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Working practices and employment

The workers posted in a Member State must receive, at least, a minimum guaranteed protection to take into account if compared to the work and employment conditions they were used to receive; this concerns particularly those workers who performed similar tasks in Italy, as provided for in the legal provisions and the Collective Labour Agreements.

The Collective Labour Agreements we are here considering are the National ones, either territorial or corporate contracts. The National and territorial contracts are stipulated by the most representative National and territorial trade unions associations, whereas the corporate contracts are entered into by the business trade union corporates or by the unitary trade union (art. 51, Law Decree, n. 81/2015).

The 2018 Guideline 957, in particular, require Member States to ensure the equal treatment to the workers posted in their territory with respect to the following points:

  • maximum work periods and minimum number of resting days periods;
  • minimum duration of paid leaves per year;
  • salaries, including overtime rates in case of overtime;
  • conditions for the supply of workers, in particular the supply of workers by temporary employment undertakings;
  • safety, health protection and hygiene at work;
  • measures to protect working and job conditions of pregnant workers and those who have recently given birth, children and youngsters;
  • equal treatment between women and men, besides further provisions in the matter of non-discrimination;
  • conditions of workers accomodation, whenever this is provided by the employer to workers who are serving far away from their usual working place;
  • reimbursement compensation or allowances to cover the expenses for transfers, board and lodging incurred by workers who are away from their usual residences for professional reasons.

Below, please find a simplified version of the main measures that represent the “essential core” of the minimum protection that must be granted to the workers posted in Italy.

Maximum work periods and minimum number of resting days period
Substantial provisions and sanctions regime concerning the working hours (Law Decree, number 66/2003).
Working hours are normally set at 40 hours per week. The Collective Agreements set the maximum duration of the weekly working hours, considering the fact that the average time of the working time can not exceed - without exception, including eventual overtime - 48 working hours in a period of 7 working days (provided for in articles 3 and 4, paragraph 1 and 2, Law Decree, number 66/2003).

Furthermore, the worker will have the right to stop working and rest for 11 hours in a row, after 24 working hours (article 7 of the before mentioned Decree) and to rest for at least 24 hours in a row after 7 working days, normally on Sundays; this hours off of duty will be added to the daily due resting hours (article 7). The mentioned period of weekly resting time, is computed on an average period that will not be longer than 14 days (article 9 of the mentioned Law Decree).

Minimum duration of paid leaves per year
Substantial provisions and sanctions regime concerning the working hours (Law Decree, number 66/2003).
The worker is entitled to a period of paid leaves not shorter than four weeks in a year. Except if required by the collective negotiation, this period must last for at least two weeks (consecutive if required by the worker), throughout the year; the residual two weeks must be used within 18 months after the end of the year during which the leaves were completed.
The said period (4 weeks, at least) cannot be redeemed by the corresponding compensation for leaves not taken, unless the employment relationship is terminated (article 10 of the before mentioned Decree).
Generally speaking, the employer is entitled to decide the timing of the leaves, taking into account the needs of the company’s activities and the workers requirements (article 2109, paragraph 2, of the Civil Code).

Basic minimum wage, including rates enhanced  for overtime
In Italy there is not a basic minimum wage determined by the law. This subject is taken care of and established in the collective labour contracts, negotiated by the most representative national trade union organisations, for all the sectors of production, in accordance with article 36 of the Constitution, that enshrines the right of workers to receive a remuneration proportionate to the quantity and the quality of the activities performed, such as to allow the worker to live a free and dignified existence. For what concerns the adequacy of the wage levels, you refer to the Country where the worker is posted, whereas the payment of contribution is due to the worker’s home Country, given that, as known, during the period of posting, the worker is still an employee of the posting employer, as confirmed by the 2018 Guideline 957, too.