It is possible to stipulate fixed-term contracts, without specifying any reason, for contracts lasting up to 12 months. The fixed-term contract may exceed (including any later contract extensions) the 12-month term, within the maximum of 24 months (unless otherwise provided for by the applicable National Collective Labour Agreement) only for one of the following reasons: (i) temporary and objective needs, unrelated to the company’s ordinary business or for replacement reasons; (ii) needs related to temporary and unscheduled increases in the company’s ordinary business and (iii) collective agreement needs. Specifying one of the above reasons is required for fixed-term contract renewal. Failure to specify the reasons under the law results in the contract changing into open-ended.
Hiring workers under fixed-term contracts is prohibited: (i) to replace workers on strike; (ii) for production units where collective redundancies have taken place in the previous six months involving workers assigned to the same tasks mentioned in the fixed-term contract (except in cases where the contract is stipulated to replace absent workers or has an initial duration of maximum three months); (iii) for production units where there is a suspension of the employment relationship or a reduction in working hours, under a redundancy fund system, involving workers assigned to the tasks mentioned in the fixed-term contract; (iv) for employers who have not carried out a risk assessment.
Violation of these prohibitions entails changing any fixed-term contract into open-ended, in addition to ordering the employer to pay compensation between 2.5 to 12 months’ salary.
Re-hiring a worker on a fixed-term basis is permitted on condition that there is a “stop-and-go” period between the end of the previous contract and the beginning of the new relationship of: (i) 20 days if the expired contract had a duration of more than six months; (ii) 10 days if the expired contract had a duration of less than six months. Failure to comply with these intervals between contracts results in changing into an open-ended contract, and the employer is ordered to pay compensation of between 2.5 and 12 months’ salary.
The maximum number of fixed-term workers that can be hired must be 20 per cent of the permanent workers in force on 1 January of the year of hiring. Collective agreements may require higher percentages. If the activity begins during the year, the percentage limit is calculated on the number of permanent workers at the time of hiring. Employers who employ less than five employees can stipulate a fixed-term employment contract. Violation of numerical limits leads to administrative sanctions but does not make contracts open-ended.
Illness is not an event that can extend the contractual term. The employer will pay the employee the legal and contractual amount, exclusively up to the contractual expiry date, regardless of the worker’s illness continuing.
Under art. 24 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015, a worker who, during one or more fixed-term contracts at the same company, has worked for more than six months, may have open-ended recruitment priority made by the employer within the following 12 months for the tasks carried out under fixed-term contracts. Recruitment priority entitlement must be expressly mentioned in the individual fixed-term contract and may be exercised by the employee provided that they express their will in writing to the employer within six months from the fixed-term employment termination date. The entitlement to recruitment priority expires a year after the employment termination date. Collective bargaining may include different requirements from those set out in the above legislation.
The staff leasing contract, governed by Legislative Decree no. 81/2021, is a type of contract in which two distinct contractual relationships coexist. One relationship consists of a commercial staff leasing contract stipulated between an authorised agency and the user (a person who uses the agency services to find staff). This commercial contract may be fixed-term or open-ended. The other relationship is an employment contract stipulated between the agency and worker (hired by the agency and sent to the user), which may be fixed-term or open-ended.
A staff leasing contract is an open-ended employment contract stipulated between the agency and worker. This type of contract is governed by the rules provided for open-ended employment (see Art. 34, paragraph 1, Legislative Decree no. 81/2015).
It is possible to enter into an open-ended contract for any sector or worker type provided that the user does not exceed 20 per cent of open-ended workers employed on 1 January of the year in which the contract is stipulated. The collective agreement may apply a different percentage.
A staff leasing contract entails a division of the employer’s powers and obligations. The organisational and managerial power over the leased worker is exercised by the user. The worker carries out their activities in the user interest and under its direction and control (see Art. 30 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015). Disciplinary power is exercised by the agency, which will receive from the user elements subject to the measure if there is a disciplinary complaint.
Unless otherwise provided for in the contract, the staff leasing agency is responsible for providing information and training the worker. The user must comply with the same prevention and protection obligations under the law and collective agreement applicable to its employees.
The employee is paid directly by the agency, which is reimbursed by the user. The agency responsible for social security, insurance and welfare contributions. The user and agency are jointly and severally liable for the payment of wages and social security contributions.
A part-time employment relationship is when the parties agree to less working hours than those laid down by law or collective agreement.
There are three types of part-time work: (i) horizontal part-time work, where working hours are reduced in relation to normal daily working hours (e.g. every day from 9 am to 1 pm); (ii) vertical part-time work, where work is carried out on a full-time basis, but limited to predetermined periods during the week, month or year (e.g. eight hours a day, but only for three days a week). (iii) mixed part-time, which is a combination of the two above (e.g. in some periods of the year, every day but only from 2-6 pm, and in the remaining months, eight hours a day but only from Tuesday to Friday).
