The latest news for companies and employees: conversion into law of the labour decree

Published Date
Jul 5, 2023
On 3 July 2023, Law no. 85 of 2023 (hereinafter, also the "Law") was published in the Official Gazette, which, by converting Law Decree no. 48 of 4 May 2023 (the so-called "Labour Decree"), introduced several innovations in terms of income support measures for employees and  revision of some provisions of particular interest for companies.

Among the main innovations we point out:

Fixed-term employment agreements and reasons

The Law under examination further modifies, albeit in a limited way, the discipline of the fixed-term employment agreements already amended by the Labour Decree, which, in essence, had redefined the reasons introduced by the so-called "Dignity Decree" and in the presence of which a fixed-term employment agreement with a duration of more than 12 months (and in any case not exceeding 24 months) can be stipulated. The Law, indeed, provides even greater flexibility to employers, with the new article 24, paragraph 1, letter b-bis establishing that, within the 12-month duration of fixed-term employment agreements, in addition to extensions, renewals can now also take place without reason. Even more significant are the amendments concerning the criteria for calculating the maximum duration of the 12 months in which the aforementioned freedom applies: indeed, the new text of article 24 establishes that only agreements entered into on or after 5 May 2023 shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the 12-month time limit, without regard to the entire employment relationship.

Temporary agency agreements

The measure also intervenes on the regulation of temporary agency agreements and, more specifically, on the criteria for calculating the percentage limit of agreements falling under this category that can be stipulated. It is envisaged that apprentices and employees in mobility, and the unemployed or disadvantaged, will be excluded from the calculation to be carried out under article 31 of legislative decree no. 81/2015 (which establishes that, unless otherwise provided by the collective agreements applied by the user, the number of employees with open-ended temporary agency agreements cannot exceed 20% of open-ended employees employed by the user on 1 January of the year of stipulation of the temporary agency agreement).

Smart working

Important and long-awaited innovations are also introduced in the area of remote working. Approaching the scheduled 30 June 2023 expiry date of the right of fragile employees and of employees with children under 14 in the private sector to work remotely, the legislator has established the extension of this right until 31 December 2023. Furthermore, smart working is extended until 30 September 2023 only for public employees suffering from the pathologies and conditions identified in the Health Minister’s Decree of 4 February 2022 (employees with chronic pathologies, stroke, heart disease, dialysis, etc.).

Fringe benefits threshold

At the moment for the year 2023 only, the non-taxable threshold of EUR3.000 for the fringe benefits of employees with dependent children is confirmed with EUR258.23 for all other cases.

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This content was originally published by Allen & Overy before the A&O Shearman merger