COVID-19: urgent measures to support workers and companies set forth by Decree-Law no. 9 of 2 March 2020.

Prepared by Paolo Lucarini, Marzio Scaglioni, Giulia Spalazzi, Lucia Zedda, Davide Marco Mangano, Alessia Sveva Spadoni, Valentina Panettella and Davide Poli

Covid-19, or “Coronavirus” epidemiological emergency required a prompt action by the Government aimed at supporting the most affected workers and companies.
In this scenario, on March 2nd has been issued the Law Decree no. 9/20, which set forth a series of measures aimed at containing, to the extent possible, the adverse consequences on our socio-economic reality arising from the unstoppable spread of the virus.
With reference to the measures concerning employers and workers based in the so called “red zone” (i.e., for the time being, Bertonico, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgerundo, Castiglione d’Adda, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, San Fiorano, Somaglia, Terranova dei Passerini, Vo Euganeo) who are unable to work, Law Decree n. 9/20 provides for:

  • the introduction of a simplified procedure to apply for the ordinary redundancy fund (CIGO) or ordinary allowance for suspension or reduction of working activity;
  • the possibility to submit the application for ordinary redundancy fund (CIGO) or redundancy fund by way of derogation (CIGD) with reference to the duration of the suspension of the employment relationship and for a maximum period of three months;
  • the award of a monthly indemnity equal to Euro 500,00 for a maximum period of three months, commensurate with the actual period of suspension of activity, in favour of collaborators, sales agents and self-employed or professional workers, including holders of business activities registered to the general compulsory insurance, both exclusive and substitute forms, as well as to the so called “Gestione Separata”, who exercise their working activity into the red zone, or are resident or domiciled therein before the entry into force of the Law decree n. 9/20.

In particular, as envisaged by art. No. 15, of the afore mentioned Law Decree, employers may apply for Redundancy fund by way of derogation from 23 February 2020, for the entre duration of the suspension of the employment relationship and in any case for a maximum period of three months.

On the other hand, employees are insured for contributions and related charges. Such provision does not, however, encompass domestic employers. These treatments are granted by a specific decree of the concerned Regions, which transmit it electronically to INPS, together with the list of beneficiaries, so that INPS can provide these benefits.

These treatments are granted by a specific decree of the concerned Regions, which transmit it electronically to INPS, together with the list of beneficiaries, so that INPS can provide these benefits. INPS will monitor compliance with the expenditure limit set forth by the Law Decree and, should the threshold limit potentially be reached, the regions will no longer be able to issue any further measures.

The above mentioned  treatment is provided exclusively by direct payment by INPS, pursuant to art. No. 44, paragraph 6-ter, Legislative Decree no. 148 of 2015. Apart from the cases referred to in Art. No. 15, also for the regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, pursuant to Art. No. 17, it is also possible –  limited to cases of ascertained prejudice – to recognize, by way of derogation, salary supplement fund treatment for the duration of the suspension of the employment relationship and in any case for a maximum period of one month. Workers are also in this case insured for contributions and related ancillary charges, but up to a maximum period of one month.

Smartworking provided for by Law no. 81 of 22 May 2017 may be applied on the whole national territory for the entire duration of the state of emergency (i.e. until 31/7/20) by employers to any employment relationship even in the absence of the individual agreements provided for therein.

In addition to the above, further measures aimed at providing support to workers and businesses have been introduced by Law Decree 9/2020 to deal with the current emergency situation. Article no. 1, paragraphs 2 et seq., of Law Decree no. 9/2020 extended the 2020 tax obligations deadlines – as amended by the last Tax Decree (article 16-bis Law Decree no. 129/2019) – regarding wage and tax statement (CU) and 730/2020 declaration, because of Coronavirus emergency.

The new dispositions, confirmed by press release from Withholding Agency, concerns the entire Italian territory, without any distinctions. 

Regarding 730/2020 form tax declaration deadlines, the aim was to facilitate the operators facing the current emergency. Therefore, people holding employment income can submit the declaration – tax period 2019 – within 30th September, instead of the previous 23rd  July, regardless of the fulfilment method adopted.

In the fourth paragraph, the new deadline about availability of 730 prefilled changed from 15th April to 5th May. The management by withholding agents of  730 form tax declarations remain unchanged.

About the submission of income data through CU, the third paragraph has granted the entire month of March to withholding agents, and the deadline to submit  electronically the declaration to Withholding Agency matches with the time limit to deliver the documentation to the employee.

Finally, the fifth paragraph postpones to 31st March the deadline of transmission relating to deductible taxes and costs incurred by the taxpayer in 2019, which should be included in the pre-filled 730 declaration.

The following table summarizes deadlines:

Lastly, article 9 of the Law Decree 9/2000 provides for some extension to the ordinary deadline related to the Immigration procedure in Italy:

  • the Italian public security authorities will be able to issue residence permits longer than in the ordinary deadline of  30 days;
  • The ordinary deadlines for the submission of the application for the first residence permit (8 days from the arrival in Italy) and renewal of the residence permit (60 days before the expiry date or within 60 days after the expiry date are suspended.

In addition police headquarters and police stations have adopted some measures to prevent the infection of the virus, allowing the entry into their offices for the completion of fingerprints procedures to a maximum of 5 people at a time, leaving other users to wait their turn outside the station itself. It is, of course increasing  delays in issuance of Residence permit and in all immigration procedures.

The contents of Law Decree n. 9/20 represents only a piece of the ever-changing emergency regulatory mosaic.

The Government is already working on a new decree which aims to further support most affected  sectors and workers by the epidemiological emergency through the so-called «2020 wages saving rule», a measure that safeguards the wages and the rights of affected workers.

As far as we know, with the expected decree, the offices closing days will not be considered as days of absence, nor will cuts in pay be applied to those who have been sick and / or quarantined up to March 31, 2020. As far as workers of the public sector are concerned, they will not suffer any reduction from retribution and / or social security perspective, but will only have to waive their meal vouchers.

Of course, the conditional form is compulsory as to the forthcoming approval of the new decree and the measures contained therein, also in light of the sudden changes of scenario that this new challenge requires.