The severe economic crisis caused by the coronavirus emergency has placed national governments at a crossroad, forcing them to determine whether it is more appropriate to protect the needs of entrepreneurs or workers. The first choice would allow employers to exercise provisions in Italy regarding an employee’s dismissal if a company is in economic difficulty. In the second scenario, the government could defend employees by adopting measures to stem what, in times of economic hardship, can be considered a natural increase in the unemployment rate.
Faced with this issue, the major industrialized countries have not moved in a single direction. Within Europe, it is possible to distinguish between countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom that have decided not to impose any prohibition on dismissal, and nations with a more “socialist” tradition such as France and Spain that have instead placed limitations on firing employees (without, however, providing any ban on redundancies in the strict sense).
Considered in this framework, Italy appears isolated. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Italian government has chosen to proceed with freezing layoffs for economic reasons until 17 August 2020, with the enactment of the “Cura Italia Decree.”