Southern Europe Employment Law Update

17 December 2014

Bird & Bird's International HR Services Group is pleased to launch the first issue of the case law and legislation updates for Southern Europe.

In this issue, we have compiled a selection of the most significant case law and legislation changes that have taken place in the jurisdictions of FranceItaly and Spain over the first half of 2014.

We hope you will enjoy reading this selection of interesting and informative news. Please click below on each update to read more.


Settlement agreement: signature after a mutual consent termination agreement (“rupture conventionnelle”)
In a decision dated 26 March 2014, the French Supreme Court, for the first time, ruled that a settlement agreement can be signed in case of a mutual consent agreement under certain conditions.
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Constructive unfair dismissal: impact of the employer’s breach

In two consecutive rulings, the French Supreme Court has stated that in order to justify constructive dismissal the employer's breach alleged must prevent the continuation of the employment contract.
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Monitoring of employees via cameras: continuous monitoring in areas restricted to employees

The French Data Protection Authority imposed a sanction to a Company for the continuous monitoring of certain areas of the work place that can only be accessed by employees.
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Co-employment in the context of redundancies: liability of the mother company
The French Supreme Court has extended the employer's responsibility of the mother company over the employees of a subsidiary to certain cases of confusion of interests, activity and management.
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Changes and prospective changes to Italian Employment law
On December 4, 2014, the Italian Parliament has delegated the Government to issue, not later than in the successive 6 months, various legislative decrees amending the current termination rules.
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Jobs Act: modification to the discipline of fixed-term contracts

The Italian government enacted a decree in March 2014, deregulating fixed-term contracts and Temporary Agency Work and eliminating the need of an objective justification for the term. Moreover, the original term can be extended (in this case, however, with objective reasons) provided that no more than five extensions occur. We, however, expect the Italian legislation to be modified again soon to this regard.

European Court of Justice decision 13th February 2014 (case C-596/12)
The European Court of Justice (decision 13 February 2014) has sentenced the Italian government over the misapplication of Directive 98/59/EC on the approximation of the Member States' laws related to collective dismissals.
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Pre-existence under Italian Law and the Amatori's case
According to the European Court, the Council Directive 2001/23/EC of 12 March 2001 does not exclude national legislation allowing the transferee to take over the employment relationship from the transferor in cases in which there was not a functionally autonomous economic entity existing before the transfer.
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Communication with employees: use of SMS or email

The Central Labour Court (Audiencia Nacional) has deemed abusive the inclusion of a clause in the employment contract allowing the employer to make communications to its employees by means of SMS or email.
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Collective dismissals: application and interpretation of the procedural and substantial legislation on collective terminations approved by the Government in 2012
Over the first semester of 2014, both the Central and the Supreme Court in Spain have issued several judgments declaring null and void the collective dismissals carried out by Companies well-known in the market on the basis of the lack of correct application and interpretation of the new regulation.
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Monitoring of employees: use of security cameras' footage for disciplinary purposes

The Spanish Supreme Court declared null and void the disciplinary dismissal of a supermarket cashier accused of giving for free some goods of the Company's shop invalidating the use of the footage on which the sanction was grounded for disciplinary purposes.
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Probationary period of 1 year: compliance with the Spanish Constitution

The Spanish Constitutional Court deemed compliant with the Spanish Constitution the probationary period of one year provided for the contract to support of entrepreneurs.
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