By law, it is not mandatory to enter into a written employment contract. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Let’s look at this in more detail.
HOW THE WORK RELATIONSHIP IS ESTABLISHED?
By law, the employment contract does not need the written form (pursuant to Article 1350 of the Italian Civil Code), this means that the employment relationship can also be concluded orally or for conclusive behavior (for example, directly starting the work performance).
In practice, however, whether it is a contract with an employee or a manager (including a temporary manager) or an occasional service, a written document is almost always used to provide proof of what has been agreed. This written document is referred to in different ways, including employment contract and employment letter, which still mean the same thing.
CONTRACT IN WRITTEN FORM: WHEN IT IS AN OBLIGATION FOR THE EMPLOYER
However, there are some exceptions to the general rule set out above, for which the employment contract does not need the written form.
The fixed-term contract (recently updated by the Dignity Decree) must always be made in writing: otherwise, the term is null and the contract is indefinite. The non-competition agreement and the probationary period also require the written form under penalty of nullity.
Furthermore, by adopting the written form it will be possible to define further obligations for the worker and for the employer (a common example is the inclusion of an employee confidentiality agreement) or any additional conditions (such as salary bonuses, commissions or benefits in nature attributed to the worker).
In any case, however, although the written form is not required for the validity of a permanent employment contract, Article 1 of Legislative Decree 26 May 1997, n. 152 provides for the obligation of the employer to provide the worker with a series of information regarding the employment relationship within thirty days from the date of hire.
This information can be provided to the worker ” in the written employment contract or in the letter of employment or in any other written document, to be delivered to the worker within thirty days from the date of hiring “.
For an open-ended employment relationship without any additional agreement, the document that is delivered to the worker is simply the tool that is used by the employer to fulfill this obligation but has nothing to do with the validity of the employment relationship. it is already formed with the simple agreement of the parties.
WHAT INFORMATION THE EMPLOYER MUST COMMUNICATE TO THE EMPLOYER
The public and private employer is required to provide the employee with the following information within thirty days from the date of hire:
- the indication of the parties;
- the place of work; in the absence of a fixed place of work, it must be specified that the worker carries out the activity in several places, or the employer’s headquarters or domicile must be indicated;
- the date of commencement of the employment relationship;
- the duration of the employment relationship, specifying whether it is a fixed-term or permanent employment relationship;
- the length of the trial period, if any;
- the classification, level, and qualification of the worker, or an approximate description of the work to be performed;
- the salary, with the indication of the payment period;
- the length of paid leave to which the worker is entitled;
- l ‘ hours of work;
- the terms of the notice in case of withdrawal.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE EMPLOYER DOES NOT COMMUNICATE RELEVANT INFORMATION?
Failure to communicate the information required by Legislative Decree 152/1997 does not affect the validity of the employment relationship: in fact, in the event of non-compliance, the law only provides for a pecuniary administrative sanction.
Specifically, if the (private) employer does not provide the information relating to the information listed above, pursuant to art. 4 of the same decree 152 of 1997, the worker can contact the provincial labor management, which will order the employer to fulfill the information obligation within 15 days. In the event that the employer does not comply with the request of the provincial management, an administrative sanction will be applied. This rule, however, does not concern the indication of the length of the probationary period (if any), of the salary, of the paid holidays, and of the notice in case of withdrawal, provided that, for such information, explicit reference is made to the rules of the National Collective Labor Agreement applied to the worker.
THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT IS MANDATORY IN THE PRACTICE
In practice, it will therefore always be necessary to provide the worker with a written document. Furthermore, it rarely happens that you want to establish a permanent employment relationship without any of the clauses that require the written form. It will therefore be important to make sure you use an employment contract in accordance with the law and customized to your needs to avoid making mistakes and incurring penalties.