Two New Employment Decrees in Italy

13 August marks the day that that two key employment decrees came into force in Italy relating to transparency of the working relationship and improved work-life balance for parents.

Transparency Decree

Like a few other European countries, Italy has published its local legislation on the EU Transparency Directive.

Under the new Transparency Decree, employers must provide employees with a list of information in writing before their employment begins (or within 7 days or 1 month, in some cases). While it was already mandatory for employers to provide some of the items on the list, the new Decree introduces new information, including in relation to paid leave, the termination procedure, and the payment of social security contributions. There is also specific information depending on the employee’s work pattern. For example, if an employee’s work pattern is unpredictable, the employer must provide the guaranteed minimum number of paid hours. For employment contracts already in force before 1 August 2022, employers are only required to provide the data if they receive a specific written request by the employee and this obligation must be fulfilled within 60 days.

The new Decree also sets out minimum requirements for employment relationships, including: (i) setting a maximum limit of six months for probationary periods (and for fixed term contracts, the probationary period must be proportionate to the duration of the contract); and (ii) subject to meeting certain eligibility requirements, employees having the right to request more predictable, safer and stable working conditions (employers have one month to respond to the request). The Decree also clarifies that if employers are required to provide employees with training needed to perform their duties, such training must be free of charge and carried out during working hours.

Employers face a fine of between EUR250 and EUR1,500 per employee in case of non-compliance with the disclosure requirements, and they are prohibited from dismissing or discriminating against workers that exercise their rights under the new Decree.

We would suggest that employers carefully review their template contracts for any missing information required by the new Decree and familiarise themselves with the new employee protections.

Work-Life Balance Decree

The second new Decree amends existing regulations on family leave with the aim of helping parents improve their work-life balance.

Paternity Leave

Under the new Decree, on the birth of a child or perinatal death, a working father must take 10 working days off. This compulsory leave can be taken from two months before the expected date of childbirth up to five months afterwards and it does not have to be continuous. During this time, the father is entitled to 100% of his salary and he cannot be dismissed until the child is one. Non-compliance could result in a fine of up to EUR2,582 for the employer.

Parental Leave

Significant changes have also been made to the parental leave regime, including: (i) increasing the number of months’ parental leave for a single parent from 10 to 11 months; (ii) increasing the period of paid parental leave (at the rate of 30% of salary) from 6 to 9 months; and (iii) parents will now be entitled to paid parental leave, for children up to 12 years old (it was previously 6 years old).

Employers should now review their policies and practices to ensure that they are compliant with the new Decree.

Please get in touch with our MDR ONE team if we can help with providing any further details on the new Decrees or reviewing any of your employment contracts or policies.

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