Employment Insight March 2024

The Andersen European Employment Service Line comprises specialized attorneys and tax advisors dedicated to actively advising both national and international companies across diverse sectors. These professionals offer comprehensive support throughout the entirety of the employment cycle, from contract initiation to termination.

The monthly newsletter, Employment Insights, offers a comprehensive overview of recent advancements in employment law, regulations, case studies, and collective bargaining agreements across multiple countries. The March edition includes contributions from experts in 20 distinct European jurisdictions.

The Italian experts led by  Uberto Percivalle focus their attention on some of the latest and most interesting news of Italian Labor Law:

Italy-Japan Social Security Agreement enters into force On April 1, 2024, the international mobility of employees between Italy and Japan

will be eased by the entry into force of the Social Security Agreement between the two countries (“Agreement Between the Italian Republic and Japan on Social Security” of February 6, 2009). Under said Agreement, Italian employers sending employees to Japan will be able to make payments of social security contributions related to old age pension, invalidity and unemployment in Italy, in favor of employees posted to Japan, for a maximum period five years. This period can be extended upon request by the employer and agreement between the social security authorities of the two states. Similar provisions apply with regard to employees posted by Japanese companies to Italy. However, it is important to note that the application of the Agreement is partial, being limited to specific social security matters. As a result, some contributions not covered by the Agreement, may have to be paid in both countries.

The possibility to conclude fixedterm agreements up to 24 months was extended until December 31, 2024

With the so-called Thousand Extensions Decree (finally voted into law on February 21, 2024 and not yet published in the Official Gazette when preparing this note) the possibility to have fixed-term employment relationships of up to 24 months for needs of a technical, organizational or productive nature identified by the parties was extended until December 31st, 2024, if the matter is not otherwise regulated by collective agreements. As a reminder, in Italy it is possible to conclude fixed-term employment agreements without any need of a cause, up to 12 months. Until May 2023, the possibility of exceeding 12 months was subject to very restrictive legal grounds or to the cases provided by collective agreements. Subsequently, the possibility was introduced, in the absence of reasons provided by collective agreements, to reach 24 months for “for needs of a technical, organizational or productive nature identified by the parties” but only until April 30, 2024. Now this possibility has been extended until December 31, 2024.

The so-called “Jobs Act” reform of collective dismissals is constitutional

With decision No. 7/2024 filed on January 22, 2024, the Constitutional Court rejected multiple constitutional doubts raised regarding the reform of collective dismissals by the so-called Jobs Act. As it is well known, the Jobs Act has all but eliminated the remedy of reinstatement in the case of collective dismissals deemed unlawful, replacing it with economic compensation. The Constitutional Court decision upheld the constitutionality of a remedy consisting of a compensatory economic indemnity for damages suffered by employees unlawfully dismissed in a collective dismissal, instead of the former reinstatement remedy.

Data Protection Agency guidelines on emails management

With guidelines of December 21, 2023 (published on February 6, 2024) the Data Protection Agency (“Garante per la protezione dei dati personali – GPDP”) held that email systems that collect fairly common metadata (such as send and delivery time, sender and recipient, subject and size of attachments) must (i) limit the retention period of emails to a maximum of seven days (which can be extended by 48 hours if certain conditions are met), or, alternatively, (ii) be subject to an agreement with the works council or an authorization by the labor inspectorate, according to existing legal provisions which, although controversial, have mostly been interpreted in a way that does not require such an agreement/authorization. Said guidelines caught many companies by surprise, as they in fact constitute a change from the past and also because breach of the statutory provisions constitutes a crime and is punishable by a fine of EUR 154 to EUR 1,549 or arrest from 15 days to one year. The outcry originated by the guidelines pushed the Data Protection Agency to pass a resolution on February 22 (but released when this newsletter was being finalized, on February 27, 2024), launching a public consultation and postponing the effectiveness of the prior guidelines, until 60 days after the consultation closes. The consultation will begin with the publication in the Official Gazette (which has not yet occurred) of the February 22 resolution and will last 30 days. Employers should bear in mind that the provisions on which the Data Protection Agency had opined, are statutory provisions, the effectiveness of which is not suspended: since the matter will not end here anyway, it is recommendable that employers check what their companies have done in this respect so far.

National collective bargaining agreement for Players, Actresses and Actors in the movie-audiovisual production sector

On December 20, 2023, employers and unions reached an historic agreement: the first CCNL (national collective labor agreement) for actresses and actors in the movie-audiovisual sector. The bargaining agreement identified contractual types, establishing a dual track: employed and self-employed, defined minimum wages and the operational modalities of performance. It also addressed issues such as the use of artificial intelligence, promotion of equal opportunities, prevention of genderbased violence with the intervention of the Intimacy coordinator, and emphasized non-discrimination for LGBTQ+ workers. It provided the development of an insurance coverage for pension and health care, and a specific supply chain protocol for union representation, to be implemented by March 1, 2024. The collective agreement includes a monitoring system to accompany its implementation and identify critical issues and best practices.