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Italians say “si” to e-quitting

May
27
2008

Italy is a nation founded on work (that’s the first line of the constitution, as I never tire of repeating) but the country has the some of the most rigid labor laws in Europe.
It’s hard to get hired. It’s nearly impossible to get fired. So a Donald Trump canning yelp or liberating “Take This Job and Shove It” can often mean a trip to the lawyers for both parties.
This lack of flexibility has meant that companies strongarm new hires into signing a resignation letter (sans date) so that when they’re not needed they can be liquidated.
I’ve never been able to leave a full-time permanent post without taking my contract over to a long-suffering lawyer friend to work around the ridiculous clauses (like three-month notice, two-year post job non-competing agreements) enabling me to slip out the back, Jack.
That may change with a new law requiring electronic communications to fire or quit jobs.
Though every single news account stressed the online component, like most things here (even playing the online lottery) an in-person visit was involved. Instead of the information highway, everything still traveled on the bureaucratic mule cart.
Now the whole process can be done online, but whether that stops employers from forcing de trop employees to resign by force is open to question.
It works like this: any worker who wants to say sayonara to his or her salaried post registers online and fills out a quitting form. It’s pretty straightforward, though it requires more information at hand than just a regular resignation letter — fiscal code of the employer, exact starting date — and there’s no advice on what to put under “reason for quitting.”
The form piles into a Labor Ministry database, the quittee takes away a numbered copy as receipt. Within 15 days, the quittee gives the resignation form to the employer or it is invalid. (You can still go through an intermediary, namely city hall or the unions, if you don’t trust the Internet or have access at home).
An IT manager I know went through the process when it first became law back in March. He had an offer from a foreign company opening an Italian branch and held off on the quitting form because the new company was having problems vetting the Italian labor laws (surprise!) and was stuck waiting on the contract.
Once he “applied” to quit, he only had 15 days to do so. Feeling the squeeze, he decided to get the quitting form sorted out, just in case. He wasted half a day at city hall to apply for his resignation.
As chance would have it, the new employer rang him at the hospital where his wife had gone for an emergency operation, telling him to come sign the contract. Visiting hours over, he booked over to sign and then slapped his (totally clueless) employer with the form.
Just how does an electronic version stop employers from standing over your PC and forcing you to fill out the quitting doc? Clearly, it can’t. One less visit to a lawyer’s, maybe, for anyone quitting without complications, but that’s debatable.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 7:56 AM | Permalink

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