Italy

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Italy. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

In Italy, upon the termination of an open-ended employment contract, both the employer and the employee are entitled to a notice period unless the agreement is terminated for just cause (a reason that does not allow the continuation of the employment relationship). The duration of the notice period typically varies according to the employee’s length of service and professional level and is established in the applicable collective bargaining agreement. In the absence of an agreement, written notice must be provided at least 5 days before the dismissal occurs.

If the decision to terminate a labor agreement comes from employers, they can exempt employees from working during the notice period by providing a corresponding payment in lieu of notice.

Work Permits

In Italy, different immigration rules apply to foreign workers of different nationalities. European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are allowed to work in Italy without a work permit. Foreign nationals from non-EU/EEA countries are typically required to hold a valid work permit from their Italian employer and obtain a work visa from the Consulate of Italy in their country of residence before entering Italy. The hiring of non-EU/EEA nationals is subject to a yearly quota system that generally provides exemptions for highly-skilled professionals (they are still required to follow the relevant application process to obtain a work permit and visa). The application to obtain the work permit can be presented only after the publication of the annual flow planning decree in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic.

Paid Annual Leave

Female employees in Italy are entitled to at least 20 weeks of compulsory maternity leave. Typically, it is split into 8 weeks before birth and 12 weeks after. In addition to paid leave, a mother can choose to take up to 6 months of unpaid leave. Single mothers are eligible for up to 10 months of unpaid maternity leave following the 20 weeks of paid leave. If an employee decides to forgo maternity leave, her working hours may be reduced to 6 hours per day.

Maternity leave is paid at a rate of 80% of their average monthly wage established annually by law for the type of activity carried out and is supported by the National Institute of Social Security (INPS). Employers pay the allowance to employees and then get refunded from the INPS. In the event of termination of pregnancy beyond the third month, an allowance is paid for a period of 30 days.  

Working Hours

Working time is defined by the labor law of Italy as "any period during which the worker is at work, available to the employer, and in the exercise of their activity or duties."

The law sets a standard workday at 8 hours, and, based on a 5-day work week, a full work week is 40 hours. Collective agreements can set shorter duration. Any hours over 40 per week are considered to be overtime. Overtime work is restricted to 2 hours per day and must be approved by the employer.

Maternity Leave

Female employees in Italy are entitled to at least 20 weeks of compulsory maternity leave. Typically, it is split into 8 weeks before birth and 12 weeks after. In addition to paid leave, a mother can choose to take up to 6 months of unpaid leave. Single mothers are eligible for up to 10 months of unpaid maternity leave following the 20 weeks of paid leave. If an employee decides to forgo maternity leave, her working hours may be reduced to 6 hours per day.

Maternity leave is paid at a rate of 80% of their average monthly wage established annually by law for the type of activity carried out and is supported by the National Institute of Social Security (INPS). Employers pay the allowance to employees and then get refunded from the INPS. In the event of termination of pregnancy beyond the third month, an allowance is paid for a period of 30 days.  

Minimum Wage

Per the Constitution of Italy, all workers have the right to a salary proportional to the quality and quantity of their work and sufficient to ensure them and their families a “free and dignified existence.” The law does not set a minimum wage guaranteed for all workers, but it is common practice for companies to refer to the National Collective Labour Contracts (CCNL), which cover workers who are not affiliated with trade unions. Minimum wages vary between sectors, depend on skill level, and are often set by national collective agreements.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Italy.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Italy.