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In brief

This month’s update on employment law matters in Italy includes developments for part-time employees and smart working as well as case law relating to sick leave and unfair competition in relation to hiring practices.


  1. New laws and regulations
  2. Case law developments

New laws and regulations

One-time indemnity for qualifying part-time employees 

A new, one-time payment of EUR 550 will become payable to certain, qualifying employees who worked part-time during 2021, provided that (i) they had only one employment relationship in place and (ii) they did not receive unemployment pay or pension. The law also requires that the employee worked between a minimum of 7 weeks and a maximum of 20 weeks that year, with continuous work for at least one month. The indemnity will be paid directly by INPS and will not be subject to taxation.

Smart working: simplified communication procedure fully in force

The so-called “Simplification Decree” has changed the procedure on communication obligations required for smart working. In particular, the simplified procedure that was used during Covid, will continue to apply. Therefore, employers will only need to provide the Ministry of Labor with the names of the employees and the start and end dates of the period of smart working. It will no longer be necessary to send the individual smart working agreements to the Ministry but it will still be necessary to sign such an agreement with each employee who uses this kind of work. Failure to communicate the above-mentioned information will result in an administrative fine ranging from EUR 100 to EUR 500 for each employee concerned.

Case law developments

Sick leave: discriminatory to take into account absences due to disability

A territorial Court recently ruled that it is discriminatory to dismiss an employee for excessive use of sick leave, when disability-related absences are taken into account for the purposes of calculating the maximum period of guaranteed sick leave. According to the Court, such a behaviour constitutes a violation of the principle of equality under EU regulations and national laws. The Court also ruled that it is irrelevant whether the disability has been officially certified or not.

Unfair competition only when know-how is stolen

The Italian Supreme Court recently ruled that hiring employees of a competitor constitutes unfair competition only if the employer aims at stealing the competitors’ know-how. This means that it is lawful to hire employees of a competitor who do not have a special professional profile or knowhow available only to the competitor. The Court also clarified that the activity carried out to convince the employees to change employer cannot be used, per se, as evidence of the new employer’s unlawful intention.


Massimiliano (Max) Biolchini heads the Employment practice of Baker McKenzie Italy and is a member of the steering committee of the EMEA practice group. He joined Baker McKenzie in January 1999. He became local partner in the Milan office in 2004 and partner in 2011. His practice spans all areas of labor and employment advice, commercial agency and employment litigation.


Antonio Vicoli is a partner in the Employment & Compensation Practice Group of Baker McKenzie Italian offices. He is a multilingual lawyer with English proficiency. Antonio is professionally qualified under the laws of Italy and admitted to practice in Italy, enrolled with the Lawyers’ Bar of Milan.


Serena Fantinelli joined Baker McKenzie as counsel in October 2015. She advises on all areas of labor, employment and employment litigation.