Selection order for dismissals and layoffs in detail

For a dismissal for economic reasons (licenziamento collettivo), subject to a special procedure involving union consultation, the employer must apply the following social 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 procedure.   


There is no directly applicable legal requirement as to the order of dismissal to be used for individual economic dismissals, although the courts have used certain mass redundancy criteria. There is a general requirement to offer employees any other available position in the organisation, including at a lower level, before making them redundant.

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Author: Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo e Soci

Date: December 2019