employment contract

General framework

The employment contract and its registration

It is necessary to stipulate a written employment contract?
  • Yes, in many cases depending on special contents (e.g.: probationary period, fixed-term, etc.)
  • In any case, it is warmly advisable
  • Furthermore, before the employment begins the employer must provide the employee (in writing) with some mandatory information which are usually included in any employment contract.
Is it necessary to register each employment contract?
  • Yes, it is mandatory.
  • It is necessary to register each employment contract before the employment relationship starts.
  • For example, it is possible to sign an employment contract on May 2, providing that the employment will begin on July 1. In this case, the registration must be filed within the end of the day before the employment starts.
After that, it is necessary to make other registrations?
  • Yes, in case of modifications to the employment contract or to the Company.

Collective bargaining agreements («CBA» or «CCNL»)

What kind of CBAs are applicable?
  • The most important is the national CBA. Often there are also regional or local CBAs regulating some aspects.
Is the application of a CBA mandatory?
  • No. The company is free to choose whether applying a CBA or not.
  • If applied, the CBA prevail over the law in favour of the employees.
Is the application of a CBA advisable?
  • It depends on the specific situations. On a general basis, the application of a CBA is advisable:
      • if the Company business includes the participations to tenders sun by public bodies; or:
      • if it is necessary a wide use of flexible contract (part-time, job on call,…).

    In lack of a CBA, a complete policy is advisable.

What is a secondment (posting of workers)?

A posted worker is an employee who remains under the contract with the mother Company abroad and comes to Italy to perform for a limited period of time a working activity on behalf of his/her Company.

The duration of the posting must be limited. Under certain conditions, the employer and the employee will keep their home social security system and duties.

The rules are different for EU and non-EU companies; and if Italy and the Company’s home country have stipulated agreements for social security exchange.

Therefore individual cases must be specifically assessed.

Hiring framework

Is there any difference between big or small employers?

Yes, many.

We will consider – roughly – as a «big employer» the one who has:

  • More than 15 employees in the same business unit;
  • More than 60 employees all around Italy.

In the first case, the rules for big employers are applied only to the business unit (and not, for example, to the other business unit far from the first which hires four employees); in the second case, the employer will always be considered as «big».

We will consider as «small employers» the other ones.

Employees’ categories and levels

Employees are grouped in four legal categories:

  • Executives («dirigenti»);
  • Middle managers («Quadri»);
  • White collars («Impiegati»);
  • Blue collars («Operai»).

The Executives have a special regulation and a specific CBA, different from the other employees. This memo focuses on non-executive employees.

The CBAs usually splits the non-executives employees in «levels» (6-8 depending on the CBA). Each level describes a kind of duties (from the cleaning staff up to the top level employees).

The level of the employee affects many aspects of the employment. E.g.:

  • The minimum salary;
  • The maximum duration of the probationary period;
  • The duration of the annual leave;
  • The length of the notice period;
  • Etc.
Probationary periods

What is the maximum probationary period allowed by law?

The law provides as follows:

  • 6 months for executives and high level employees;
  • 3 months for other employees.

The CBA, where applied, provides for a range starting with 45 days for lower level employees up to 6 months for top level ones.

What is the notice in case of withdrawal from the employment relationship during the trial period?

Each party may terminate the employment relationship at any time, without notice.

Hiring of workers through fixed-terms contracts

Are fixed-term contacts prohibited for specific duties or employees?

No, they aren’t.

Are fixed-term contacts prohibited for permanent tasks?

No, they can be stipulated for any kind of duty.

What is the maximum duration of a single fixed-term contract, including any prorogue or renewals?

It’s 24 months. After this period, a fixed-term worker acquires the right to a permanent position in the same firm.

Up to 12 months no justification is needed.If the contract exceeds the 12 months (including prorogues) the contract must be provided with one of the justification provided for by the law:

  • Temporary and objective needs, not belonging to the ordinary activity of the company;
  • Substitution of other employees on leave;
  • Needs connected with relevant, unpredictable and temporary increases of the ordinary activity.

Is there a minimum duration for a single contract?

No, there isn’t.

How many times can be prorogued a single fixed-term contract?

Any contract – if shorter than 24 months – can be renewed; it can also be prorogued up to 4 times. If the number of prorogations is higher, the worker acquires the right to a permanent position in the same firm.

Any renewal must be provided with one of the justification provided for by the law (see before).

If the worker is hired with a fixed term contract within ten days of the end of a precedent contract lasting up to six months, or within twenty days of the end of a precedent contract lasting more than six months, the second contract becomes a permanent contract.

