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    HIRING AND MANAGING STAFF

    Employers can benefit for a number of incentives aimed at the sustainable inclusion of young people, female workers over 50, disadvantages workers and disable workers in the employment markets. Employment incen- tives are also granted in relation to unemployed and workers who have been drawing of the wage fund guaran- tees. Incentives correspond to a partial exemption or total exemption from social security contributions.

     

    The social security system provides retirement, survivor and disability pensions, as well as healthcare, unem- ployment benefits and family allowances.

    Benefit amount is generally based on accrued social security contributions and length of service.

    All employees and wage earners, including executives, project-work and self-employed workers are obliged to take part in the Italian social security scheme.

    social security contributions are paid to Italian social security administration (so called "INPS"). Em- ployees can join some pension funds (provided by NCAs) to increase social security benefits;
    •the national work accident insurance institute (so called "INAIL") covers almost all employees for ac- cidents at workplace and occupational diseases.

     

    The sources of Italian regulatory system for employee representation bodies are twofold: legal and contrac- tual.

    With regards to legal sources, the basic right to establish and join a Trade Union association in the workplace or perform Union activity, is granted to all workers and is protected by a network of anti-discriminatory provisions (Articles 14-17 of Law no. 300/70, i.e. "Workers' Statute"). "Rappresentanze Sindacali Unitarie" (hereinafter RSU) were established by national agreement in 1993 and reformed in 2014. RSUs are formed by a general election among the workforce. The Unions compete in the election and are represented in proportion to the votes they have received.

    Alternatively to take part in the election of RSU, a union can establish its own Rappresentanza Sindacale Uni- taria (RSA).

    Rights and obligations

    Both types of works council, RSA and RSU, are involved in collective bargaining and the verification of the cor- rect application of laws and collective agreements. They exercise information and consultation rights, as laid down both by collective bargaining and by law. They should be consulted on issues such as overtime levels, employment policy, hiring policy or corporate restructuring.

     

    Ordinary proceeding

    Special provisions of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure (Art. 409) apply to labor proceedings and provide for special and quick resolution of individual disputes. A first instance decision is normally issued within 12 months, on average.

    The main features of the special procedure of individual labor disputes are the following:
    •a quick proceeding compared with an ordinary civil proceeding;
    •a mandatory conciliation attempt by the Judge prior to the hearing stage;
    •wide powers granted to labor Courts, including the faculty to introduce on its own initiative new evi- dence and to order one of the parties to pay sanctions, indemnities and compensation during the pro- ceedings for the amount that has already ascertained to be due;
    •prohibition on changing the parties' initial pleading.
    Judgment in the first instance may be challenged before the Court of Appeal, further appeal may be made to the Supreme Court.

    "Fornero" special proceeding

    The Fornero reform (Law no. 92/2012) introduced an even faster procedure restricted to unfair dismissal di- sputes in companies with more than 15 employees.
    Judges are in this case obliged to schedule the first hearing within 40 days of the complaint.
    The judge, within 10 days of the first hearing must issue a judgment to reject or uphold the claim. The judgment is immediately enforceable.
    The parties may appeal this judgment to the Court of Appeal, which may in turn be challenged before the Su- preme Court.
    The "Fornero" procedure does not apply to workers engaged under the new "Jobs Act regime".

     

    A Consolidated Act on Workplace Safety (Legislative Decree no. 81/2008) unities all legal provisions regarding health and safety in the workplace and is enforceable in all sectors. The Act provides an exhaustive explanation of the rules on safety, including the powers, responsibilities and functions that may be delegated.

    Employees are entitled to elect a representative to deal with health and safety related matters, and to be trained on the peculiar risks to which the company is exposed.

    The Constitution and the Civil Code impose a general obligation on employers to safeguard the physical integrity and moral personality of their employees.

     

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