Italy, with a population of over 60 million, is one of the top
ten largest economies in the world. There are many benefits to
doing business in Italy, including its favorable geographic
location and flexible and diverse economy. However, any
employer currently doing business in Italy or who is considering
doing so must be aware of the array of laws governing the
employer-employee relationship including, but not limited to, the
Constitution, the Civil Code, statutory law and contractual rules
provided by national labor collective bargaining agreements.
This article will be the first in a series which will provide a
brief overview of the some of the key elements of employment law in
I. Employment Contracts
There are several types of employment contracts in Italy
including: (1) fixed-term agreements ("contratto a
termine"); and (2) agreements for an indefinite term of
employment ("contratto a tempo indeterminate").
Most employment agreements are entered into for an indefinite
period of time. However, pursuant to Legislative Decree n.368
of 2001, fixed-term contracts are permitted for certain types of
employment, including for organizational, production, and technical
positions. Employment contracts should be in writing and a
statement of key terms governing the employment relationship must
be provided to the employee at the time of hire, including the
following key information:
Date of commencement of employment;
Place of work;
Holiday dates and sick pay entitlements;
Probationary period, if applicable;
Amount of annual fixed salary;
Whether the position is part-time or full-time;
Reference to any collective bargaining agreement
applicable to the relationship;
Non-competition restrictions, if any; and
Notice periods applicable to terminations.
II. Wage and Hour Law
There is no national set minimum wage for employees in
Italy. Each employee's hourly wage or annual salary is
set forth in the employee's employment contract or collective
bargaining agreement. However, pursuant to Legislative Decree
n.66 of 2003, the standard number of working hours per week is 40
and an employee who works in excess of 40 hours per week is
eligible for overtime at a rate which is specified in the
applicable collective bargaining agreement or employment
contract. Additionally, pursuant to collective bargaining
agreements, an employee may work less than 40 hours or more than 40
hours per week as long as the average number of hours worked over a
period of time not exceeding one year, equals 40 hours per
week. Some employees are exempt from statutory hour
restrictions, including high level white-collar employees and
executives. All employees are entitled to a minimum of one
paid day off per week and a minimum of four weeks paid vacation per
III. Maternity and Paternity Leave
The laws in Italy applicable to maternity leave are set forth in
Legislative Decree n.151 of 2001. Female employees are
entitled to mandatory paid leave for a period of two months prior
to the expected date of delivery and three months following the
expected date of childbirth. In addition, female employees
may also take an optional additional six months following the
expiration of the mandatory leave. Female employees are
afforded extensive protection from discrimination following their
return to work and are entitled to return to the same position or
similar position at the same level within the company. The
employee is also entitled to receive any benefit or raise issued by
the company while the employee was on leave and, upon return from
leave, the employee may not be dismissed absent exceptional
circumstances such as gross misconduct, the expiration of a
fixed-term contract, or closure of the business.
Both male and female employees are entitled to paternity leave
governed by Legislative Decree n.151 of 2001. The
parent-employee may take parental leave in the amount of 10 months
for each child, during the first 8 years of the child's
life. Throughout mandatory leave, the employee is entitled to
receive a daily allowance of 80% of the employee's last salary
amount. During optional leave, the employee is entitled to
receive 30% of his or her normal salary amount.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Everyone has sympathy for employees who are genuinely unwell. When advising employers about employees suffering from stress, various medical conditions and resultant absence, it is these words that come up again and again.
In our article published in HR Zone, we consider the introduction of the new rules on regulatory references which come into force on 7 March 2017 and the practical steps that employers must take to comply...
Most of us know the difference between being employed and being self-employed (or at least we think we do). And in everyday laymen's terms, the difference is relatively straightforward and obvious – if you are employed, you work for someone else and, if you are self-employed, you ‘work for yourself'.
This coming year looks to be another busy one with more significant employment law changes coming into force and we have highlighted some of the key changes, which range from the introduction of gender pay...
Due to the nature of employment relationships, personal employee data are processed in countless contexts every day. However, Hungarian labor regulations have very limited provisions on data processing at the workplace.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).