When an employer fails to pay his/her workers, the employee can get back his/her wage in different ways.

In Italy, Workers have to receive their wages monthly. The parties can anyway agree different terms of payment, provided that these are pursuant to the conditions of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement of reference. After the term of payment has expired, the employer will have to pay default interest.

It has to be pointed out, in this respect, that the term of payment is to be understood as the time by which the money has to be credited to the worker's account, and not as the date in which the employer makes the payment.   

It is also worth noticing that Article 1(910) to (914) of the Italian Law 205/2017 as from 1 July 2018 introduced the obligation for all Italian employers to use traceable means to pay the employees their wages, as well as its advances.

In the absence of a National Collective Bargaining Agreement, the term of payment has to be determined on the basis of company agreements, or anyway credited by the end of the month, that is by the 30th or 31st day of each month.

In case an employer fails to pay, in Italy the worker can make wage claims against the employer, using the following wage recovery means:

  1. Amicable payment reminder, by certified email or by legal notice to pay;
  2. Attempt at monocratic conciliation, upon prior request to the Labour Office and upon petition to the inspector;
  3. Conciliation procedure before employer and trade union representatives, resulting in a report in the nature of an enforceable title;
  4. Decree of injunction, on the basis of the worker's petition before a Court having jurisdiction on the matter. In this respect, a recent decision of the Italian Court of Cassation (Civil Cassation, decision no. 2239/2017) has established that pay slips have validity of formal admission, i.e. in proceedings against the employer, they have the force of evidence.

In case of failed delivery of pay slips, or in case of omission or inaccuracy of their content, the employer will have to pay administrative sanctions ranging from € 150.00 to € 900.00.

Wage theft in Italy: what to do if your employer goes bankrupt? 

When, apart from failing to pay, the employer goes bankrupt, the worker can make a petition to be admitted as a creditor of the company's receivership for all credits claimed by him/her. In such cases it will be necessary for the worker to provide evidence to the insolvency officer of the amount of the credits claimed.

In case the worker is not in possession of his/her pay slips, according to a recent decision of the Italian Court of Cassation, he/she can submit to the Court his/her Consolidated Employee Certification.

Another decision of the Italian Court of Cassation (Civil Cassation, decision no. 8072/2016) has determined that in case of insolvency of the employer, employee severance indemnities will be paid from the Special Guarantee Fund of the Italian National Social Security Institution, provided that:

- The employer has been declared bankrupt;

- The employee has been admitted as a creditor of the company's receivership;

- A final Statement of Affairs has been filed.

Wage theft in Italy: what to do if you don't have your pay slip? 

In Italy, when you didn't get your wage and you don't have your pay slips, you can anyway recover the credit owed to you. The employment contract, indeed, is valid even if it was concluded orally.

Workers who are in possession of an employment contract or of a letter of appointment, if not of their pay slips, can file a petition for a decree of injunction against the employers.

The petition can be filed on the basis of the last pay slips received, or on the basis of the provisions of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The petition for a decree of injunction cannot be filed in case of off-the-books work. In this case, the only possible solution is to file a wage theft lawsuit against the employer. 

Wage theft in Italy: how can we do for you? 

Our law firm gives assistance to Italian and foreign citizens who have wage claims against the employer.

Not only we take care of wagerecovery procedures in case of wage theft, but we also assist you in case of wrongful dismissal.

We always try to reach an agreement with the employer, trying to speed up the settlement of the dispute, so that you can recover your money as soon as possible. 

Moreover, in case of non-payment of social security contributions, we assist our customers also in criminal proceedings, lodging complaints to the competent prosecution offices.

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.