Overview of dismissal procedure in Italy

The economical crisis brought by Covid-19 is putting big attention on the topic of employee dismissal.
Generally speaking, foreign investors consider that the Italian regulation is not favorable to the company’s side when it’s time to deal with the dismissal of employees.
However, the situation has changed positively from 2012 with the first important reform (so-called Riforma Fornero) and it is further improved in 2014 with the entrance in force of the so-called Job Act.
With this article, we would like to give an overview of the main aspects related to the dismissal cases due to justified objective reasons (not related to employee behavior), such as possible consequences after the Covid-19 crisis.

1. Overview

The Italian Law grants the possibility to the companies to dismiss employees for justified objective reason (giustificato motivo oggettivo in Italian, so called g.mo.), both for individual and for collective cases.
First of all let's see what is the meaning of justified objective reason: the legal basis is contained in article 3 of Law 604 of 1966 and it states that dismissal can occur for reasons inherent to the business activity, work organization, and its regular functioning.

The most important cases of justified objective reason are:

A) Crisis of the company due to economic situation The company must be able to demonstrate the actual existence of the crisis. For example, a reduction of the income and a reduction of the purchase orders, if it can be demonstrated through documents, are suitable reasons for “g.m.o” dismissing. The consequence of the crisis must be the need for the company to cancel the position that the worker has.

B) The termination of the activity (company closure)
This hypothesis is considered one of the situations in which the dismissal for justified objective reason is legitimate and it has always been confirmed by the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione, the highest judicial body in Italy).
In case of company closure, the employer has in fact no choice but to dismiss all workers.

C) Loss of the tasks to which the worker is assigned
The dismissal due to an organizational rearrangement that involves a redistribution of the employee's tasks is considered legitimate. The employer can dismiss for a reorganization that increases the efficiency and productivity of the company, even if the company is not in crisis, as long as the redistribution of the tasks is the cause of the dismissal.

Important: duty to consider the so-called “repêchage” (this is a French word that we use in Italian labor law).
This term refers to the obligation of the employer to check, before dismissing, whether the worker can be used to perform different tasks at the same level or even at a lower level of his actual tasks. It is essential to make this analysis.
In fact, in the event of a lawsuit, the judge always checks whether the employer has made this attempt.
If the employer can prove that the worker could not be used in a different position, the dismissal will be legitimate.
So, repêchage is a fundamental element to see if the dismissal is fully legitimate or not.

In conclusion, we can generally summarize that dismissal for a justified objective reason, to be fully legitimate, must fall within the cases A, B, C listed above, and pass the verification of the repêchage duty.

2. General procedure

We have to examine two cases: (1) Individual dismissal
(2) Collective dismissal

(1) Individual dismissal
It occurs in all the cases where the collective procedure does not apply, therefore when less than 5 workers are dismissed within 120 days.
How the dismissal is communicated to the employee?

- Company must send to the local labor authority of the place where the employee works a communication containing the intention to proceed with the dismissal and its reasons. Then, a meeting with the company and the employee will be done to try to find an agreement on the dismissal.

- The procedure can be concluded with an agreement between the parties that avoid the termination of the employment relationship or which provides for a consensual termination.

- If an agreement is not reached, the employer can then proceed with the written communication of the dismissal.

(2) Collective dismissal
It occurs when the company that has more than 15 employees intends to dismiss 5 or more workers within 120 days, as a consequence of reduction or transformation of the activity or when it intends to close the activity.
The number of five employees to be dismissed can be the first intention of the company, then it can dismiss fewer people but it must follow in any case the collective procedure.
The collective procedure involves the participation of the union. The union will see if the reasons provided by the company are legally valid.
This procedure is more complicated than individual dismissal but it could be the best option if a company wants strongly to reduce the number of employees or even close the activity.
In this way, the company faces a unique procedure to dismiss a high number of employees at the same time.
It is very important to check the following requirements to decide the employees to dismiss:
- Family situation: easier to dismiss a person without a family than who has family
- Seniority: easier to dismiss a younger worker
- Business needs: it is important to pay attention to these criteria. The company must be able to demonstrate that a certain position is no longer useful due to the crisis and subsequent reorganization.

These criteria must apply to all workers in the company. Not just those from a specific department.

Dismissal is a delicate theme and each case has specific procedures according to the dismissal nature. Thus, in case the company has to face this issue we highly recommend consulting suitable professionals to make appropriate steps.


Digital and Web Specialist

The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ICCJ) has been involved in digital activities steadily for the last few years, and we moved almost completely online in 2020. With three major websites, four social channels, two newsletters, and several digital promotion initiatives - comprising of landing pages, online advertising, and social campaigns - we need professionals that can help us maintain and expand our web presence.

How you can help us

We need a well-rounded digital expert that can move freely between the technical and marketing aspects of our online activity, which we started (and maintain to this date) internally.

