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Restart tools for the labour market at the time of Covid-19

The continuing freeze on dismissals and the continued extension of wage supplements seem to keep the labour market at a standstill. However, some companies and workers feel the need to seize the new opportunities and trends that are emerging.

In fact, there is an increasing need to evolve its business, creating new departments in the company’s workforce that will allow to operate on new fronts. At the same time, there is also a need not to lose job opportunities, even in the face of the urgent need to secure an alternative source of income (see, in particular, the difficulties of workers in the zero-hours redundancy fund and for which the employer does not anticipate the wage supplement).

In this context, it is important to understand how to move, so as not to risk losing the benefits deriving from the exceptional measures issued due to the health emergency (unfortunately still going on).

On the part of the workers, one of the main wonders is whether it is possible to work while the redundancy fund has been allowed and what are the solutions so as not to lose the wage supplement?

The allowance of the wage supplement may be combined with the remuneration resulting from a new activity if the new activity is compatible in terms of working time. In other words, the new job will have to be carried out at a different time than the normal initial work performance (e.g. in the case of a part-time worker in the redundancy fund who does another job during the time when he would not have worked for the first employer anyway).

Wage supplements and new employment pay may also be combined in part if the new remuneration is less than the wage supplement allowed. In this case, the INPS (Italian National Insurance Institute) granted the cumulation of remuneration from new employment up to full competition from the wage supplement allowed.

NB: Be careful, however, before accepting a second job. The worker in the redundancy fund is in fact linked to the first employer by an obligation of availability: the employment relationship is only suspended and, if summoned, the worker will be obliged to return to service, even before the scheduled deadline. For this reason, the worker will have to notify the employer in advance of his intention to start a new job.

On the other hand, companies are increasingly wondering whether it is possible to recruit new hires even if the company is eligible for wage supplements?

Legislative Decree No. 148/2015, the reference rule for the redundancy fund, does not establish a general prohibition on the company that intends to hire new staff while being admitted to the wage supplement treatment.

The new hires will therefore be compatible with the institution if the new workers are employed in departments other than those for which the company is eligible for wage supplements and if these workers hold jobs other than those entrusted to suspended workers.

In this way, companies that need it can redirect their business towards new or complementary sectors and markets.

In any case, for all those who already see a strong signal of restart and growth opportunities to be realized in the immediate future, nothing is precluded.

Finally, let us remember that one of the routes, permitted by way of derogation from the general rule, for the dismissal of workers during the prohibition imposed by law, is that of the consensual termination of the employment relationship, either through individual agreements with individual workers or by collective agreement between companies signed also by a single trade union organization.

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