months following the original term of the expansion contract.

Reduction of employers’ obligations under the Transparency Decree (Art. 26)

It is envisaged that the employer may fulfil its disclosure obligations by indicating the regulatory reference or bargaining agreement, including company agreements, in relation to the following specific information on the employment relationship: duration of the probationary period, training, duration of leave for holidays, notice periods, initial amount of remuneration, scheduling of normal working hours, bodies and institutions receiving social security and insurance contributions due from the employer.

The employer is also required to deliver or make available to his employees, also by publication on the company’s intranet, national, territorial and company collective agreements and company regulations applicable to the employment relationship.

The reporting burden relating to automated decision-making and monitoring systems is reduced (Article 1-bis of Legislative Decree 152/1997). The employer or the public and private principal is required to inform the employee of the use of fully automated decision-making or monitoring systems designed to provide information related to the recruitment or assignment, management or termination of the employment relationship, assignment of tasks or duties as well as information affecting the monitoring, evaluation, performance and fulfilment of the contractual obligations of employees. This is without prejudice to the provisions on remote control of work activity (Article 4 of Law No. 300 of 20 May 1970).

This last indication should make it possible to exclude from the obligation to provide information systems involving human intervention, in line with the definition contained in Article 22(1) of the GDPR. In relation to fully automated systems, therefore, the obligation to inform workers and trade unions includes the methods of processing (the purposes, the logic of the processing and the operation of the systems) and the information covered by the processing (the categories of data used, the control measures adopted, any correction processes, the person in charge of the system, the level of accuracy and IT security of the systems).

It is also made clear that the information obligations in question do not apply to systems protected by industrial and commercial secrecy.

Hiring incentives (NEETs and persons with disabilities) (Arts. 27 and 28)

– Provision of incentives for new hires made from 1 June to 31 December 2023, of young people who are under 30 years of age, not working and not in education or training (‘NEET’), and who are registered in the National Youth Employment Initiative Operational Programme.

These requirements must be met in combination.

The incentive can be recognised for a period of 12 months, to the extent of 60 per cent of the gross monthly salary taxable for social security purposes.

In case of cumulation with other incentives, the Neet incentive is recognised to the extent of 20 per cent of the gross monthly salary taxable for social security purposes for each ‘Neet’ worker hired

– Provision of a special fund aimed at the recognition of a contribution in favour of Third Sector entities, voluntary organisations and associations for social promotion involved in the transmigration process, non-profit organisations of social utility, for each disabled person, under 35 years of age, hired pursuant to Law No. 68 of 12 March 1999, with an open-ended employment contract between 1 August 2022 and 31 December 2023, for the performance of activities in compliance with the statute.

Agile work (Arts. 28a and 42)

The right to agile work in the private sector is extended until 31 December 2023

– for parents of children under the age of 14, provided that the agile work is compatible with the duties and that the other parent is not receiving social security benefits or does not work; 

– for frail workers (workers who, on the basis of the company doctor’s assessment within the framework of exceptional health surveillance, are more exposed to the risk of Covid-19 infection because of their age or immunodepression resulting from oncological pathologies or from the performance of life-saving therapies or, in any case, co-morbidities). For frail workers, the right to agile work is conditioned to the fact that the agile mode is compatible with the characteristics of the duties. 

The right to agile work is extended to 30 September 2023 for super frail workers (public and private workers suffering from serious chronic pathologies with poor clinical compensation and with a particular connotation of seriousness, specifically identified by the ministerial decree of 4 February 2022). For these workers, the right is not conditioned to the compatibility of their duties with agile work and it is provided that the employer ensures the performance of the agile work ‘also through the assignment to a different duties included in the same category or area of classification, as defined by the collective labour agreements in force, without any reduction in the salary’ (Article 1, paragraph 306 of the Budget Law 2023).

Cassa integrazione (Art. 30)

In order to safeguard the level of employment and the wealth of skills acquired by employees, companies that have been faced with situations of corporate crisis and reorganisation and have not been able to fully implement, during 2022, the reorganisation and restructuring plans originally envisaged due to the prolonged unavailability of the company premises and/or other causes not attributable to the employer, may apply for an additional period of extraordinary wage supplementation until 31 December 2023. Acceptance is conditional on the availability of the allocated funds.

Fringe Benefits (Art. 40)

The tax-free fringe benefit threshold for employees with dependent children is to be extended to €3,000 for the 2023 tax year. Amounts paid or reimbursed for the payment of household utilities for the integrated water service, electricity and natural gas are also exempt from tax within the same limit.