Web management

  • Maintain, streamline, and improve our digital assets both on the technical aspect and on the usability one. This means being able to decide whether a website needs to be updated, fixed, or redesigned, being able to opt for an internal action or an external hire or purchase, and being able to execute on this option.
  • Take care of the operations of our web assets, be it uploading a new image on the server, checking whether the certificate needs renewal, or making sure that the backups are consistent and usable.
  • In collaboration with the designer, create responsive landing pages or minisites - with WordPress or just with HTML and CSS - for internal initiatives or clients.

Digital marketing

  • Collaborate with the marketing, the media, and the business managers in creating and executing content plans for our websites and social media, leveraging internal creators (employees and interns) and our stakeholders (members, institutions, influencers)
  • Create and monitor digital advertising campaigns for ICCJ or their clients
  • Assist the business managers in finding new opportunities to add value in the digital space, whether by investing in new assets or creating new initiatives

How we will decide whether we fit

  • You have a few years of real-world experience in the digital field, feel very confident with many of the above tasks (including the technical ones), and are willing to take on the rest of them in a relatively short time
  • You are ready to show us a portfolio of projects you took charge of, and you will be able to motivate your choices both from a technical and a business point of view
  • By the first interview, you will have spent some time on our websites and formed a rough idea of what the main priorities might be, as well as what will be the main challenges
  • While you strive for excellence and are able to suggest the best from the market, you are not afraid to devise rough-and-ready solutions for initiatives that start with a low budget, and "I'll do it myself" is always one of your options.
  • Even if you do not speak native Japanese (which would be ideal), you are able to make sure that our contents are clean and effective for our Japanese audience.

How to contact us

Write to us at analyst@iccj.or.jp. An English resume or CV is mandatory. A formal cover letter is appreciated, but so is a sensible self-presentation in plain text.

You can also apply through Linkedin.


Lavazza coffee

Enjoy Italy’s premium coffee LAVAZZA in your office for free

Special offer for the members of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan.
Now is the chance to try FLAVIA, the stylish and reliable office coffee machine, together with our premium coffee LAVAZZA in your office for two weeks for free.

LAVAZZA boasts a history of more than 120 years in Italy, the home of espresso coffee. Guests in first-class restaurants, cafes, and hotels in more than 90 countries enjoy LAVAZZA coffee produced from carefully selected high-quality beans, state-of-the-art production facilities, and unique roasting and blending technologies.
FLAVIA, launched in 1982, is the world's first one-drink serving machine. The revolutionary beverage machine features a unique, patented drink pack called the Fresh Pack. It is the only premium beverage system that can brew coffee, tea, lattes, and hot chocolate all in one machine.

With FLAVIA, you can easily enjoy a cup of premium LAVAZZA coffee that is recognized both at home and abroad in your office environment.

For more information, please contact: Lavazza Professional Japan LCC
Contact: Takenori Amemiya    
E-Mail: takenori.amemiya@lavazzapro.com
Tel:  +81-3-6635-2828       
https://www.lavazzapro.jp/


A useful guide for traveling to Italy from Japan【Updates by 29th January 2021】

EU excludes Japan from the list of third countries for which member states should gradually lift restrictions on non-essential travel

This list is reviewed every two weeks, and this time the restrictions have been tightened again in response to the spread of the new coronavirus infection in Japan. However, this announcement is only at EU level. Although the Italian government has not yet (by January 29th) announced any new restrictions regarding the travels from Japan so far, it should be taken into account that Italy may follow this policy in the following days.

Check here for the official EU announcement (external link)

 


【Updates by 20th January 2021】

In this guide, you will find important tips and useful links that will help in case of travels from Japan to Italy.

Taking into consideration the Italian internal situation regarding Covid19 measures, it is very difficult to prepare a step-by-step explanation as national regulations are continuously changing and each region is also applying its own rules.

Furthermore, at this moment, even though you enter in Italy, it is important to remember that we are under semi-lockdown situation and each of the Italian regions are divided under colours (red, orange, yellow) and each color has a specific rules and limitations, and such distinction by colours can be changed day by day.

Current situation of travels from Japan to Italy (by January 20th 2021)

Rules under National Level

  • Travels from Japan is allowed for any reasons.
  • Italian authorities are not requesting PCR tests for entering to Italy.
  • Everyone arriving from Japan must be under self-isolation for 14 days from the day of arrival.

Rules under regional Level

Please note that in many cases, different regions apply different rules and requirements. Therefore, when you travel to Italy, it is highly important to check also what rules are applying the authorities of your final destination (Region, City). They might require, for example: some self declarations, PCR tests,  etc.

Attention!

If you are traveling from Japan but in case you have been staying recently in some other country (countries) other than Japan, different/additional rules may apply. For example, authorities may request you to submit a self-declaration and prove that you have undergone a PCR test, with negative result, in the 48 hours before your arrival; to inform your Local Health Authority of reference as soon as you arrive to your final destination, etc.

