Balance of care, life and work requirements in Italy

The Ordinary Supplement no. 34, in effect from 25 June to Legislative Decree no. 80 of 15 June 2015, on the measures to balance care, life and work was published in the Official Gazette no. 144 of 24 June in implementation of Article 1, paragraph 8 and 9 of Law no. 183/14.

Compulsory Maternity Leave (Articles 2 and 4)

Women are not allowed to use the days not taken before the birth if the birth occurs early: these days are added to the maternity leave after the birth, even if this abstention period before or after the birth exceeds the total five-month limit.

Postponement and Suspension

In case the newborn is hospitalised at a public or private structure, the mother has the right to request the suspension of her maternity leave or to use it, in whole or in part, until the child is released. This right may be exercised only once for each child upon producing the medical certificate that declares that the mother's health allows her to return to work. This provision applies in case of adoption and guardianship.

Maternity Leave (Art. 3)

The maternity leave is paid in case of termination of the work relationship due to:

  • serious neglect of the employee constituting just cause for the termination of the work relationship
  • termination of the work at the company where the employee works
  • completion of the work for which the employee was hired or its expiration
  • if these events occur during compulsory abstention

Paternity Leave (Articles 5-6 and 18)

The father has the right to take paternity leave for the duration of the maternity leave or the residual part of maternity to which the mother is entitled, in case of the death or serious illness of the mother or if the mother abandons the family, even if the mother is a freelancer.

The freelance father has the right to maternity compensation set forth for freelancers, agricultural workers and consultants for the entire duration of the maternity leave or for the residual part of maternity to which the mother is entitled, in case of the death or serious illness of the mother or if the mother abandons the family or if the father is awarded sole custody of the child: the father must send the appropriate form to INPS in such case.

In the case of international adoption, for the period when the adoptive father must go abroad to meet the child and fulfil the adoption procedure requirements, if he does not request or only requests part of his paternity leave, he may use unpaid leave without any right to indemnity, even if the mother is not an employee. The duration of the employee's time abroad must be certified by the agency authorised to handle the adoption procedure.

Family Leave (Articles 7-10)

The maximum use is increased from the first 8 to 12 years of the child's life. If there is no regulation in the collective bargaining or corporate agreement on the methods to use the family leave on an hourly basis, each parent may choose between daily and hourly use.

The use, on the hourly basis, is allowed for half of the daily work hours over the four-week or monthly work period right before the month during which the parental leave originated.

The period within which the parent is required, unless impossible, to inform the employer of the start and end date of leave, has changed from 15 to 5 days; the advance notice period is reduced to 2 days in case of the use of family leave on an hourly basis.

The partially compensated family leave period (30%) for a maximum of six months is increased from the first 3 to 6 years of the child's life.

These provisions apply in case of adoption and guardianship.

Extending the Leave

In case of a child with a serious handicap, within the first 12 years of the child's life (which has been changed from the 8 previously set forth by law), the mother or father have the right to extend the leave in a continuous or fractioned manner for no more than three years.

Night Work (Art. 11)

One of the two adoptive parents or guardians is given the option to not work during the night for the first three years from when the minor joins their family but not beyond the first 12 years of the child's life.

Separate Management Employee (Art. 13)

Separate Management Employees without other compulsory forms, in case of adoption or guardianship, are paid an indemnity for 5 months following the date the minor joins the family.

The automatic services institution was extended, meaning the maternity leave is paid even if the relative social security contributions are not paid, which includes Separate Management Employees who do not have other compulsory forms.

Telecommuting (Art. 23)

Private employers that provide for telecommuting for reasons related to balance work and family life based on the collective agreements can limit the number of employees who telecommuting based on the limits set forth by law or the collective contracts in order to comply with specific regulations and institutions.

Leave for Women who are the Victim of Violence (Art. 24)

For employees who are the victims of violence and who have entered a duly certified protection program are granted leave for three months; for employees with coordinated and continuous work relationships who participate in these programs, their employment is suspended for a maximum period of three months.

The involved employees must inform the employer or contractors at least 7 days in advance.

During the leave, the employee has the right to compensation corresponding to the last remuneration for the set and continuous payment items; this period is also covered by the figurative contribution. The indemnity is paid by the employer based on the terms and conditions set forth for maternity leave.

The leave period is calculated based on the years of service, holidays accrued, thirteen month bonus and severance pay.

The aforementioned leave may be used on an hourly or daily basis over three years based on the previous national collective bargaining agreement. If there is no regulation in the collective bargaining agreement on the methods to use the leave, the employee may choose between daily and hourly use. This is allowed for half of the daily work hours over the four-week or monthly work period right before the month during which the leave originated.

The employee who is a victim of violence has the right to the transformation of the full-time work relationship to a part-time work relationship, whether vertical or horizontal, if available; the part-time work relationship may be reconverted to a full-time work relationship at the employee's request.

Financial Provisions (Art. 26)

The regulations set forth in Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 24 apply experimentally for 2015 only, limited only to the recognised days of abstention for the same year; any extension in the following years will remain subject to the introduction of regulations that provide adequate financial coverage.

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Sonia  Piazzoni
Technical update

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