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Italy

Staff welfare

Updated 01/2013

Legal requirements

The principal legislations governing the social obligations of the employer are contained in the Workers' Statute.

Italian social security system is divided into two fundamental poles:

  • The protection against occupational accidents and diseases managed by the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL);
  • The Italian National Social Security Institute (INPS) manages pension schemes and minor services for private company employees;

Social Standards

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

Equal treatment in employment and occupation is guaranteed in the constitution, by ordinary national and EU regulations. The Legislative Decree No 216 of 9 July 2003 transposes the EU Directive concerning the equal treatment of persons regardless of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.

The decree defines the right to protection from either direct or indirect discrimination, therefore also making discriminatory behaviour which may seem less obvious, such as “mobbing”.

The department for equal opportunities is the main body that supports equal opportunities.

Under Italian legislation, there are a series of legislative provisions aimed at protecting equal opportunities at the workplace.

Health and safety at work

Health and safety rules in the working environment are constantly updated in relation to corporate and employer responsibility.

  • The Single Text is made up of the Legislative Decree No 81 of 2008, which introduced strict Sanctions for companies that violate safety rules. Companies which persistently and seriously violate safety rules risk having their business activity suspended (employers risk up to 18 months of jail or a fine of up to EUR 24 000). 

Those managing a business must provide employees with occupational accident insurance. This insurance must be stipulated with the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work – INIAL which is the official body safeguarding workers against physical injury, financial damage and occupational diseases.

Employers must provide insurance for employees and contract workers hired for activities deemed risky by law. Craftsmen and self-employed workers in agriculture are also required to insure themselves.

Employers must assess all potential risks to which employees may be exposed.

The risk assessment report helps business owners evaluate provisions for providing employees with the safest possible working conditions.

The Local Health Authorities (ASL) are responsible for checking that health and safety measures are in place in the working environment.

Labour law

Labour relations

In Italy, minimum wages are not stipulated bu national laws, but through collective bargaining between the social partners. In the case of internships and project contracts, the Fornero Reform - Law No 92 of 28 June 2012 provided that the fee can not be less than that provided for by national collective agreement category, but it is a matter subject to constant rethinking.  The regulation in particular has been left to individual regions or to collective bargaining. 

Employment protection

Italian law safeguards Maternity and paternity rights and guarantees the right of the child to receive adequate care.

Exceptional paid leave is provided for if required by an employee to assist persons with serious disabilities.

Disputes

In the case of individual and joint disputes, the law requires an attempt at conciliation, without which it is not possible to proceed with any eventual judicial request.  The Directorate-General for the improvement of working conditions plays a mediation role in cases of national work disputes and, in general, in situations of company crisis.

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

The law on gender equality at work stipulates that public and private companies, with more than 100 employees, must periodically draw up a Report regarding the situation of male and female employees.

Health and safety at work

Companies with less than 10 employees who are not particularly exposed to risks can make use of self-certification. or risk assessment, as from 1 January 2013, extends also to the latter the obligation to draw up a Risk assessment document – (D.V.R.)

This Risk assessment document must contain:

  • a report evaluating all the possible health and safety risks;
  • the precautionary and individual safety measures adopted;
  • a programme defining measures to be taken in order to improve the safety of the working environment;
  • the procedures required to implement the measures;
  • the names of the person in charge of accident prevention and safety, the workers' representative responsible for safety and the doctor who took part in the risk assessment;
  • an outline of risky tasks carried out by employees with specific qualifications;
  • specific risk categories, such as work-related stress or stress caused by racial, age and gender differences.

Social insurance

At the start of a business activity, entrepreneurs must consult the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INIAL) and take steps to insure the company. Individuals can file a single notice which at the same time allows them to submit the required information to the:

  • Company Registration - Chambers of Commerce
  • Agenzia delle Entrate
  • INAIL
  • INPS
  • Register of Handicrafts (if applicable)

If the accident incapacitates the employee for more than 3 days, then a report must be submitted to the INIAL.

Resources

For more information about protocols and agreements of the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work:

Programmes

Funding plans are available in order to enhance the competitiveness and social cohesion. These funds are intended for different business activities and are allocated in accordance with the National Strategic Framework Programme for Regional Development 2007-13.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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