Should the Company respect a notice period at the end of the contract?


Are there any prohibitions to the stipulation of a fixed-terms contract?

Yes, the prohibitions concerns:

  • substitution of striking workers;
  • companies that have made a collective lay-off in the previous six months;
  • companies who are receiving economic support from the Government («CIGS»);
  • companies that haven’t carried out the duly risk assessment.

Has a company to respect a limit on hiring by fixed-term contracts?

Yes, the law provides 20% of permanent workers; the CBA provides 28% of permanent workers.

In the business units with up to 15 employees, 4 fixed-term contracts are allowed.

The percentage limits do not concern:

  • The workers who are replacing other workers on a temporary basis;
  • The companies who are starting new activities, only for the time necessary to set up the organization and for no longer than 12 months.

Does the law mandate additional compensation for overtime hours worked by an employee on a temporary contract?

Yes, it does: as overtime work.

Part-time contract

Is part-time work allowed?

Yes, it is.

Is it allowed to switch from part-time to full-time and vice versa?

Yes, if both parties agree.

What is the specific character of the part-time work?

The working hours of part-timers are restricted to the working time provided for by the contract and can be changed by the employer, only within the limits of the «clausole elastiche» o delle «clausole flessibili».

What are the so called «clausole elastiche» and the «clausole flessibili»?

They are provisions of the individual contract – under the limits and conditions of the CBA – which allow the employer to change the extent or the temporal collocation of the working time.

Can the employer request additional work?

Yes, within limits. It is called «lavoro supplementare» and must be rewarded with an additional wage.

What is the wage premium for the italian «lavoro supplementare»?

The law provides 15% of global hourly remuneration;

The CBA provides 35% of global hourly remuneration.

Job on call contract

What is a job on call?

It is an employment contract in which the worker is available for a certain period in the day, the week, etc.

The employee will work (and will get the salary) only if the employer calls him/her to work.

There are two types of job on call contract:

  • If the employee is obliged to accept the call, he/she will be entitled to a wage even for the non working time during the availability period: under the law, this wage the 20% of the normal salary;
  • If the employee may refuse the call of the employer, he/she will get only the salary for the actual working time.

Are set forth limits to the stipulation of a job on call contract?

Yes. The contract can be stipulated with subjects over 55 years of age and with subjects under 24 years of age (in this case, the work performance must be carried out within the twenty-fifth year of age).

In any case, the use of the job on call contract is allowed, for each worker with the same employer, for a maximum period of 400 days of effective work, in a period of 3 years. In case of exceeding this period, the employee will be entitled to a full-time and permanent employment contract.

Are there any prohibitions to the stipulation of a job on call contract?

Yes, the same as for the fixed-term contracts (see before, § 4.2.d.g.

Must the employer notify or consult a third party?

The employer must just notify the duration of the performance to the public bodies, by «sms» or e-mail;

The employer must annually inform trades unions about the use of the job on call contract.


What are the minimum wages for employees as of 1st March 2018 according with the CBA?

As follows, roughly (Euro gross per month for 14 monthly instalments per year):

  • Quadri:    2.700,00;
  • I level:     2.250,00;
  • II level:    2.000,00;
  • III level:   1.800,00;
  • IV level:  1.620,00;
  • V level:   1.510,00;
  • VI level:  1.400,00;
  • VII level: 1.280,00.

What is the «TFR»?

It is a part of the salary which is accrued all along the employment contract and paid on at its termination (except for special reasons).

The TFR is roughly equal to 7,41% of the yearly salary.

Cost of the work

What is the cost of the salary?

The total cost that an employer has to pay with regard to its employees. It is composed by remuneration, contributions and other subsidiary costs charged to the employer.

How does we calculate the cost of the salary?

Basically the cost of the salary is calculated adding:

  • The gross yearly salary;
  • The TFR (+7.41% – and more – of the gross salary);
  • The Social security contributions («INPS»)(26%-29% of the gross salary);
  • The fees for the insurance against accidents and professional diseases («INAIL»)(depending on the duties);
  • Other.
Incentives and reductions of the employment costs

Are there reductions of the costs of the salary?

Yes, in several cases depending on the kind of employer, the kind of employee (people with handicaps, unemployed workers, young workers, trainees,…)

Working framework

Working hours

How many hours are there in a standard working week?

40 hours;

What is the maximum number of hours (including overtime) allowed in a workweek?

