On 27 April 2022 Law no. 32 of the previous 7 April which delegates the Government to issue a series of legislative decrees to introduce new measures to balance life and work in favour of parenthood and strengthen the structure of existing protections, was published in the Official Gazette.
The implementing measures will be issued in the next 12 months, extended to 24 months for those concerning parental leave measures.
The guiding principles of the delegation law under review are based on the promotion of parenthood and the fair division of tasks between parents to harmonise work-life time, promote female employment, and facilitate women’s return to the labour market, particularly after maternity leave.
Below are some guiding principles and criteria to be adopted:
- working parents can take parental leave until their child reaches 14 years;
- definition of flexible arrangements for the management of parental leave, considering single-parent households, and consistently with the collective labour agreements provisions;
- granting working parents paid leave of no less than five hours annually for each child, to meet with teachers and increase participation in their children’s development;
- granting spouses, cohabitants or relatives up to the second degree of kinship leave to accompany women to specialist visits during pregnancy;
- granting a minimum two months of parental leave, which cannot be transferred to the other parent for each child, providing benefits if leave is equally distributed between both parents;
- increase the compulsory maternity leave allowance.
As part of the reorganisation of the legislation regulating paternity and maternity leave, compulsory leave will be defined for the working father in the first months after the birth of the child, exceeding the 10 days already provided by law. This period should be requested with reasonable notice to the employer, regardless of the working father’s marital or family status and seniority.
To strengthen the measures to incentivise women’s work based on work-life balance, incentives will be provided, including contribution benefits, for businesses for maternity replacements, and the return of women to work, including their training. This is in addition to the measures to strengthen incentives in southern Italy.
There will be a gradual remuneration modulation during absences for children’s illnesses and incentives for employers that apply the clauses of the National Collective Labour Agreements linked to flexible working arrangements, and the workers’ option to request the reinstatement of the original contractual regime.
A share of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium-sized enterprises, under in Article 2, paragraph 100, letter a), of Law 662/1996, will be reserved for the start-up of new female enterprises and support their business for the first two years. There will be measures to support financial training for women entrepreneurs and the digitalisation of companies.
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