La 15a edizione di In-Depth – Employment Law è ora disponibile: Zambelli & Partners è autore esclusivo per l’Italia

È ora disponibile su Lexology la 15esima edizione del In-Dept – Employment Law (ex The Employment Law Review). Angelo Zambelli, Barbara Grasselli e Alberto Testi, sono contributors esclusivi per il capitolo Italia.

L’approfondimento, in particolare, analizza la recente giurisprudenza in Italia, nonchè i cambiamenti legislativi e normativi e le best practice.

Lo scopo della pubblicazione è quello di fornire uno strumento utile a HR e In-House Counsel di imprese multinazionali a comprendere e rispettare le leggi in materia di diritto del lavoro in Italia.



Italian employment law derives from the following sources:

1. international treaties and European sources;

2. the Constitution, domestic law and the Italian Civil Code;

3. collective bargaining agreements and individual employment agreements; and

4. employers’ policies and practices.

Court decisions in Italy are not considered a source of law because courts are supposed to apply existing legislation. However, the application and the interpretation of legislation clearly imply a margin of discretion by the courts in applying the law. Thus, case law precedents play an important role in shaping Italian employment law. In Italy, Labour courts are the only forum where employment disputes can be dealt with. Labour court proceedings involve three degrees of judgments. In the first instance, labour disputes fall under the jurisdiction of a single labour judge, whereas jurisdiction to decide cases in the second instance lies with the Court of Appeal, consisting of three judges. Finally, Court of Appeal rulings can be challenged before the Supreme Court, composed of five judges. The Supreme Court only decides issues of legitimacy (i.e., violation of rules of law, procedure and jurisdiction). Government agencies and authorities, among which the Social Security Agency (INPS) and the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) are the main bodies, also deal with the enforcement of labour laws and regulations.


Year in review

In Italy, Legislative Decree No. 24 of 10 March 2023 transposed the EU Directive 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019. This Decree introduced for employers staffed with an average of at least 50 employees in the last year or, if smaller, operating in the field of certain sectors (e.g., money laundering) or adopting a ‘Model 231’, the requirement to have in place a whistle-blowing procedure. The Decree protects the whistle-blower and those who have a special relationship with the whistle-blower, such as the facilitators (i.e., the individuals supporting the whistle-blower) and the persons operating in the same work context as the whistle-blower.


Significant cases

The following noteworthy rulings were issued by the labour courts during 2023.

By way of Judgment No. 12132 of 8 May 2023, the Supreme Court further extended the obligation of repêchage, according to which, before serving an individual dismissal for objective justified reasons (i.e., economic reasons), the employer is required to assess the possibility to relocate the redundant employee within the organisation. The court stated that the employer is required to consider those job positions that are ‘soon available’ with reference to the date of dismissal.

By Decree dated 28 September 2023, the Court of Milan set forth that delivery drivers must be classified as subordinate employees, rather than self-employed workers. In the light of the above, the Court found that the conduct of a company was anti-union, for having shut down food deliveries throughout Italy, terminating delivery drivers’ contracts by disconnecting them from the platform only via e-mail. The qualification of delivery driver as subordinate employees had significant implications, for instance the application of the following:

1. the procedure set forth by Law No. 234/2021, which is mandatory in the event of closure and permanent termination of production activities entailing at least 50 dismissals, for employers with an average of at least 250 employees in the previous year; and

2. the mandatory procedure for collective dismissal under Law No. 223/1991.

Click here to read the full Italian chapter of In-Depth: Employment Law.