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I have collected a few scattered remarks about the work, or at least about what I have experienced in person and about which I have pretty reliable information.

1) It would appear that it is not easy to dismiss a permanent (our permanent) employee for reasons related to the job itself, e.g. if the employee does not do his job and causes damage to the company.

It seems that, as in Italy, there are oral and written warnings before firing someone and that companies are reluctant to put themselves in the hands of lawyers for these kinds of cases. If, on the other hand, the company has financial difficulties and wants to cut costs, it can do so quite easily.

2) The working hours, at least as far as my better half and I am concerned, are shorter than ours (considering we both work in IT): 9 am-5.30 pm for me, 8.45 am-5 pm for him, with an hour lunch break. The way of working tends to be relaxed, and, barring deadlines or emergencies, when it’s time to leave, people drop their pens and go (to have a pint in a pub, but that’s another matter).

3) No national contracts exist, so the contract is personal and has all the rules and regulations. Both my better half and I have a three-month probationary period, during which we are not paid holidays and sick leave, after which we have two months’ notice. As far as I understand, the contracts are reasonably standard per sector, despite the absence of a national contract.

4) A whole bunch of work rules are served up to you in a handy Welcome Book. The dress code tends to be formal, apart from the Casual Friday break; you can’t use your personal mobile phone in the office or use headphones to listen to music; in general, the offices are tranquil. Finally, in my case, I have an excellent block on surfing the Internet. Still, I have the impression that if I worked for a development company, things would be different (there are a hundred people or more working here, and apart from me and two others, everyone else is not IT).

It is not the best of all possible worlds, of course, but I sincerely appreciate not having to make a collage between the national contract and my contract to understand my rights and duties; for a start, the fact that I have clear internal rules, but above all the reduced hours and general relaxation.

Then they are also bungling and confusing, they put on patches and do not know what they are doing, but I will tell you about that in another post.


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