New ‘Employment Decree’ may impact fixed-term contracts and implementation of the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive

20 April 2023 2 min read

By Tommaso Erboli

At a glance

  • New press releases suggest that the government may be working on a new ‘Employment Decree’ that aims to overhaul several current employment laws.
  • In particular, it appears there may be a new regulation on fixed-term employment contracts.

It is reported that the new decree will revise the scope of legitimate reasons for temporary employment, radically replacing the reasons currently in place for fixed-term contracts which exceed 12 months (for current details, see here). It appears that the existing reasons will be substituted by the following:

  • Specific needs envisaged by collective agreements which are signed by trade unions that are most representative at national level, or by company’s work councils;
  • Specific technical, organisational and production needs identified by the parties in the absence of collective bargaining, following certification of those needs by the relevant committees;
  • The need to replace other employees.

Where one of the above reasons exist, fixed-term employment contracts may be extended by up to 24 months’ duration (with the possibility of further extending this term to 36 months, subject to the authorisation of the territorial offices of the Ministry of Labour).  However,  no reasons will be required for fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less.

A further significant amendment involves the abolition of some of the obligations imposed on employers by the so-called Transparency Decree (Law no. 104/2022), which was implemented to bring into effect the requirements of the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive.

In particular, the new decree will allow information about working hours (and their scheduling) as well as details of any probationary period, to be communicated to employees by indicating to them the applicable legal or collective bargaining reference, or the company level provisions. Employers can comply with this obligation by providing employees (either directly or via the company’s website) with a copy of the national, territorial and company collective bargaining agreements, as well as any applicable company regulations governing the employment relationship.