Working conditions: new disclosure requirements on the way

Italy too is ready to comply with Directive (EU) 2019/1152 on transparent and predictable working conditions: on 22 June 2022, the Government announced approval of the so-called “Transparency Decree”.

Pending publication in the Official Gazette, according to the outline of the measure available to date, companies are required to comply with new disclosure obligations at the time of hiring and during the relationship.

The measure applies to all subordinate employment contracts (fixed-term, open-ended, full and part-time), including those already in force, and, where compatible, to certain relationships with contractors (so called and occasional collaborations).

The measure does not apply to the self-employed, commercial agents and those with very short-term relationships (equal to or less than an average of three hours per week in four consecutive weeks).The main points of interest are summarised below.

General information for new hires and existing employees

The list of information that employers must provide to the employees in writing, in paper or electronic form, when hiring before the employment starts and, in any case, within the following 7 days (except for the longer period of one month for certain data) has been considerably extended. In the case of existing relationships, on the other hand, employers are required to update the data within 60 days of the employee’s written request. In any case, the proof of the notification or receipt of the information must be kept for 5 years from the date on which the employment relationship is terminated.

In addition to the typical relationship data, such as type of contract, employer’s identity, place of work, start and end dates, probationary period (if applicable), employee’s classification, and working hours, employers must also, among other things, communicate the employee’s intended training, duration of holidays and paid leave, procedure and notice periods in the event of termination by either party, conditions for changing shifts (in the case of predictable hours) and the social security and insurance institutions to which contributions are paid.

Any change to the information communicated must be notified to the employee by the first day on which the change takes effect, except in the case of legislative amendments or those resulting from collective bargaining.

Heavy fines in the case of error: failure to comply, delay or incompleteness in complying with the disclosure requirements will incur an administrative fine ranging from €250 to €1,500 for each employee involved.In addition to these fines, companies are expressly prohibited from dismissing, discriminating and penalising workers who exercise their rights under the Decree. In case of retaliation or wrongdoing in this context, the employee is granted a speedier process before administrative authorities in addition to the usual litigation route.

Specific cases

There is also additional, very detailed and complex information that the Decree stipulates must be provided to employees for the following types of relationships:

  1. those for which the employer uses automated decision-making and monitoring systems,
  2. those outside Italy,
  3. those with unpredictable work patterns.

In detail.

a) Use of automated systems

New disclosure requirements (to be provided both to employees and to works councils or local unions) when employers use automated decision-making or monitoring systems for the purpose of collecting data for recruitment, management and termination of relationships as well as relating to the employee supervision, evaluation and performance. In the above cases, subject to compliance with the rules on remote control and privacy, employers must, in addition, clarify the purposes and aims of the systems, their mode of operation and relevant security levels.

Finally, the employee has the right to access the data, either directly or through their trade union, and to request further details on the information requirements

Violation of the new requirements will be punished with a fine:

  • from 100 to 750 euros, for each month, if it relates to disclosure requirements vis-à-vis employees (the sum increases according to the number of employees involved),
  • from 400 to 1,500 euros should it relate to the trade unions
b) Unpredictable work patterns

Protection is also provided for relationships whereby work is carried out according to (wholly or largely) unpredictable organisational work patterns. Here employers are obliged to inform employees about:

  1. the variability of the work pattern, with an indication of the guaranteed minimum number of paid hours;
  2. the days and hours of work;
  3. the notice to be given to the employee before starting work and the period within which the assignment may be cancelled.

The employee may refuse to do the work if the employer requests it on days and hours other than those scheduled or if the latter breaches their obligation to give notice, without any consequences, including disciplinary action. Finally, in the event of cancellation of a scheduled assignment without reasonable notice, the employee is entitled to the remuneration set out in the collective agreement if applicable or, failing that, to an amount not less than 50% of what was agreed for the cancelled work.

c) Working outside Italy

Obligations have also increased in the case of a posting or mission (for a period of more than 4 consecutive weeks) outside Italy: employers must communicate any changes to information already provided, the country of destination, remuneration and relevant currency, conditions for repatriation (where applicable) as well as the address of the institutional website of the host Member State where the information on the posting is published.

Publication of the measure in the OJ will therefore mean a considerable increase in the bureaucratic requirements for companies when hiring and during the relationship, with the risk of heavy fines in the event of error.Our firm is at your complete disposal to support with revising and updating your contract documents in order to render them compliant with the new extended communication requirements.

By: Alessia De Concilio and Stefania Vitiello

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