An introduction to Italy’s perspectives for 2015

By Angelo Carlo Colombo & Martino Canal

Posted: 7th April 2015 09:31

After three years of recession, 2015 is expected to be the year in which GNP in Italy will resume growth.  Also, thanks to a number of coinciding favorable conditions: low interest rates, an abundance of cash in circulation (thanks to the ECB’s Quantitative Easing), political stability, and reforms completed and promised by the Government.  In addition, the Universal Exposition (EXPO 2015), to be held in Milan from 1 May until 31 October 2015, is unanimously considered to be an excellent opportunity to re-launch Italy’s entire economy. 
 
The new government, headed up by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, since taking office (February 2014) has set the course for a series of legislative reforms aimed at rendering Italy a more modern and efficient country and, therefore, more attractive for businesses and investors from Italy and abroad.
 
Significant tax and corporate law reforms have been recently passed to boost businesses in Italy
 
The Italian tax system has been historically characterised by insular reforms that tended not to be very well coordinated which, collectively, weighed down the legislative system rendering it extremely complex.  2015 is expected to be a year in which the Government is likely to take advantage of its tax mandate to implement a series of coordinated, interconnected reforms aimed at bringing the Italian tax system more in line with those in other European countries and other countries around the world, by simplifying procedures and making the Italian system more attractive for foreign investors.
 
A complex reform of labour legislations is in process. 
 
On the matter of labour law, since 2012, three separate reforms have been enacted, one after another, each completed by the three different Governments that have headed the country in recent years.  The current Government, most recently, has proposed and obtained Parliament’s approval for an overarching reform of labour law (known as the “Jobs Act”) which, among other things, expressly pursues the following aims: i) to render employment contracts more flexible with regard to both hirings and dismissals; ii) to simplify the legal framework; iii) to encourage the hiring of workers under indefinite term contracts.
 
More specifically, over the last few months, the following provisions have been amended: i) the provisions on fixed term contracts (the use of which is currently essentially unrestricted and widespread) and apprenticeship contracts (the use of which has been further simplified); ii) the legal framework governing dismissals of newly hired workers.
 
The reform of the law on dismissals has been long awaited and now it is possible to confirm that, for workers hired since 7 March 2015, the legal framework governing dismissals definitively excludes the possibility for dismissed workers to obtain reinstatement to their jobs through legal proceedings (except for truly exceptional cases) and allow employers to know with certainty the indemnity provided by law in the event of unjustified dismissal, eliminating the uncertainty that arose under the former legal framework, which left discretion to the judge in determining the amount of such indemnity, which ranged from a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 24 months pay.  It was precisely such uncertainty that caused serious tensions at the time of dismissal and tended to encourage the filing of lawsuits before the Labor Law Courts by dismissed workers. 
 
What the future looks like?
 
The economic and financial climate in Italy is showing signs of improvement and the legal framework has been significantly reformed to enable both Italian and foreign businesses to operate effectively on our market.  It is essential for businesses to approach this new business climate with assistance from expert professionals.
 
AC Avvocati e Commercialisti with its close-knit team of about 25 professionals – including tax and corporate affairs experts, attorneys and collaborators – offers consultancy services principally on tax, corporate, litigation, bankruptcy and employment law matters.  AC Avvocati e Commercialisti offers a full range of services which include specialised expertise in arbitration and creditors' composition procedures, as well as civil law and tax-related litigation.  The range of expertise gained over many years, and the high level of professionalism and skill offered by each professional, together with the potentialities of the firm's integrated structure, constitute AC Avvocati e Commercialisti’s key distinguishing strength and enable the firm to identify the specific needs of each client in advance and to address them through optimal custom-tailored solutions.
 
Angelo Carlo Colombo is the founding and managing partner of Ac Avvocati e Commercialisti.  He has twenty years of experience in national and international tax matters, as well as specialised expertise in tax issues related to cross-border M&A transactions.

For many years, alongside his private practice, he was also a tax judge in the Appellate Tax Court and thanks to this experience, he has extensive expertise in tax litigation. 
He is the author of numerous publications on international tax issues. 
He is ranked by Chambers Europe and Legal500 as a leading professional in tax law.
 
Martino Canal is known for his extensive experience in working with international clients, assisting multinational corporations on labour law issues arising in the context of cross-border M&A transactions.  During his 15-year career as a qualified lawyer, he has also gained expertise in all aspects of labour legislation, assisting clients in court cases as well as in out-of-court matters.  Martino Canal provides day-to-day assistance in relation to all legal issues arising in connection with the management of human resources, including the establishment, management and termination of employment relationships.  In 2014, he has been ranked by Chambers Europe and Legal500 as a leading professional in labor law.
 
Contact details
 
Name                  Angelo Carlo Colombo
Position               Managing Partner
Company             AC Avvocati e Commercialisti
Address               Piazzale Luigi Cadorna n.  2, Milan 20123 Italy
Tel:                     +39 0287287800
Fax:                    +39 0287287786
Email:                  angelo.colombo@actaxlaw.com
Website:              www.actaxlaw.com
 

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