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Cooperative Credit Fund
Governed by the Inter-ministerial decree No. 82761 of 20 June 2014, published in the Official Gazette No. 236 of 10 October 2014, the Cooperative Credit Fund is an INPS scheme. It is not a legal entity and it enjoys financial and asset autonomy.
The Fund aims to intervene against workers in crisis situations, restructuring, corporate reorganisation, reduction or transformation of activities or work, in order to favour the change and renewal of professionalism and implement active policies of income and employment support (INPS circular No. 119 of 30 June 2016).
The Fund provides ordinary and emergency benefits. Ordinary benefits are: financing of training programs for reconversion and / or retraining, also with the support of national and European funds; income support benefits for workers affected by a decrease in working hours or temporary suspension of work (ordinary allowances), for the reasons provided for by the legislation on ordinary and extraordinary wage subsidies, also in conjunction with support instruments provided for by legislation or in application of expansive solidarity contracts referred to in Article 5, paragraph 1, letter a), point 3 of the aforementioned decree.
Instead, emergency measures are: emergency allowance in favour of redundant workers who do not meet the requirements for accessing extraordinary benefits as per Article 5, paragraph 1, letter b), supplementing the NASpI unemployment benefit pursuant to Italian legislative decree No. 22 of 4 March 2015; financing, for the workers stated above and at their claim, of support programs for professional outplacement, decreased by any co-operation from the appropriate national or European Union funds (outplacement).
Benefits are payable to all dependent workers of companies that are required to claim and who claim the national collective bargaining agreements signed by Federcasse and workers' union institutions. Executives can only access the emergency and ordinary allowance (not in application of expansive solidarity contracts).
Start date and duration
Access to ordinary benefits is subject to the completion of the contractual procedures that modify working conditions of personnel involved or determine the decrease of employment levels provided for by the legislation. These procedures must be concluded with a company agreement. In the case of processes to reduce employment levels, all benefits provided can be accessed.
The fundable training programme cannot be longer than 12 months.
The ordinary allowance, pursuant to article 30, paragraph 1, Italian Legislative decree No. 148 of 14 September 2015, can be granted for a period of no less than 13 weeks in a two-year rolling period and not exceeding, depending on the reason invoked, the maximum durations envisaged by the causes identified for the ordinary and extraordinary Wage Compensation Fund.
The emergency allowance has a maximum duration of 24 months and is subject to the persistence of involuntary unemployment.
The support programme for professional outplacement (outplacement) must have a maximum duration of 12 months.
What am I entitled to?
For training programs, the contribution is equal to the relevant gross payment due to the workers concerned for hours not worked and destined for the implementation of training programs, reduced by any funding granted by the specific national, European Union or co-operation funds.
For ordinary allowances, in accordance with the provisions of Article 30, Italian Legislative Decree no. 148/2015, the sum of the allowance is set at 80% of the total taxable remuneration that would be due to the worker for their unworked hours, ranging from zero hours to the contracted working hours.
For 2021, the maximum monthly amount of the benefit, payable net of the 5,84% decrease that remains available to the Fund, is equal to €939,89, for salaries equal to or less than €2.159,48, and to €1.129,66, for salaries greater than €2,148.74 (INPS circular no. 7 of 210 January 2021).
The emergency allowance for 2021 is for the following measures:
- 80% of the last monthly gross payment due to the worker, with the decrease, where applicable, of an amount equal to the contributions provided for by Article 26, Law No. 41 of 28 February 1986 (currently equal to 5.84%) with a ceiling equal to an amount of €2.343,44 gross per month for annual base pay salaries of less than €39.543,11. The decrease of 5,84%, equal to €136,86, applies only in the event that the amount of the payment service is equal to or greater than 80% of the theoretical remuneration stated by the company. The decrease thus calculated remains available within the Fund;
- 70% of the last monthly gross payment due to the employee for annual base pay salaries of between €39.543,11 and €55.152,24, with a ceiling of €3.151,99 gross per month;
- 60% of the last monthly gross payment payable to the worker for annual salaries of over €55.152,24, with a maximum sum of €3.666,06 gross per month.
The amounts stated above are re-evaluated every year with the methods and criteria in place for the Wage Compensation Fund for industry.
The Fund operates in accordance with the balanced budget principle and cannot make payments if it has no financial resources. Payments borne by the Fund are granted following the creation of specific financial reserves and within the limits of the resources already acquired.
