Italian employment contracts
Nicolò Bolla

Nicolò Bolla

Employment contracts in Italy

Moving to a different country creates various challenges to be undertaken, including looking for a new job. We know how stressful it can be, especially in Italy if you don’t know the language. Italy however, provides various opportunities for skilled workers with a good command in the English language. This article is aiming to make your job hunt a little easier, informing you on the main feature of the Italian job contracts.

Working in Italy eligibility

In order to sign an employment contract in Italy you are required to be a EU citizen or to have a valid VISA.

You can undertake some employment tasks under the tourist VISA, anyway you are limited the entry in the country for 90 days out of 180, therefore you need a VISA to enter Italy and settle long term.

It is also possible to obtain a temporary VISA for seasonal works in the agricultural sector, reducing your entry period to the one stated in the employment agreement.

It is therefore important as a non-EU job seeker to evaluate the need of a valid VISA in Italy, and if your future employer is eager to sponsor you and go through the bureaucracy required to obtain such a VISA.

Italian employment contracts

Employment contract basics

The key element of any employment in Italy is the employment contract (contratto di lavoro), detailing all the specific rights and obligations of each party. The contract is regulated by the law and it has to include: job title, salary, responsibilities, duties, sick pay, holidays and notice periods. Most employment contracts can be made in any language. What’s important is that both parties understand the content of the contract’s terms and conditions.There are two main kinds of contracts. The first is a permanent employment contract (contratto a tempo indeterminato) and the second is a fixed-term employment contract (contratto a termine or contratto a tempo determinato). Both types are bound by the general rules established by the Italian Civil Code.
Furthermore, Italy has National Collective Agreements (CCNL in Italian) that regulate the employment agreement between the parties, and it is bound to specific industries. There are the CCNL Metalmeccanici, CCNL Terziario e Servizi, CCNL Commercio etc. The collective agreement provides particular clauses, conditions, and restrictions regarding the specific industry in which they operate.

Type of employment contracts

The permanent employment contract governs the more traditional employment relationship in Italy. This type of contract has an indefinite time period and guarantees the employee more protection than any other form of Italian employment contract because there is no end date and the conditions necessary to be fired are strict. As such, it is more coveted than the others.

Companies can also hire employees with a fixed-term contract for an established, but limited period of time. A fixed-term contract can last up to 12 months and can be extended up to 24 months in specific cases. The limits are typically set by national collective agreements (NCA).

Part-time contracts are also applicable, and they are a subset of the permanent or fixed term employment. Basically they provide for a reduced hour set, without altering the conditions set for the NCA; it is also possible that the employer adds ancillary or elastic clauses to increase or vary the working time during the day.

On-call contracts allow the employer to hire a worker for a specific period of time without disclosing the fixed hours the employer has to be on the duty. Normally the contract provides the clause that the worker is bound to work if called by the employer.

Finally, the apprenticeship contracts are focused on increasing the worker’s skill set by providing a period of work and education on the job

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