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ESavorgnan - National Labour Law Profile - Speech - 06.12.2020
by 2020-12-06)- (
LABOUR IN ITALY
Dear teacher and classmates, in this speech I will discuss the Labour Law Profile in Italy.
First,I will introduce the general legal framework.
You should know that Italy became a Republic in 1946, after a referendum, moving from the previous monarchic system.
The Italian Constitution, which declares people’s rights and duties, came into being in 1948.
It also organizes the Republic into 20 Regions (5 with special statues), Provinces and Municipalities.
The Head of the State is the President of the Republic, elected by the Parliament, in power for 7 years.
The Parliament, made up by the Senato and the Camera, has the legislative power, so it proposes laws.
The executive power is held by the Council of the ministers, elected by the President of the Republic, which must have the confidence of both the chambers.
Since Italy belongs to the European Union and accepts European Union’s laws (regulations -which are compulsory- and guidelines -which are like suggestions-), regulations are directly applied to Italy laws.
The Judiciary, which has the judicial power, is a body composed of three instances. In the first instance there is only one judge, in the second 3 and in the third five. Lower cases shall be ruled by a non professional judge, named “giudice di pace”.
Considering labour rights, the Constitution establishes that Italy is founded on labour (Section 1), minors, women, aged and invalid people have special issues (Sections 37 and 38).
A worker with more than 15 years is recognised as “employee” thanks to a contract with an “employer”.
A contract of employment can be indefinite, the most common kind of contract, without any ending, or fixed-term (in special cases, such as seasonal work, sick or maternity leave). Indefinite and fixed-term contracts have different rights and pays, but in both the suspension of them is possible only for a justified reason, so not for political opinion, sex, race, language, religion. What I previously said is ensured by the Constitution.
A worker has different treatment according to the size of the firm for unjustified dismissals.
If an employee is hired, he must receive the so-called TFR (Trattamento di Fine Rapporto), that is a part of his salary, set aside every year and kept by the employer.
TFR can also be partially paid for reasons such as child care, health care or for the purchase of a house.
In terms of hours of work, an aged act (it dates back in 1923) provides that an employee cannot work more than 8 hours a day and 48 a week; however, hours in excess of 40 per week are now considered as overtime and have higher pay (at least 30% more than the basic hourly pay).
An employer, with the prior consent of the worker can change a full-time contract to a part-time one, with less hours of work. The minimum hourly pay changes for each kind of work. Usually, collective agreements deal with it.
All workers have the right to rest one day a week and on four national holidays; if workers have to work these days they receive a higher pay.
Moreover, workers should have an at-least-eight-days paid leave per year, with normal pay.
In case of pregnancy, a woman can not be dismissed; from two months before and three months after maternity female workers don’t have to work. In particular cases, fathers can have paternity leave too.
If an employer is sick and can not work, his contract is suspended and the worker is fully paid.
Paid days off work must be given to students who work, to take their exams, for at least 150 hours a year.
Workers and enterprises in difficulty (also for natural diseases or general crisis) are helped by the Cassa Integrazione Guadagni, a state fund established in 1954.
It mostly works in case of temporary or definitive reduction of the activity and pays up to 80% of the normal wage of an employer.
This benefit can be paid for to 13 weeks, with possible renewal for up to 12 months.
If an enterprise insolves, the employer has to solve the workers’ claims before the employer’s estate; however, he first has to pay creditors.
The Italian Constitution recognises the right of citizens to associate freely and to join associations or unions. They do not need any recognition for working.
An act written in 1970 deals with the possibility for the employees to open a case law if an employer limits the exercise of freedom of association, dismisses workers on strike, hires workers to replace the ones who strike, and so on.
Each kind of employee but military forces has the right.
The most common pattern of workers’ unions has local, provincial, regional and national organs, which together join in trade union federations (industrial, commercial and artisan ones). Unions are usually financed by workers’ dues and can negotiate collective agreements, named economic accords, that cover most of the categories of workers. The agreements can rule every aspect of the employer-employee relationship, but must follow laws.
What is important is that the sign of an agreement about a category is not compulsory for all the employers of that category.
The Italian Constitution also recognizes the right to strike.
The party that strikes must give the notice of the strike and its duration at least 10 days before; strike is allowed for public essential services like life, health, freedom, safety,...
Only military forces and policemen can not strike, while other categories have some limits (seamen cannot strike during navigation).
A lock-out is permitted if, due to a strike by the workers, an enterprise is unable to continue production.