Employer Action Code: Act
Laws No. 104/2022 and No. 105/2022 introduce a variety of amendments to Italy’s Labor Code, including an extension of parental leave, and new disclosure obligations at the time of hiring. The laws transpose into local law the European Union (EU) Directives 1152 (on transparent and predictable working conditions) and 1158 (on work/life balance).
Notable changes to the Labor Code, effective August 13, 2022, include:
- Extending parental leave until the child reaches 12 years (previously six). Each parent remains entitled to up to six months of leave, but the maximum combined paid leave is increased to nine months (previously six months). For single parents, the maximum leave is increased to 11 months (previously 10 months), of which nine months is paid leave. The level of pay replacement benefits from social security is unchanged at 30% of the insured’s earnings, but the benefit is now payable until the child reaches 12 years (previously six), for up to three months (non-transferable) by each parent plus three months shareable between parents (meaning up to nine months of benefits in total). Previously, up to six months of shareable benefits were paid. The total amount of leave sharable between parents remains the same 10 months; however, if the father takes at least three months, leave is increased to 11 months. As a result, fewer months are unpaid than before.
- Requiring that employers with agreements on flexible working conditions give priority to requests to work from home made by employees with children under 12 years (any age with disabilities) and those who are carers.
- Increasing paternity leave for multiple births (or adoptions) from 10 working days to 20, to be taken within five months of the birth or placement, 100% paid by social security.
- Expanding the mandatory elements that employment contracts must address, including, among other things, information on the place of employment, employer paid leaves, method of wage payment, overtime, shift compensation (if any), trial period (if any). In addition, work rules must cover notice of termination and vocational training programs (if any). The information should be provided to employees at the time of hiring and may be communicated by reference to a collective bargaining agreement or company work rules.
- Giving employees with at least six months of service priority consideration for internal vacancies that would provide safer or more predictable working conditions.
Among companies surveyed by WTW, the enhancement of statutory family-related leaves is rare, with only 6% of companies providing parental leave in excess of requirements. Employers should ensure that their HR policies and practices as well as employment agreements comply with the new rules.