The Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, with circular letter no. 3 of 3 January 2022, provided the first operating indications concerning wage subsidies applied to employment in light of the new introduction of 2022 Budget Law (Law no. 234/2021).

As seen in various circumstances,innovative interventions provided by the law are aimed at building a more inclusive welfare model, including the integration of more effective active employment policies and social safety nets aimed at sustaining targeted industrial policies. 

The new provisions, applied to treatments starting from 1 January 2022, include the following:

  • Effective employment seniority requirement: The 2022 Budget Law lowered the effective employment seniority requirement for access to wage subsidies from 90 to 30 days. On this point the circular letter states that:
  • in the calculation of “effective work” days – regardless of the type of work hours carried out, and regardless of continuous or previous maturity to the start of the intervention, vacation days, holidays, occupational injuries and mandatory absence from work for maternity leave;
  • the requirement in question is not required for access to ordinary wage subsidies treatments (CIGO) accorded for the reason of an event that cannot be prevented in the industrial sector;
  • such requirement, for a worker who switches to employment with a subcontractor based on social clauses, is calculated taking into account the period during which the same was engaged in the contracted business.
  • Calculation of workers for access to the Extraordinary Wage Subsidy Fund (CIGS in Italian): to provide new criteria to calculate employees to ensure greater inclusivity. For access to this subsidy treatment a threshold of an average of 15 employees in the half year prior to submission date of the application has been established. For this point the circular letter underlines that the following need to be considered in calculating this threshold:
  • workers with the position of executive;
  • workers at home and trainees;
  • workers who perform their jobs with an employee relationship both inside and outside the company as well as external contract workers organised as per art. 2 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015.
  • Job compatibility: The worker – already beneficiary of wage subsidies who performs, during the suspension period or reduction of work hours, employment work of a duration greater than six months, as well as freelance work – does not have the right to wage subsidies for the effective days of work. Instead, wage subsidy treatment remains suspended for the duration of employment, if the employee performs fixed-term employment activity of a duration equal to or less than six months. 
  • CIGS reasons: The reasons of reorganisation, company crisis and solidarity contract have been amended and supplemented as follows: 
  • Company reorganisation: the reason has been expanded to include company programs “aimed at implementing transition processes” in the same area. The criteria for identification and governance of the regulations of the programs, will be identified in a ministerial decree soon to be adopted.
  • Company crisis: with no change to the criteria to access CIGS treatments following the declaration of a company crisis accompanied by a plan with corrective interventions and objectives concretely reachable aimed at continuing the company business and safeguarding jobs; 
  • Solidarity: starting on 1 January 2022, defensive solidarity contracts are amended in the sense that the reduction of average scheduled hours may reach 80% of the daily, weekly or monthly hours of involved workers and for each worker the maximum total reduction percentage of work hours can reach 90% of hours over the entire period for which the solidarity contract is stipulated. The novation intervention was aimed at providing an incentive to use the reason.
  • Employment transition agreements: the possibility of authorising an additional period of CIGS of the maximum duration of a total of 12 months not renewable is included, if the parties stipulate an agreement aimed at supporting employment transitions of workers at the risk of being surplus at the outcome of reorganisation programs or a company crisis (so-called employment transition agreement). For this purpose use of active policies is planned directed at re-employing the workers through measures of the GOL Programme, or even through equivalent inter-profession funds. 
  • Expansion contract: experiments are ongoing on the expansion contract for the years 2022 and 2023 with new financial resources to cover the various planned interventions. The requirement for the minimum limit of employees on staff drops to fifty employees, to be calculated on the whole in cases of stable business combination solely for production or service purposes. 
  • CIGS and extra CIGD extra: in company reorganisation processes or cases of severe economic difficulties of a company – within the field of art. 20 of Legislative Decree no. 148 – that can no longer use the CIGS treatment protection and with exemption from time limits, an additional period of extraordinary treatment may be granted of 52 weeks that can be used until 31 December 2023, within the limit of the financial resources allocated for each year. Since it can be requested in terms of weeks, the company is responsible for specifying the precise time period for requesting the treatment. 
  • Solidarity funds: the field of application has been expanded for solidarity funds already established to employers that only have one employee. The law provides a transitory period until 31 December 2022, by this date the Funds must adhere to the provisions. For failure to do so, as of 1 January 2023, the employers of the relative sector will become part of the wage subsidy fund (FIS) where already paid contributions will be transferred as well as those due by the same employers, for the sole purposes of paying the wage subsidy treatments.

Other related insights:

Our HR Breakfasts are back in webinar mode.

Thursday 19 November, De Luca & Partners and HR Capital organised the HR Virtual Breakfast with a technical and legal focus on the latest developments in employment.

Our Senior Associate Alessandra Zilla and HR Capital Labour Consultant Nunzio Lena took stock of recent emergency decrees moderated by our Managing Partner, Vittorio De Luca.

The event was held 9-10 am using the Zoom platform.


  • Ban on dismissals
  • Smart-working and extraordinary leave
  • Social safety nets
  • Contribution exemption
  • Suspension of payments

Attendance is free subject to registration


Vittorio De Luca on air on Class CNBC at “The price of the virus” conducted by Andrea Cabrini, along with other guests including the Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Labour, Stanislao Di Piazza. Among the topics, the responsibility of employers in case of contagion of employees and the social shock absorbers provided by the “Decreto Rilancio” pending publication in the Official Gazette (speech from minute 24’55”).

Here the interview.

The holiday institute

The right to take an annual period of paid leave is a right of constitutional rank according to Article 36 paragraph 3, of the Italian Constitution, which provides that “the worker has right […] to an annual period of paid leave, and he cannot renounce it”.

On the other hand, Article 2109 Italian Civil Code is also concerned with the institution of holidays: “The employee has […] also right […] to an annual period of paid leave, if possible continuous, in the time that the employer establishes, taking into account the needs of the company and the interests of the employee. The duration of this period shall be determined by law, custom or equity.  The employer must inform in advance the employee with reference to the period of the holidays. The notice period provided with Article 2118 may not be counted in the annual paid leave”.

Source: full italian version published by Guida al lavoro – Il Sole 24 ore.

Among the measures that have come one after another in these weeks, this is the right time to make some remarks in light of the novelties introduced with Italian Legislative Decree no. 18/2020 “Cura Italia”, effective as of 17 March 2020.

First of all, it should be noted that in terms of social safety nets, the redundancy scheme included in our legal system is certainly one of the most favorable if compared with the main western countries and therefore a special law should not be necessary except to offer coverage to companies excluded from its benefits at present.

Keep reading Vittorio De Luca’s interview here.