There is no rule prohibiting additional work, and the possibility for a worker to have several part-time working relationships with several employers, subject to certain limits on working hours. The employer must guarantee that the part-time worker will respect the maximum weekly working time and the right to weekly and daily rest. It is the worker’s responsibility to inform the employer of the hours they can work, within the specified limits, and provide any other useful information.
Under a part-time contract, “additional work” is defined as work exceeding the contractually agreed hours required by the employer within the limits of the normal working hours referred to in Article 3 of Legislative Decree no. 66/2003. Additional work may be requested within the limits and by paying additional remuneration specified in the collective agreement applied to the employment relationship. If the collective agreement does not regulate overtime work, the worker’s consent is required. In this case, the employer may require the worker to perform additional work up to 25 per cent of weekly working hours: the additional work is remunerated with an increase of 15 per cent of the hourly wage, including the impact of additional hours pay on indirect and deferred compensation.
If the collective agreement does not regulate additional work, the worker may refuse to work overtime if justified by proven work, health, family or professional training needs (art. 6 Legislative Decree no. 81/2015).
Art. 8 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015 states that workers suffering from:
for whom there is a residual reduced work capacity, possibly due to the disabling effects of life-saving therapies, verified by a medical commission established at the relevant local Health Authority (AUSL), are entitled to change the full-time into a part-time employment. At the worker’s request, part-time employment can be changed back into full-time.
There are cases when the worker is granted priority (not an absolute right as in the case above) to change the full-time into part-time employment, in the following cases:
The apprenticeship contract, currently regulated by Articles 41 to 47 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015, is divided into:
The apprenticeships referred to in points (i) and (iii) integrate training and work, for education, training and professional qualifications provided for by the national system.
The apprenticeship contract must be drawn up in writing, and as proof, and must contain an individual training plan, based on forms established by collective bargaining or bilateral bodies. An individual training plan is drawn up by the training body and the company for professional qualification and diploma apprenticeship, high school diploma and higher technical specialisation certificate and advanced training and research apprenticeship.
With the first-level apprenticeship contract, an employer can hire young people who have reached the age of 15 and up to 25 in all sectors. Workers who are beneficiaries of an unemployment benefit ( Naspi), can be hired on a professional apprenticeship, without an age limit to qualify or requalify professionally.
The employer who hires an apprentice under the first-level apprenticeship contract has the following benefits:
A temporary “on-call” employment contract allows an employer to use a worker’s services on call under legal limits. There are two types of temporary employment contracts: (i) a contract with a worker obligation to respond to the employer’s call (with the right to an allowance for compulsory availability); (ii) a contract without such an obligation where the relationship is established if the worker exercises their right to respond to the employer’s call.
Stipulating temporary employment contracts is allowed for discontinuous work if there are collective agreement specific needs.
Without a collective regulation, temporary work use is identified by Ministerial Decree. It is possible to enter into temporary employment contracts, regardless of the type of work, with persons over 55 or under 24 (in the latter case, the services covered by the contract must be performed before the completion of the 25th year of age).
The temporary employment contract is allowed, for each worker with the same employer, for a period of up to 400 days of work over three calendar years. If this period is exceeded, the contract is converted into a full-time, open-ended employment contract.
The contract must be in writing as proof and must specify:
The standby duty allowance is established by collective agreements and cannot be less than 20 per cent of the monthly salary – minimum wage, contingency allowance, distinct pay component (EDR), additional monthly payments – provided for by the applicable National Collective Labour Agreement.
As clarified by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, a Traineeship is a period of orientation and training, to introduce young people into the labour market. There are two types of traineeship: (i) curricular traineeship, for young people who are still enrolled in education or training; (ii) extracurricular traineeship, to support the professional choices of young people who have completed education or training.
The activation of a curricular traineeship is the responsibility of:
Since their purpose is to train the student, curricular traineeships are not usually remunerated. The traineeship period is converted into ECTS (CFU – university training credits), which are required to obtain a degree.
Traineeships cannot be used to replace workers who are temporarily absent or during periods of increased activity, or to fill roles/positions within the organisation hosting the trainee. It can only be used for work for which a training period is necessary.
A traineeship minimum duration is at least two months. This period is reduced (i) to 30 days if it is carried out by host institutions that operate seasonally or (ii) 14 days if it is carried out by students during summer. The maximum duration including extensions and renewals, is 12 months, except disabled people traineeships which are 24 months. Before the agreed term, the traineeship may be terminated by: (i) the trainee, with a reasoned written notice to the host tutor and the promoter’s tutor; (ii) the host or promoter if there is a serious default by one of the parties or it is impossible to continue with the training objectives.