New regulations on the use of contributions’ relief

25 March 2024

Italian Decree-Law no. 19/2024, published in the Italian Official Gazette no. 52 of 2 March 2024, amended the regulations which had applied since 1 July 2007 – following the entry into force of Italian Law no. 296/2006 (the 2007 Budget Law) – in relation to the Certificate of Contributions Compliance (Documento Unico di Regolarità Contributiva, ‘DURC’) and the use of the contributory and regulatory benefits subject to it.

The first relevant change affects Article 1, paragraph 1175, of Italian Law no. 296/2006, with respect to which the regulations provided for the possibility of benefiting from regulatory and contributions’ relief in the field of employment and social legislation only subject to the employer’s possession of the DURC, without prejudice to the other legal obligations and compliance with the multi-level applicable agreements and collective agreements, entered into by the most representative employers’ and workers’ trade unions at national level.

In addition to what was previously provided for, the new provision expressly emphasises what was already partly and implicitly indicated in paragraph 1176 which referred to irregularities in the safeguarding of working conditions that are not considered to be an obstacle to the issuance of the DURC itself, i.e. there must not be any breaches of employment and social legislation, including the absence of breaches relating to the safeguarding of working conditions and health and safety in the workplace, as identified by a specific decree of the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies.

New paragraph 1175 bis, highlights the condition precedent generated by the DURC being non-compliant, confirming the right to receive the benefits provided for in paragraph 1175 in the event of compliance with the contribution and insurance obligations and remedying the ascertained breaches referred to in the same paragraph 1175, within the terms provided for by the supervisory bodies. An exception is made for administrative breaches that cannot be remedied, for which the recovery of the benefits granted may not be more than double the amount of the penalty for non-compliance.

The introduction of the new paragraph is of considerable importance: it appears to try to overcome the difficulties encountered to date in non-compliant companies’ use of contribution benefits, granting, on the one hand, those who proceed to regularise their contribution and insurance position and health and safety breaches within the specified deadlines the possibility of continuing to enjoy them, and, on the other hand, in the case of administrative breaches which cannot be remedied, the recovery of the benefits paid out to which the companies concerned will be subject will not be more than double the penalty.

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