For ordinary services (training and ordinary allowances) they are due to the Fund: the ordinary contribution of 0.36% (of which two-thirds are borne by the employer and one third by the workers), calculated on the taxable payment for social security purposes for all dependent workers with permanent contracts, including managers (any changes in the amount are distributed between employer and employee according to the same distribution criteria); the additional contribution of 1.5% (to be paid by the employer in the event of using the benefits of the ordinary allowance), calculated on the salaries taxable for social security purposes and applied to salaries lost by dependent workers who receive benefits.
For emergency benefits, following the adoption by the Management Committee of the resolution to grant the emergency or outplacement allowance, the employer is obliged to pay an emergency contribution equal to half of the financing approved by the Fund.
Ordinary benefits are authorised with an adjustment payment by the employer. Once the financing has been approved by the Fund’s Management Committee, the regionally competent INPS office issues the relevant payment authorisation, deemed necessary for payment of the economic benefit to the workers in question.
For the disclosure of data deemed necessary for the recovery of the amounts advanced in the balance payment, employers will be able to make use of the new UNIEMENS flow, as explained with the INPS circular No. 170 of 15 November 2017.
The emergency allowance is paid directly to beneficiary workers from the regionally relevant INPS offices which for the same worker looks after the NASpI unemployment claim. The payment of the allowance occurs through the same procedure for managing unemployment claims.
With regards to outplacement, the company tasked with carrying out support programs for professional outplacement invoices the entire cost of the service to the claiming company, which pays the entire fee. As the company is expected to pay an emergency contribution equal to half of the benefit, the Fund will decide the total amount of acknowledged expense, but the company will be authorised to make the adjustment of only half, corresponding to the amount net of the emergency contribution.
The relevant contribution, for both types of allowances, both ordinary and emergency, is calculated on the basis of the taxable payment for social security purposes and is useful for obtaining the right to a pension (including early retirement) as well as for calculating its size. The calculation is based on the financing rate of the Employees' Pension Fund (FPLD).
To access ordinary benefits, workers must meet certain requirements. For training programs it is necessary to be an addressee, in the context of processes that change working conditions of staff, of an agreement concerning training programs for training or professional re-training. For ordinary allowances it is necessary for workers to be affected by the decrease in working hours or suspension of work due to the reasons provided for by the legislation on ordinary or extraordinary wage subsidies. The wage supplement must be granted for the time deemed necessary to resume interrupted production activities. The intervention, therefore, is aimed at supporting both cases of contingent and short-term corporate crises, and cases of corporate crises prolonged over time and linked to a downsizing of production.
Redundant workers who do not meet the requirements for accessing ordinary benefits can access a supplementary income support allowance in respect of the NASpI unemployment benefit. At their claim, outplacement support programs (outplacement) can be financed, the use of which is included in the period of actual receipt of the emergency allowance.
The granting of the ordinary allowance is subject to the condition that the recipient worker, during the period of decrease or suspension of work, does not carry out any type of work activities in favour of third parties, with the exception of ancillary work services referred to in Articles 48 and following, Italian Legislative Decree No. 81 of 15 June 2015. The reference to the provisions in force is deemed valid pursuant to INPS circular No. 130 of 4 October 2010 and paragraph 2.9.c, INPS circular No. 89 of 23 May 2017.
The same rules in force on the requirements, the suspension, the forfeiture and the effective date of the NASpI benefit apply to the emergency allowance.
How can I claim?
The claim for accessing ordinary benefits must be submitted electronically by the company (INPS circular No. 122 of 17 June 2015 and INPS circular No. 201 of 16 December 2015). It will be taken into consideration, on a quarterly basis, by the Fund's Management Committee, which decides on the granting of benefits, according to the chronological order in which the claims are submitted and the Fund's available resources. Access to benefits is based on criteria of precedence and rotation and in compliance with the principle of payment proportionality.
The claim for access to the emergency benefit must be submitted exclusively electronically following the instructions given by INPS circular No. 203 of 18 December 2015.
The claim for access to the outplacement service, on the other hand, must be presented exclusively via PEC to the INPS office where the contribution centralisation exists or, alternatively, to that of the company headquarters. The claim must refer exclusively to support programs for professional relocation already carried out.
The Fund Management Committee decides in a single resolution on appeals relating to contributions and benefits. If the execution of the decisions adopted by the Committee highlights illegitimate profiles, the decision can be suspended by the INPS General Manager. The suspension provision, with the indication of the rule that is deemed breached, must be adopted within five days and submitted to the Chairman of INPS who, within the next three months, establishes whether to approve the decision or cancel it. After the above deadline, the decision becomes enforceable.