Causes of termination of employment relationship


The employment relationship may be terminated for a number of cases provided for by the legal system, whether it be a fixed-term or indefinite employment relationship.

The two main and best-known reasons are represented by the hypothesis of unilateral withdrawal of the parties.

In particular, in the event of termination of the employer, we speak of dismissal, but when it is the worker who chooses to terminate the relationship, it is correct to speak of resignation.

In the event that both parties jointly decide that they do not want to continue the employment relationship, this means that the contract will be terminated by mutual consent.

The consensual termination of the employment relationship occurs when you and your employee mutually agree to the termination of the contract, since the mutual convenience of continuing the contractual relationship has ceased.

As for the form for the consensual resolution, there is no obligation of agreement in written form, although the consensual resolution may occur through the simple conclusive behavior of the parties from which it is shown the willingness not to continue in the relationship. It is, however, considered appropriate that the written form be observed and that the act be signed possibly before the Conciliation Committees or before the judge, in order to avoid a possible appeal by either party.

The consensual resolution (as well as voluntary resignation), with the law n. 92/2912 (Fornero Law) first and with Legislative Decree 151/2015 then, was introduced the obligation of validation.

As of March 12, 2016, the consensual resolution of the employment relationship must be carried out, under penalty of ineffectiveness, exclusively by electronic means on special forms made available by the Ministry of Labour through the institutional website and transmitted to the competent employer and the Territorial Directorate of Labour.

The worker to withdraw from the contract must fill in, personally with their INPS credentials or through a qualified entity, the model that will contain the following data:

  • details of the employer;
  • data of the worker;
  • the details of the communication and the date on which it takes effect;
  • data of the employment relationship that you want to interrupt and resolve;
  • Data of the enabled subject, if present, and of the model (code and certain date of transmission with time mark); the latter are automatically generated by the system, together with the saving of the model.

This declaration shall not include:

  • seafarers;
  • employees of the public administration;
  • the workers on probation;
  • domestic workers

The validation of the consensual termination agreement by the worker must be carried out directly at the Territorial Directorate of Labour during the following periods:

- pregnancy;

- the first three years of the child’s life;

- the first three years of reception of an adopted child;

- the first three years following the communication of the call for international adoption.

Within 7 days from the date of transmission of the form electronically to the certified e-mail box of the employer and to the territorial management of the competent work, the worker has the right to revoke the consensual resolution in the same manner. The right of reconsideration will no longer be exercisable.

Resignation is the act by which an employee decides to withdraw unilaterally from the contract of employment which binds him to his employer. The employee can always withdraw from the employment contract but with some limitations.

If the employment relationship is fixed term, the withdrawal is allowed only in the presence of a just cause and therefore in the presence of a serious failure of the employer that makes it impossible to continue even just provisional relationship.

If the employment relationship is of an indefinite duration, the worker may withdraw freely but must respect the period of notice, the duration of which is laid down in the collective agreement, unless there is always a fair cause. From 12 March 2016, the resignation may be submitted, following a single procedure, that is, the completion and sending to the employer of the appropriate telematic form available on the website of the Ministry of Labour.

The procedures for validating resignations shall be the same as those laid down for the consensual resolution.

Dismissal is the act whereby the employer unilaterally withdraws from the employment contract with one of his employees.

You can decide to withdraw from the employment contract only in the presence of:

  • due cause, in the event of serious breach of contract and facts and/or conduct outside the scope of the contract;
  • justifiable subjective ground, where the worker fails to fulfil his contractual obligations, which is less serious and linked to the facts or conduct relating to the employment relationship and which renders the worker unfit for the job;
  • justified objective reason, where the dismissal is not attributable directly to the worker but determined by reasons linked to productive activity or work organisation.

With the approval of Decree Law 87 of 2018, the so-called Decree Dignity, Since 14 July, the amount of compensation in the event of unlawful dismissal for workers recruited since 7 March 2015 and falling within the scope of the new contracts has been increased to increasing levels of protection.

These are employees in the private sector, thus excluding those in the public administration, with the status of manual workers, employees or managers, excluding therefore managers, recruited on an indefinite basis after 6 March 2015, the date of entry into force of the Jobs Act, or Legislative Decree. 23/2015.

From 14 July 2018, in case of dismissal, the judge who finds the lack of the justified objective reason, the justified subjective reason or the right cause, declares the employment relationship terminated on the date of dismissal and orders the employer to pay compensation, not subject to contributions. This allowance may include:

- for companies with more than 15 employees: two monthly payments of the last reference salary for the calculation of the severance pay for each year of service, but not less than six and not more than 36 monthly payments;

- for companies up to 15 employees: one month’s final reference salary for the calculation of the TFR for each year of service, not less than three months and not more than six months.

For more information, please visit the CCNL website.

Updated on 30/12/2020