• Italy: "Jobs Act": New Legislative Decrees Approved
  • September 10, 2015
  • Law Firm: DLA Piper (Canada) LLP - Vancouver Office
  • The Government adopted two legislative decrees which came into force on 25 June 2015. The decrees implement provisions which (i) amend contact types and improve an employer's ability to change employee duties; and (ii) address the balance between employees' caring, living and working needs. The main provisions of the decrees are as follows:

    Freelance/project work agreements
    • With effect from 25 June 2015, freelance/project work agreements can no longer be used. A freelance/project work contract is one which falls between pure consultancy contract and an employment contract and the result of this reform is that this "middle" option is no longer available. Individuals must either be retained on a consultancy contract or an employment contract.
    • Existing freelance/project work agreements can continue until 31 December 2015, but from 1 January 2016 any such agreement which is still in place will be presumed to be an employment contract.
    Duties

    The decree introduces more flexibility for employers to change employee’s duties unilaterally. There are three options provided:
    • For duties which fall within same classification/category as the employee's existing role, an employee's duties can be changed without any limit at any time;
    • Duties may be modified unilaterally in the case of an organisational restructure; this includes the possibility for an employee to be demoted but this can only be to a contractual level immediately below the one the employee is on and the employee's salary must be protected; 
    • A change to a lower salary must be mutually agreed before an union official in order to certify the employee's consent.
    Part time work
    • An employer can require part-time workers to increase their working hours by up to 15% and an employee cannot refuse such a request. However, such an increase in hours must be compensated by an equivalent (15%) wage increase.
    Staff-leasing
    • Employers may now enter into agency worker contracts for an indefinite period of time without having to justify its reasons for doing so. Unless otherwise provided for in a collective bargaining agreement, agency workers must make up not more than 20% of the workforce.
    New rights for parents

    The decree introduces:-
    • A new right for parents to request to transform parental leave to part-time work at 50% of pay;
    • An extension of the age of children in respect of which the six month period of parental leave can be requested. The leave can be taken - 
      • for children up to age six years for those willing to take leave at 30% of salary; and 
      • for children between age eight and 12 years for those prepared to take unpaid leave.
    This change has been implemented on an experimental basis so that if financial coverage for this measure is lacking in 2016, the system will revert back to the previous regime.

    Other elements of the "Jobs Act" are still to be approved by formal decree and these elements will be reported in future editions of Be Global as and when they are enacted.