Executive’s employment in Italy / Executive’s dismissal in Italy (“dirigenti”):
“Dirigenti” are the highest category of employee, defined in Italy mainly by specific collective agreements, comprising workers who are in charge of running the enterprise or a large and independent part of it, with full autonomy within the employer’s general directives (i.e. the employer’s alter ego ); also includes certain employees with very high-level technical, scientific and/or professional qualifications.
Managers are not protected by the usual provisions on dismissals, rest days or maximum working hours; they can be dismissed ad nutum (see individual dismissal), and can be hired for a specified period (see fixed-term or temporary employment ) without any restrictions. On the other hand, they enjoy much more favorable treatment than other categories as regards salaries and fringe benefits, terms and conditions of employment and social security.
Their union representation, like their collective bargaining, is separate from that of the other categories and covers large areas of production (industry, commerce, etc.) (see CIDA , Unionquadri ) or production/marketing sectors, in the same way as the employers’ associations.
Executive’s dismissal in Italy
The Italian Law provides two different kinds of dismissal in the case of open ended contract: with a just cause (art. 2119 civil code) or with notice period (art. 2118 civil code). The dismissal must be made in writing. It is always possible to terminate the employment contract with an agreement between the Company and the Executive.
The contract terminates immediately in case of just cause.
In the second case, the contract terminates at the end of the notice period; in lack of notice, the withdrawing party is required to pay the other party an indemnity equivalent to the amount of remuneration to which it would have been entitled during the notice period. An agreement between employer and employee is necessary to convert the notice period from time into indemnity.
The main protection against unfair dismissal is provided by collective agreements that provide that in case of unfair dismissal or in absence of any reason, the executive is entitled to receive a supplementary indemnity (to 18-22 month salaries), to be added to the notice period (up to 12 months).
The indemnity might be automatically increased (from 2 to 7 months) proportionally to the age of the Executive.