Salaries and other amounts not paid to the workers in the national and international freight transport sector

7 July, 2023

Working in the freight transport sector often requires flexible working hours, overtime, foreign and domestic traveling for the drivers. However, the employers in the logistics and transport sector do not always recognize all the payments due to workers and for this reason it is useful to know how to act in order to better protect your position and rights.

If the employer does not pay the overtime, the travel allowances, the thirteenth and fourteenth month salary or other duties the employee could protect himself by requesting the amount due with an out-of-court invitation for payment aiming to reach an out-of-court settlement in protected venue.

In the event that such an agreement can not be reached the worker could request the issuance of a provisionally enforceable injunction or promote a labor lawsuit before the competent Court, labor section, depending on the specific case.

For each transfer of the worker to another location other than the place where the company is based, once the distance requirements have been met, a daily per diem must be paid. Furthermore, the worker should receive a reimbursement of the travel expenses and any other expenses incurred on behalf of the Company.

The employer must establish in transparent and specific way the procedures for the flat-rate payment of the overtime and the travel allowances considering as well the provisions of the relevant national collective bargaining agreement.

As known, at the end of the employment relationship, the Italian law, precisely the art. 2120 of the Civil Code, provides the payment of a severance indemnity in favor of the worker.

According to the consolidated orientation of the jurisprudence regarding the travel allowance the latter will be included in the calculation of the severance indemnity if it constitutes a structural aspect of the salary. In other words, if the remuneration relative to the travel allowances is not a mere reimbursement of expenses but a structural aspect of the salary aiming to compensate the particular inconvenience and burden connected with the service, and is paid on a fixed basis, it will be included in the calculation of the severance indemnity (Cassation Judgment n. 16142/2014).

In this regard, according to the recent ruling of the Verona Court, the travel allowances must also be included in the calculation of the severance indemnity if constantly paid (Court of Verona, sentence no. 363/2021). The Court with the above-mentioned sentence (i) ascertained the continuity of the payment of the emoluments included in the pay slip for travel expenses considered the absence of specific exceptions in the relevant collective bargaining agreement (CCNL Autotrasporti) for the inclusion in the calculation basis of the severance indemnity of these fees and given that (ii) the travel allowance for the drivers is remunerative and not compensatory both by virtue of the provisions of the aforementioned CCNL (art. 62, paragraph III), and by virtue of previous jurisprudential merits which underline the remunerative nature of this indemnity aiming to compensate the inconvenience during traveling time (App. Torino Sent. n. 751/2014; App. Genova Sent. n. 214/2020).

Lastly, a particular attention should also be paid to any documents that are submitted to the employee for signing. It could be the case of conciliations with which the worker waives his rights, including economic claims, the employer’s favor. It is essential, therefore, before signing any document to be sure to fully understand its meaning and legal consequences. This hypothesis is often faced by the foreign workers who are many in the sector.

It is also important to know that in this field there is usually a 5-years prescription term.