Banks: NCBA renewed recently

On 19 January 2012 ABI (Italian Banking Association) and the Trade Unions signed the renewal agreement(hereinafter also the “Agreement”) of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement for the employees of the credit sector. The agreement will last three years and is due to expire on 30 June 2014.

Amongst other things, Art. 5 of the Agreement introduces a new contractual model based on:

(i) a collective agreement at a national level (the NCBA) with a duration of three years for both the economic and the regulatory related provisions; and

(ii) a second level of bargaining (company or group agreement) with a duration of three years, which shall govern different topics as provided by the NCBA.

Furthermore, the Agreement identifies several areas/activities which are complementary to the core business of the bank and which might be easily outsourced; such areas/activities are: portfolio services, bills handling, handling of archives, warehouses, support to self-banking service, POS and electronic banking. In the above mentioned areas, the Agreement sets out a longer working time of 40 hours per week and the faculty for the bank of reducing by 20% the minimum wage for the employees hired after the signing of the Agreement.

With regard to working time – one of the most complicated subjects of the negotiation which took place amongst ABI and the Unions – it has been agreed that the bank may organise the counter opening time between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.; furthermore, subject to the prior agreement between the parties the above working time may be exceptionally fixed between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Another important innovation is represented by the creation of a National Fund for the support of occupation, managed by Enbicredito (a bilateral authority). The Fund will be financed through the contribution of employees employed under an open-ended contract (inclusive of apprentices). In particular, the contribution amounts to one working day per head, and it will last for an experimental period of five years. Furthermore, the Fund may allocate to the banks, for a period of three years, an annual grant equal to Euro 2,500.00 for each employee hired under an open-ended contract (inclusive of apprentices), who was previously in one of the following conditions:

- young unemployed up to 32 years-old;

- unemployed for a long period (in any age); and

- woman living in a disadvantaged geographic area, as better described by Art. 54 of Legislative Decree No 276/2003.