On 4 July 2023, Decree-Law no. 48 of 4 May 2023 was converted into Law no. 85/2023.
Considering only the most recent changes that have been brought to regulations on fixed-term employment and in order to reconstruct, in summary, the regulatory framework on the subject of the affixing of a fixed term and renewal, we observe that:
a) it is still, therefore, possible to set a term not exceeding 12 months, without the need to meet any requirement or condition.
The contract cannot, at any rate, have a duration of more than 24 months.
A duration of more than 12 months may be agreed by the parties only if at least one of the following conditions is met:
- in circumstances detected by the collective labour agreement applied to the employment relationship, on condition that said agreement was signed by comparatively most relevant unions or by their representatives;
- in the absence of a specific provision set by collective agreements and, in any case, by the deadline of 30 April 2024, for specific, demonstrable needs of a i) technical, ii) organisational or iii) production-related nature, as identified by the collective labour agreement applied by the employer,
- for the substitution of absent employees;
b) without prejudice to the fact that the term is ineffective when not specified in writing, upon conversion into law of the decree, it was established that, as is already provided for the extension of fixed-term contracts, renewal (2) will no longer require the specification of any of the aforementioned requirements, provided that the renewal does not result in exceeding the overall limit of 12 months of duration of the employment relationship (3);
c) in the version effective as from 4 July 2023, Art. 21 (1) of Legislative Decree No. 81/2015 provides that the employment contract may be extended and renewed without limits in the first 12 months. As observed, in the event that this limit is exceeded, extension and renewal are only allowed when conditions or needs referred to in subparagraph a) above are met. Failure to specify these conditions or needs in the individual employment contract will result in automatic conversion into a permanent employment contract.
Upon conversion, Art. 24, c. 1-ter of Decree-Law No. 48 of 4 May 2023 was also added, pursuant to which only fixed-term employment contracts signed from 5 May 2023 onwards are relevant for the purposes of calculating the 12-month period referred to in subparagraphs a), b) and c) above.
(1) Art. 19-21, Legislative Decree No. 81/2015;
(2) I.e., the signature of a new fixed-term contract between two parties that already had a fixed-term employment relationship in the past;
(3) Art. 19(4), Legislative Decree No. 81/2015;