48 hours, for each seven-day period. The average duration of the working time must be calculated with reference to a period not exceeding 4 months. The CBA may provide a longer period up to six months or up to twelve months for objective reasons, related to the organization of work.

What is the maximum number of working days allowed in a workweek?

Six days. This amount can be calculated as an average on 14 days. Therefore, the employee must have one day off for each work week, on an average period of two weeks.

Is there a legally designated weekly day of rest (i.e. a customary weekly holiday)?

Usually Sunday, but this is not mandatory.

Overtime work

What are, if any, the restrictions on overtime work (i.e. limitation in number of hours of overtime, restrictions applying to certain categories of workers, etc.)?

Overtime cannot exceed 250 hours per year.

CBAs may introduce different rules.

What is the wage premium for overtime?

According with the CBA:

  • 15% premium for overtime work from the 41st to the 48th weekly hour;
  • 20% premium for overtime work exceeding the 48th weekly hour;
  • 30% premium for overtime work on public holidays or Sundays;
  • 50% premium for overtime work during the night (from 22.00 to 6.00 a.m.).
Night work

What is «night work»?

It is the work carried out between 22.00 and 6.00 a.m.

Can women work the same night hours as men?

Yes, they can.

What are, if any, the restrictions on the night work?

As follows:

  • night work cannot be performed for more than 8 hours, averaged in a 24 hours period;
  • it’s forbidden to use women at work, from 24.00 to 6.00 a.m., from the state of pregnancy until one year of age of the child;
  • some workers are allowed to refuse working at night.

What is the wage premium for night work?

It’s an increase of 15% of the gross salary.

Paid annual leave

What is the mandatory paid annual leave for an employee?

The law provides that the employee is entitled to an annual period of paid leave not lower than 4 weeks.

The CBA increases the annual leave to 26 working days, to be calculated on a work week of six days.

Maternity leave

Does the law mandate paid maternity leave?

Yes, it does.

What is the mandatory minimum length of paid maternity leave?

It’s 5 months.

What is the wages during the maternity leave?

The Governments pays roughly the 80% of the normal salary.

The CBA provides that the employer to pay the difference as to reach 100% of the pay.

Sick leave

The employee will receive a pay during sick leaves?

Yes. A part of it is borne by the Government («INPS»), as follows:

  • Days 1-3 of sick leave: 100% of the salary borne by the employer;
  • Days 4-20 of sick leave: 50% borne by the employer; 50% borne by INPS;
  • Days 21-180 of sick leave: 34% borne by the employer; 66% borne by INPS;

Redundancy framework

Collective or individual redundancies

Is it legal for an employer to terminate the contract of an employee on the basis of redundancy only?

Yes, it is.

If a company with more than 15 employees decides to lay off at least 5 workers within 120 days it’s a collective lay off, subject to a specific proceeding involving trade unions.

Otherwise, the company can proceed with an individual dismissal for redundancy.

Must the employer notify or consult a third party before dismissing one redundant employee?

Yes, but only for big employers.

The individual dismissal must be preceded by a communication to the public body and a short proceeding aimed to reach an agreement among the parties. If there is no agreement the dismissal can be performed as well.

Must the employer obtain the approval of a third party in order to dismiss one or more redundant employees?

No, it doesn’t.

What is the length of the notice period that an employer must provide before making an employee redundant?

According with the CBA, the notice periods are calculated in calendar days, starting from the first and the sixteenth day of each month.

The notice periods are the following:

  • Until 5 years of seniority:
    • Quadri and I level: 60 days;
    • II and III level:        30 days;
    • IV and V level:      20 days;
    • VI and VII level:    15 days.
  • Over 5 years and up to 10 years of seniority:
    • Quadri and I level: 90 days;
    • II and III level:        45 days;
    • IV and V level:      30 days;
    • VI and VII level:     20 days;
  • Beyond 10 years of seniority:
    • Quadri and I level: 120 days;
    • II and III level:        60 days;
    • IV and V level:       45 days;
    • VI and VII level:     20 days.
Availability of unemployment protection

Assuming that an employee is made redundant after one year of employment, would he automatically be eligible for unemployment protection and receive unemployment benefits?

Yes, he would: but under certain conditions.

The main protection is called «Naspi».

The Naspi is granted to the employee when he/she:

  • (i) is involuntary unemployed;
  • (ii) has, at least, 13 weeks of contribution in the 4 years before the starting of the unemployment;
  • (iii) has worked at least for 30 days, in the 12 months before the starting of the unemployment.




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