Thanks to Leandro Fulvi for collaborating on this article
Following the conversion of what is known as the “Decreto Rilancio” into law, new provisions were introduced to the framework for network contracts with the aim of fostering the safeguarding of employment levels in supply chains affected by crisis or emergency situations declared via official measures from competent authorities (Article 43-bis, Law no. 77 of July 17, 2020).
The changes introduced consist of a significant derivation from the standard regulation for posting workers in the network: companies now may sign network contracts even in the absence of a specific interest on the part of the posting party. This is justified by the necessity to maintain employment levels; however, it could be subject to fraudulent use.
For this reason, network contracts must pursue specific aims designed: (i) to keep employees of network companies who are at risk of losing their jobs; (ii) to employ people who have become unemployed due to business closures or the crisis; and (iii) to hire professionals in order to boost economic activity.
Finally, from a procedural point of view, Article 43-bis simplifies the formalities required when entering into network contracts. There is no longer an obligation to enter the contract in the register of enterprises (mandatory under ordinary rules). However, now when a network contract is signed by the parties, national employer representative organizations that participate in the National Council for Economics and Labor (CNEL) must also be involved, representing the general interests of a number of categories and territories.