We would like to ensure that you are still receiving content that you find useful – please confirm that you would like to continue to receive ILO newsletters.
15 October 2014
With Ministerial Circular 18/2014, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies has issued guidelines in relation to the changes introduced by Decree-Law 34/2014 and Conversion Law 78/2014 on fixed-term contracts, temporary work administration and apprenticeships.
Decree-Law 34/2014 has finally eliminated the obligation to state the "technical, organisational, productive and substitute" reasons for fixed-term contracts. However, according to the ministry, such reasoning must still be stipulated in the case of seasonal and replacement contracts (Article 10(7) of Decree-Law 368/2001), for the purpose of transparency.
The number of employees hired under fixed-term contracts cannot exceed 20% of the number of employees hired on permanent contracts. In determining this 20% limit, the ministry has clarified that the employer must verify the number of permanent employment relationships in force as of January 1 of the year in which the fixed-term contract is concluded or – if business activities started during the year – the date that the first fixed-term contract was concluded (regardless of the length of the contracts and even if the number of permanent workers decreased in the course of the year). According to the ministry, this limit is not a fixed number, but rather a percentage of stable staff employed; therefore, when a permanent contract expires, another fixed-term contract can be stipulated, subject to the 20% threshold.
The circular points out that the quantitative limit on the use of fixed-term contracts is subject to the provisions on collective bargaining introduced by Article 10(7) of Decree-Law 368/2001. Collective agreements are entitled to waive the 20% limit and increase or decrease this threshold, and may also set different criteria for its calculation. If the calculation of the 20% threshold yields a decimal number, the ministry has clarified that it may be rounded up where the decimal is equal to or greater than 0.5%.
The circular notes that fixed contracts set at the maximum term of 36 months may be extended up to five times.
Regarding the administration of temporary work under Article 1 of Decree-Law 368/2001, there is no need to stipulate the reasons for concluding a contract set at the maximum term of 36 months. According to the ministry, the quantitative limit on the use of fixed-term contracts is subject to the provisions of collective agreements and the 20% cap thus does not apply.
With regard to apprenticeships, the ministry has pointed out that employers are no longer required to develop a training plan within 30 days of signing the contract. However, the ministry has clarified that clauses in collective agreements which provide for such a term remain valid and collective bargaining agreements can also reintroduce it. Moreover, the training plan can be concise and focused on training aimed at the acquisition of technical and professional skills and expertise.
For further information on this topic please contact Annamaria Pedroni or Andrea Stanchi at Stanchi Studio Legale by telephone (+39 02 546 9522), fax (+39 02 551 91641) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
ILO is a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. In-house corporate counsel and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, qualify for a free subscription.