March 2014

The first employment measures of the Renzi Government: the revolutionary liberalisation of fixed-term employment and the simplification of apprenticeship

On 21st March 2014 Law Decree no. 34/2014 entered into force, containing urgent measures to fight unemployment, revitalise occupation and simplify employers’ fulfilments (hereinafter, the “Decree”). It is the first and most immediate act of the significant labour law reform which has been announced by the Renzi Government under the name of "Jobs Act".
The Decree only modifies the legislation on fixed-term employment and apprenticeship. The additional expected changes (concerning first of all unemployment social plans and the reorganization of the numerous existing work contracts) will take a little bit longer, since for such purpose the Government has to exercise a specific delegation to legislate on behalf of the Parliament, pursuant to a draft law which has also been defined in the last few days.
The provisions contained in the Decree, although limited in scope, represent a real turning point¸ since they modify principles – especially with respect to fixed-term employment – which seemed to be a fundamental part of the Italian labour law system.
The Decree will become final only upon conversion into law, which must occur within 60 days from the date of its entry into force. However, it would be a political issue for the Parliament to take a step backwards once a so radical choice has been made.
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Practice area: Labour and Employment