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The selection rules on collective dismissals in Italy

Written by
Toffoletto de Luca Tamajo, working in employment law since 1925.
There are specific selection criteria for dismissals for economic reasons in Italy: this article explains.

In cases of collective dismissal for economic reasons, subject to the special information and consultation procedure with the unions, Italian law requires the employer to apply the following mandatory criteria:

  • length of service (‘last in, first out’);
  • family burden in terms of the number of dependants for tax purposes; and
  • organisational reasons connected with the procedure.


The law requires these criteria to be applied cumulatively. The application of additional criteria is possible, although not obligatory, but may only be done if these criteria are objective and their use is agreed with the trade unions during the information and consultation procedure.

There are no directly applicable legal requirements as to the order of dismissal to be used for individual economic dismissals, although the courts have used the mandatory selection criteria set out above for collective dismissals. There is a general requirement to offer employees any other available position in the organisation, including at a lower level, before making them redundant.


Emanuela Nespoli
Partner - Italy
Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo