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Labour law in Italy

Italian labour law principles often – in comparison to many other foreign countries – grant employees better social-, income- and labour protection, thus imposing a bigger financial and operational risk on the company and employer than may be common in the client’s home country.

Are you considering expanding your business to Italy and want to learn more about the Italian labour law? The most important laws and regulations affecting labour conditions and social security are briefly listed below.

Want to have more information on Italian labour law? We gathered all information about labour conditions, social security, contract types, probation/notice periods, and terminations for you in one file. Request the Italian overview and we will share it with you directly.


Labour Conditions


Minimum wage & extra payments

There is no statutory minimum wage in Italy. The sector usually sets minimum wages for each contractual level in the relevant national collective agreements (NCAs). The NCBA (in Italian: Contratto Collettivo Nazionale di Lavoro) of the Trade Sector applies to all employee’s on Parakar’s payroll.

Historically, salary in Italy is paid in 13 instalments – 12 monthly wages plus one additional payment taking place in December. However, this may differ among companies and Collective Agreements. Some NCAs also include a 14th instalment in June. Salary can also be paid in 12 monthly payments, so the annual salary will be divided in 12 instalments and the employee will receive the same salary each month.


Sick leave

Employees in Italy are entitled to paid sick leave, paid by the employer and subsequently the government. Statutory sick pay starts on the fourth day of sickness. The first three days are “waiting days” (“giorni di carenza”) and are typically paid in full by the employer. Statutory sick pay is capped at a maximum of 180 days per calendar year. Between the 4th and 20th day of illness, the statutory sick pay amount is, generally, equal to 50% of average daily pay. This moves up to 66% between the 21st and 180th day. During the sickness period, the employment continues to have legal effect. Consequently, all employee rights (such as seniority, holidays, permits, etc.) continue to be accrued by the employee.


Paid annual leave

All employees are entitled to a minimum of 26 days paid annual holiday per year in addition to public holidays and abolished bank holidays. The employee has to take at least 2 weeks in a year and the remaining 2 weeks accrued need to be used within 18 months from the end of the year in which they’re accrued.


Paid hourly leave

The CBAs grant each worker special paid leave known as ROL (Reduction in Working Hours) to employees with two years of seniority. These are permits that accrue every month to the extend established by the reference collective agreement. The hourly leave can be consumed on hourly basis, it can be spread out over a few days, and it doesn’t have to be booked on full day basis. A full-time employee accrues 2.66 hours per month. If not taken, these must be paid out at the end of December of each year.


Working hours

In principle, employees must work 40 hours per week, except when more favorable provisions are afforded by the employees under the CBA. The duration of the weekly working time cannot exceed 48 hours a week, including overtime. This is to be calculated over a period not exceeding four months, unless the applicable NCA increases such a period up to six months.


Medical examination

For every employee that works with a PC/Laptop for more than 20 hours a week, the company is required to offer a medical assessment to the employee, which needs to be performed:

  • Within 30 days from the employment date.
  • Every 5 years if there aren’t specific medical conditions and the employee is less than 50 years old.
  • Every 2 years if the employee has medical conditions (vision impediment, back injuries, stress related diseases) or 50+.

Social Security

All employees hired by Parakar Italy are automatically insured via the Italian Social Security system “Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale” (INPS). The Italian social security system allows access to:

  • Healthcare
  • Sick leave, paternity/maternity leave
  • Inability to work
  • Unemployment
  • Public pension

The employer’s share of these numerous contributions ranges from approximately 29% to 32% of taxable compensation. This amount will depend on various criteria, such as the seniority of the employee, the type of the activity, the number of the employees, the terms of the applicable CBA, etc.

The employee’s share of these contributions ranges from 9-11% of taxable compensation. This amount will depend on the classification of the employee (worker,
executive or manager) and the employer’s activity (manufacturing, trading, tourism, etc.) The employer withholds the employee’s social security contributions from the
monthly salary.

Public Health Insurance

National health insurance in Italy is managed by the National Health Service (SSN) and funded through direct taxation as well as indirect taxation by employers and
employees. Upon registering with the Local Health Service, a social security number and a health card are issued. The health card entitles the employee to low or no-cost
treatment. Private health insurance coverage is also available. With private insurance, individuals can freely choose their own doctor and specialist, be treated at private hospitals, etc. Many residents have a private health insurance policy which pays the portion of medical bills that isn’t paid by social security.


Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to five months of paid maternity leave. Two months of leave is generally taken prior to the expected date of childbirth and three months
following the actual date of childbirth. During maternity leave, employees receive an allowance from the National Social Security Body, equivalent to 80% of their salary.

Paternity Leave

If the mother does not take her maternity leave (because of death, infirmity or the father having exclusive custody), the father is entitled to the entire or remaining period of maternity leave. This right is not applicable in any other circumstances.

Parental Leave

During the first 12 years of the child’s life, parents are entitled to take a period of absence to take care of their children. Parental leave can be taken by the mother
and by the father for a maximum period of six months. Alternatively, the leave can be taken by one parent only for a maximum period of 10 months.


Pensions are operated by INPS and fed by salary-based contributions paid by both the employer and the employee towards social security. Employees are protected from the risk of loss of ability to work due to old age by the social security system contributions.

Accident Insurance

Employers are required by law to pay an accident insurance policy for employees to cover them in case of work-related accidents.

Your guide

Our team

Reach out to our experts in Italy, who are always happy to answer your questions about the Italian labour principles.

HR-consultants Italy

Labour law and regulations in italy: paid annual leave | parakar
Elisa Militello
Labour law and regulations in italy: paid annual leave | parakar
Flavia Lucchetti
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