Disciplinary procedure in Italy

Private penalty which the employer has the authority to impose on the employee in order to punish conduct which in some way violates the obligations arising out of the employment contract.

Such forms of conduct (offences) are usually categorized in collective agreements.

The basis of the employer’s managerial authority is to be found in Article 2106 of the Civil Code, which provision was subsequently incorporated into the Workers’ Statute (L. n. 300/1970), but hedged about with many guarantees for employees.

For instance, Article 7 of the above Worker’s Statute stipulates, among other things, that the disciplinary code (codice disciplinare ) relating to sanctions, to the offences for which each of these sanctions may be applied and to the procedures for appealing against them must be made known to employees by being posted up in a place accessible to all.

Comapnies cannot apply any disciplinary measure without first communicating the grounds for it to the employees in question and hearing what they may have to say in their defence. The employees may be assisted in this by a representative of the union to which they belong or which they nominate for the purpose.

The Constitutional Court has ruled that these procedural restrictions laid down by the Statute are applicable not only to what are known as “conservative” sanctions (i.e. disciplinary action short of dismissal), but also to individual dismissal on disciplinary grounds.

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