Useful links:

As the situation is constantly changing, the best option is to check directly the latest information that the Italian authorities provide. Here you can find some of them:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Information regarding entering to Italy (page available only in Italian): https://infocovid.viaggiaresicuri.it/
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Questionnaire (available in Italian and English):

https://infocovid.viaggiaresicuri.it/index_en.html

This questionnaire is useful as by entering the answer that fits the best to each case, the site will give an answer of the current applicable rules to such case.

https://reopen.europa.eu/en/

In this page you can find information for the rules that are applied in each EU Member States.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this article (i) does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; (ii) are for general informational purposes only and may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information (iii) this website may contain links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader


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Social Media Marketing: how the strategy has changed following the pandemic

What will the social media world look like after the pandemic? As we have learned so far in 2020, it is not possible to ever be 100% prepared for the future. It is important to try to predict trends, strategize and plan, but we have to be flexible and ready to shift marketing and business strategies at any time, especially regarding social media.

The impact of the pandemic on the marketing landscape has certainly been of considerable intensity. Many things have changed: our life habits, the way we relate, the way we work. Due to this, it is easy to imagine how the business world has also suffered severe shocks. However, in this particular situation, we have witnessed a very rapid evolution in recent months of the digital transformation, with the use of new communication channels.

The strategies have changed to better adapt to the new tools, and the way in which companies communicate with their customers has become more digital. People have spent much more time indoors than before, feeling the need to feel connected to the world to some extent. For these reasons, numerous aspects related to social media marketing have been reviewed and updated. Investing in social media has therefore also become necessary for companies, which have thus had the need to seize all the opportunities offered by the digital transformation, perhaps underestimated before.

In a short time, 2020 has managed to give life to a completely new lifestyle and to create a set of new rules for everyone. From COVID-19 to the Black Lives Matter movement, brands and social media marketers find themselves making adjustments, large and small, to their original strategies. It became fundamental to analyze social media marketing strategy in perspective of the latest events and necessarily set the direction. Moreover, social commitment and empathy will be the keywords of the future, and it is an important part of the strategy changing the way of using social media.

Social media today represents an essential element for any activity: before COVID-19, the path was already traced, and the pandemic did nothing but accelerate and optimize certain processes already in place. Today, it is impossible to think of marketing processes without the support of social media, which have now forcefully entered the life of each of us.

Therefore social media communication and the use made of it are really important in the future of all kinds of companies.


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E-commerce, boom in sales during the lockdown: tips for your digital store

The effects of Coronavirus are still vivid: in this case, we are not talking about health issues, but the impact that the lockdown had on the habits of Italians and, in particular, on digital commerce. During these months e-commerce has become a priority channel for securing essential products without leaving home.

According to the Consumer Panel GfK, almost 4 out of 10 Italian families have been shopping online for the first time since March: since the beginning of the year till today, 2 million new online consumers have been registered in Italy (out of a total of 29 million). On a comparison in the first six months of 2019, the total amount was 700,000. A dynamic that pushed the business of those who work in the e-commerce sector.

Moreover, according to analysts, the online commerce sector is the one that will grow the most in the world economy, in an increase calculated up to +55%.

Investments in digital technologies, in a historical period like this, will surely repay those who have focused on Digital Transformation in previous times to adapt their offers and services to the real needs of customers.

But what are the key points to be taken into consideration while selling in e-commerce?

The cornerstone of e-commerce is user satisfaction, which must be placed at the center of the sales strategy. Reliability, quality of service, and user-friendly interface are fundamental in the customer journey through a website. Upstream, the search for reliable suppliers, guarantors of quality products, is obviously essential.

Furthermore, it is essential to adapt all auxiliary sales activities to the local context, such as communication, marketing, SEO optimization, brand awareness, and brand authority.

Speaking of communication, this is the highest obstacle to overcome to achieve the global reach of e-commerce. Investments in professional translations, which are able to create a linguistic and cultural localization project, can position your brand on search engines, adapting it to the local market.

Only through the creation of a multichannel system it is possible to make a winning e-commerce abroad, creating an independent version for each area of ​​interest in the portal.

Fundamental for the next developments in the sector are elements for a widespread diffusion of mobile shopping and the connection to advanced services: we are talking about chatbots, voice assistants, smart devices.

The COVID experience will push to rethink both the physical and virtual retail market, with disruptive effects that nobody until yesterday would have imagined and that will strongly change the economy and business organization of many companies. If until now it was normal to receive a pizza at home, from today on it will be normal to receive a screwdriver too.


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A Digital Silk Road One Year After the Europe-Japan EPA

HOW IS THE DIGITAL MARKETING EVOLVING?

