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Procedural Flexibilisation of Economic Redundancy in France and Italy

Diverging Reforms with a Common Objective
Raphaël Dalmasso
Traduction de Nicholas Sowels
p. 55-75


The law on economic redundancies has recently been greatly reformed in France and Italy. The changes have shared the same common goal of making contract termination easier and surer. But their content is very different. Indeed, through procedural reforms, legislation in the two countries attributes different, and even opposing, roles to judges and litigation. In doing so, the reforms demonstrate that the goals of flexibility and security are not in fact legally unambiguous as far as economic dismissal is concerned.

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Notes de la rédaction

Article published in French in Travail et Emploi, no 142, avril-juin 2015.

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Procedural Flexibilisation
Two Reforms on a Different Scale
Italy: Assumed Flexibilisation
France: the Controversial Meaning of “Safeguarding”
Opposing Procedural Choices
France: Mistrust of Judges and Litigation
Italy: a –Provisional– Reassertion of the Role of Judges
Uncertain Results
A New Reform in Italy
France: Possible Resistance to Litigation?

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For 40 years, in about the same periods, France and Italy have pursued several reforms of their redundancy laws, especially concerning economic dismissals. Thus, France’s Law of 1973 relating to redundancy procedures drew on Italy’s reforms of 1966 of dismissals for fair subjective reasons and dismissals for fair objective reasons, as well as on the Workers’ Statute of 1970. Also, in 1975, both sets of laws were evolving more or less similarly under the influence of European law. Lastly, at the end of the 1980s and in the early 1990s, while France modified its economic redundancy procedures in 1989, creating social redundancy packages, economic redundancy in Italy still seemed to be entirely grounded in the Law of 1991.

In Italy in 2012 and in France in 2013, laws on economic redundancy were again strongly reformed. Despite some considerable nuances, the aim of these reforms was comparable, the point being to make redundancies for economic motives more flexible and safer for employer...

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Référence papier

Raphaël Dalmasso, « Procedural Flexibilisation of Economic Redundancy in France and Italy », Travail et Emploi, Hors-série | 2017, 55-75.

Référence électronique

Raphaël Dalmasso, « Procedural Flexibilisation of Economic Redundancy in France and Italy », Travail et Emploi [En ligne], Hors-série | 2017, mis en ligne le 15 janvier 2018, consulté le 21 novembre 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/travailemploi.7626

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Raphaël Dalmasso

Université de Lorraine, associate researcher at the Centre d’études de l’emploi et du travail (CEET), member of the Institut François-Gény;

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