COVID-19 :

measures for Job Support

10 04 2020

Guidelines for employers:

Italy was the first European country affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and the number of infections in our country is still increasing.

It is important that the employers are aware of the obligations and consequences for employment in your company.  BDO Italy provides you with practical guidelines related to the obligations and opportunities set forth by the recent decrees approved by the Government, especially the “Cura Italia” Decree (Urgent Law-Decree 18/2020 – here below the Decree).

The Decree is effective since March 17th and must be converted into law by the Parliament within 60 days from its publication. This implies that modifications and further provisions could be enforced during the parliamentary process
This guide is updated to April 10th 2020.
 

  1. Social scheme “Cassa Integrazione Ordinaria”

Article 19 of the Decree provides for the possibility, for employers who suspend or reduce their work activity for events attributable to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19, to request for a social scheme so called “Cassa Integrazione Ordinaria” for a maximum period of nine weeks and in any case within the month of August 2020.

Simplified procedures are then provided that might derogate from the limits established by current legislation, for example by excluding the payment of the additional contribution and by setting electronically simplified terms for submitting the application.

The application, in any case, must be submitted by the end of the fourth month following the month in which the period of suspension or reduction of the work activity began and is not subject to the verification of the requirements referred to in article 11 of Legislative Decree 14 September 2015, n. 148.

The funds (“Fondi di integrazione salariale”) referred to in Article 27 of Legislative Decree 14 September 2015, n. 148, guarantee the payment of the same social scheme as referred to in paragraph 1 in this article. The workers targeted by the rules are employee in force as of 23 February 2020.

Furthermore, according to art. 41 Decree-law 8 april 2020, n. 23 the CIGO, the FIS and the redundancy fund may also be applied to employees hired between 24 February and 17 March 2020.

The aforementioned income support services are recognized in the maximum spending limit of 1,347.1 million euros for the year 2020. INPS monitors this limit. If the aforementioned monitoring shows that the spending limit has also been reached prospectively, the INPS does not consider further applications.

Further provisions are envisaged for companies that are already using the social scheme so called “Cassa integrazione straordinaria” (art. 20) and for those that have ongoing solidarity allowances (cd. assegni di solidarietà) (art. 21).

First operational instructions on the Social scheme have been delivered by the Social Security Authority (INPS) with the Circular n. 47 of 28 March 2020.

Circular no. 47/2020 also confirms the exceptions provided for in the Decree with respect to ordinary regulations. In particular:

  • no additional contribution will be due;
  • the union agreement is not necessary, but employers will still have to carry out the information, consultation and joint examination with the unions within the 3 days following that of the prior communication;
  • the technical report must not be attached to the application, but only the list of targeted workers.
  • employers will not have to provide any evidence regarding the transitory nature of the event and the resumption of work;
  • the ordinary requirement of 90 days of actual work is not required, but it will be sufficient to be employed by the company on 23 February 2020;
  • the presence of unused holiday leaves does not prevent the request of the social scheme; 
  • the deadline for submitting applications with the reason for COVID-19 is identified at the end of the fourth month following the one in which the period of suspension or reduction of work began;
  • the applying procedure is simplified and it should done via e-procedure to the INPS site web.

 

  1. Social scheme “Cassa Integrazione in deroga”

This is an additional and residual protection for employers in the private sector for which the protections provided for by the current provisions on suspension or reduction of hours, in the presence of employment, do not apply.

Article 22 of the Decree provides that the Regions and Autonomous Provinces can recognize as a consequence of the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19 - after agreement with the Trade Union that are comparatively more representative at national level for employers who employ more than five employees – special social schemes for the duration of the suspension of the employment relationship and in any case for a period not exceeding nine weeks.

The agreement with the trade unions is not required for employers who employ fewer than five employees.

The treatment referred to in this article is recognized from 23 February 2020 and limited to employees already in force on the same date. The procedures for granting the treatment are then established and monitoring is provided by the INPS.

Furthermore according to art. 41 Decree-law 8 april 2020, n. 23 the CIGO, the FIS and the redundancy fund may also be applied to employees hired between 24 February and 17 March 2020.

The treatment referred to in this article is recognized in the maximum limit of 3,293.2 million euros for the year 2020, starting from February 23, 2020 and limited to employees already in force on the same date.

The provisions of articles 15 and 17 of the Decree-Law of 2 March 2020, n. 9 on the social scheme “Cassa integrazione in deroga” continue to be applied to the production units located in the municipalities of Annex 1 of the same Decree (formerly “red areas”) and for the Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions.

Even in this case the operational instructions have been delivered by the Social Security Authority with its Circular 47 of 28 March 2020.

 

  1. Parental leave for employees Covid-19

Beneficiaries:

Private employees with children up to 12 years of age are entitled to an extraordinary parental leave of a maximum of 15 total days that can be used, alternatively, by only one of the parents per family, for periods from March 5 to April 3, 2020.

Amount:

The allowance is equal to 50 percent of remuneration and notional social security contribution is recognized for such leave.

Parents with children aged 12 to 16 are entitled to be absent from work for the same period (15 days) without any allowance and without notional coverage. Specific provisions are also provided for parents with disabled children.

Such leaves are not usable if the other parent is unemployed / non-worker or with income support measures or if the alternative bonus for baby-sitting services has been requested (600 euros).

How to apply:

Parents intending to take advantage of the new COVID-19 Leave (and having the requirements for accessing to the “ordinary” parental leave) should apply to the employer and the Social Security Authority, using the application procedure of parental leave already in use.

Parents with children aged between 12 and 16 should apply only to the employer (and not to the Social Security Authority).

Parental leave is paid by the employer who recover it by off-setting with the contributions due for the other workers.

The operational instruction to this measure have been delivered by the Social Security Authority with its Circular 45 of 25 March 2020.

 

  1.  Paid leave L. 104/92 – Covid-19

Beneficiaries:  

Permits Law 104 refer to workers assisting a family member with a serious handicap ascertained by the Social Security Authority.

Measure:

An increase in paid leave days is provided by the law: in addition to the 3 monthly days already provided for by law no. 104/92 (3 for the month of March and 3 for the month of April) it is possible to extend a further 12 total days for the months of March and April. These days, even divisible into hours, can be used consecutively in the same month.

How to apply:

The worker, who already has a permit authorization measure, does not have to file any new application. He can already take advantage of the aforementioned additional days and employer must consider valid authorization measures already issued.

The operational instruction to this measure have been delivered by the Social Security Authority with its Circular 45 of 25 March 2020.

 

  1. Illness period

Pursuant to Article 26, for workers in the private sector, the period spent in quarantine or in fiduciary home stay with active surveillance, due to COVID-19, is equivalent to periods of illness, for the purposes of the economic treatment provided and said period cannot be added for the purposes of the period of conduct.

Application procedures are then established for the preparation of certificates by the doctor. Notwithstanding the current provisions, the charges are on the State burden.

 

  1. Bonus for baby-sitting Covid-19

Beneficiaries:

As a consequence of the school suspension, employees and self-employed workers enrolled or not enrolled at the National Social Security Fund could apply for a bonus for babysitting services.

Amount:

The bonus is equal to € 600 for each child under the age of 12 on March 5, 2020.

The bonus for baby-sitting services is not usable if the other parent is unemployed / non-worker or with income support measure or COVID-19 parental leave has been requested.

How to apply:

The bonus is applied by accessing the INPS website starting from the first week of April following the implementation of the IT procedure.

The bonus will be paid by the Social Security Authority on the so called “Family booklet” (“libretto di famiglia”), so those interested who do not have such booklet must request it in advance on the INPS website.

The operational instruction to this measure have been delivered by the Social Security Authority with its Circular 44 of 24 March 2020.

 

  1. Bonus for employees

As for employees, art. 63 of the Decree provides for the payment of a bonus for the month of March of 100 euros in favor of employees with total income not exceeding 40,000 euros, who, during the COVID 19 health emergency period, continue to go to work place.

The bonus, which does not concur to the taxable income for the purposes of direct taxes, and is pro rata days considering the days when the work is performed in the ordinary location. The award is automatically paid by the employer with the remuneration for the month of April and, in any case, within the terms provided for the so called “Conguaglio”.

The withholding tax agent recovers the premium paid in compliance with Article 17 of Legislative Decree no. 241 of 1997 through offsetting of taxes and social security contribution payment.

 

  1. Allowances for professionals and self-employed workers Covid-19

Articles 27, 28 and 29 of the Decree grant a one-off indemnity equal to 600 euros for the month of March 2020 in favor of self-employed with VAT number and assimilated employees (so called co.co.co), registered in the separate INPS Social Security Fund, non-pensioners and not registered in other forms of compulsory pension.

INPS will set and monitor the procedures for granting the benefit. The aforementioned allowances are cumulative with each other and do not concur to the taxable income.

The operational instruction to this measure have been delivered by the Social Security Authority with its Circular 49 of 30 March 2020.

A decree approved by two ministers (Labour Minister and Finance Minister) has extended the grant of such bonus to professionals registered to the mandatory private social security funds under certain conditions (e.g. 2018 revenue under 35,000 € or between 35,000 and 50,000 with further requirements). 

 

  1. Extension of social security and welfare terms

Pursuant to Article 34 of the Decree, from 23 February 2020 up until 1 June 2020, the prescription terms and the statute of limitation related to social security, assistance and insurance services provided by INPS and INAIL.

Article 33 also provides for an extension of terms for claims of unemployment NASPI and DIS-COLL.

Article 46 provides that, since the entering into force of this Decree, appeal procedures for individual and collective redundancies cannot be started and is prevented for 60 days; pending procedures are also suspended in the same period. It is also provided that during this period the employer, regardless of the number of employees, cannot withdraw from the contract for justified objective reason.