It’s one year since the entrance into force of the economic partnership agreement between
Europe and Japan (February 1st, 2019), which has led to greater liberalism in the relations between these two important economic realities, bringing them closer than ever.
The agreement removed import-export duties, reducing the economic impact on Italian companies and Japanese consumers.

Japan can now buy made in Italy goods such as pasta, tomato sauce, wine, industrial products, and leather goods without the previous surcharges. There is no longer a limit in the number of imported products and moreover, more than 45 indications of Italian geographic origin are now recognized by the country of the Rising Sun, becoming a relevant ally in the fight against counterfeiting. According to the estimates of the European Commission, thanks to the elimination of the duties, the Union's agri-food exports could increase by 36 billion.

How does this impact the marketing approach of organizations and specifically digital marketing?

First of all, being able to sell the goods at a lower price, direct marketing can be much more effective and profitable than ever before. Selling Italian products on e-commerce is now simpler, especially if managed with a great storytelling strategy. As it’s probably well known, the percentage of Japanese users on digital platforms is constantly growing: currently, it’s more than 60% of the population, most of them on social media.
Referrals are on top of social media marketing strategies, users tend to "trust" much more the products purchased and sponsored by influencers, therefore, choosing the most suitable personalities to represent your products in reference to the target, becomes a very important part of the digital communication strategy. Incorporating storytelling elements into the  Influencer Marketing strategy will always have a greater impact than publishing a product with a captivating copy.

Furthermore, the digital - human experience is key in terms of communication; users become more emotionally involved in the possibility of trying or doing something new. In Japan, campaigns that use storytelling methods have generally seen an increase in involvement and interest from the public. Buying a Made in Italy product becomes more accessible and it almost feels like a journey, discovering the flavors and colors of a distant country much loved by Eastern society.

It is essential to select the available media and choose the most suitable channels for the target audience: as regards the food sector, Cookpad is a Japanese social media used by millions of users and based on sharing recipes. Attracting users to platforms that are already used, creating engaging content, is more efficient than attracting them to a new company website, that requires a greater effort in terms of positioning through SEO, SEM, Digital PR, and Syndication.

Moreover, the use of social networks allows companies to establish an active dialogue with the users, also due to the sharing of user-generated content, created while experiencing the service of the good.

Finally, the recommended choice to spread the wide culture of Made in Italy is always to adopt a media mix, that is the use of different channels both online and offline, directly contact, when possible, with Japanese distributors, depending on the type of content that one needs to communicate.

Wanna learn more about how to evolve your digital marketing strategy to and from Japan?
Approach us at digital@tmpgroup.it


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#WEAREITALY - STAY TUNED ON IT

The Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) launches the campaign #WeAreItaly #StayTunedOnIt to promote Italian culture and creativity in the world in the time of Coronavirus.
Andrea Bocelli, Uto Ughi, Tiziano Ferro, Nicola Piovani, Paolo Fresu, Ada Montellanico, Nek, Andrea Griminelli, Rita Marcotulli, Fabrizio Bosso and many more artists have come on board and recorded video messages to encourage people around the world to stay tuned with Italian culture.
New videos and exclusive contents will be offered by the Ministry every day, via the dedicated page (https://bit.ly/2U9PMAF), social media including YouTube (https://bit.ly/3a7onET) and the international network of Italian Embassies, Consulates and Cultural Institutes, promoting a country that is always able to create a culture of the highest standard.
Centre stage will be given to the "web culture" offered by Museums, archaeological sites, libraries and archives, festivals and theatres, the world of cinema and of live entertainment, TV, radio and publishing houses (including Istituto Luce Cinecittà , Cineteca Milano, Cineteca di Bologna, Salone Internazionale del Libro, Pinacoteca di Brera, MAXXI - Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI secolo and many more) which are displaying an extraordinary ability to engage with the social media platforms, always creatively and maintaining a high-quality standard.

STAY TUNED ON ITALY!


Are you looking for a new office?

One of our incubation offices will be available from April 1st. If you are looking for a private, small space (15 m2) with a shared meeting room in a friendly environment this might be it.

Please feel free to contact us to schedule a visit!


Nippon Express is hiring a Sales Manager

 

JOB DESCRIPTION
- Specialized logistics services sales promotion
- Local and regional market analysis
- Support the regional strategy and CRM
- Coordinate internal resources to provide customized service solutions
- Monitor the quality of the services level
- Support kaizen activities

REQUIREMENTS
- Min. 5 years’ experience in Freight Forwarding/Logistics/Operations
(fashion/lifestyle industry experience is a plus)
- High interpersonal and communications ‘skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Target orientation, high motivation and strategical thinking
- Fluent in Japanese and English (additional languages are a plus)

CONTACT
NIPPON EXPRESS CO., LTD.
AIR FREIGHT BUSINESS BRANCH
Recruitment
gple-tyo@air.nittsu.co.jp