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Employee absenteeism can be a difficult problem to deal with when it comes to enforcing company policy. Personnel management is an essential part of running any business.
Absenteeism has a direct effect on the company and its operational capacity, coming to burden the work of colleagues and creating serious productivity and profitability problems for a company:
- false illness, abuse of permits under law 104;
- double work, unjustified absences.
These are some cases that, if proven, can lead to dismissal for just cause of the employee.
In Italy, the law provides that an employee can legitimately be absent from work for multiple reasons which may be family, personal, or health.
But when the absence of one or more employees becomes routine, something else can be hidden, a second job, the extension of weekends and holidays, or the simulation of caring for a family member (Law 104); here, in the foregoing, the company can resort to drastic solutions such as dismissal for just cause.
In addition, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation has also expressed itself several times on the subject:
- sentence no. 8373 of 4 April 2018, the Court of Cassation reaffirms the legitimacy of the employer’s recourse to the investigative agency to ascertain the non-performance of work by employees. Specifying the lawfulness of making use of the private investigator only if the control does not border on the supervision of the actual work activity (reserved by the Workers’ Statute to the employer himself and his collaborators). The investigation can, on the other hand, ascertain “the causes of the employee’s absence from the workplace relating precisely to the failure to perform the work activity to be performed even outside the company structure”.
- sentence no. 4984/14, issued by the Labor Section of the Supreme Court, had established the lawfulness of the employer to contact a private investigator or an investigative agency for the protection of company assets, to verify whether the employee, who benefits from the permissions granted by law 104/1992, is properly benefiting from a permit granted and governed by law, or rather if it is committing an offense to the detriment of the employer and the community.
In essence, it will be the task of the investigative agency to collect, through its qualified private investigators, all the information and use evidence to be presented in court. In this way, the employer will be able to proceed legally against the unfaithful employee based on the so-called investigative file. This document, drawn up by the agency at the end of the mandate, has precisely the purpose of gathering evidence in support of the position of the employer and, above all, has probative value in the trial context.
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