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Start of employment

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start-of-employment-1Employment contracts are governed by the general rules set out in the Civil Code.

Given the existence of a large number of NCAs and their extensive use by the employers, employment agree- ments in Italy normally consist of simple hiring letters which refer to the items required by the law including, the identity of the parties, place of work, employment start date, trial period (if any), duration of the employment (in case of fixed-term employment) and enrollment, employee's duties) and to the provisions contained in the applicable NCAs.

Individual employment contracts also specify the employee's "category" as established by the Civil Code, under article 2095.

 There are four categories of employees:
•  executives ("Dirigenti");
•  middle managers ("Quadri");
•  white collar employees ("Impiegati");
•  blue collar employees ("Operai").

Despite the fact that national collective agreements normally define general principles that regulate the em- ployment relationship of Dirigenti, general and specific conditions are often negotiated through individual agree-ments. Quadri are defined as employees who, while not top executives, are continuously engaged in duties that contribute significantly to promoting the company’s growth and achieving its goals. According to a limited num- ber of collective agreements, employers are required to insure quadri against claims for civil liability brought by third parties as a result of negligence in their duties.

At the start of the employment relationship, the employer must inform the employee of the main terms and conditions of his/her contract.

Italian law does not prescribe any particular form for employment contracts generally; they may be communi- cated orally, although most contracts are evidenced in writing. That said, some specific provisions as well as specific information concerning the employment relationship are required by law to be written down (for exam- ple: trial period, non-compete clause, fixed-term, if any). Also, certain types of contracts are required by law to be in writing (for example: part-time contracts).

Employment contracts can be made in any language, provided that both parties are able to fully understand the content of any provision therein.

The age of majority is 18 years old in Italy. The minimum age required for validly entering into an employment relationship is 16 years old with the parents' consent (15 years old for apprenticeships contracts).

 

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