Employment Contracts in Italy

1. Minimum Requirements

European Union Directive No. 533/91 has been implemented in Italy and requires that information on the main terms and conditions of employment relationships be evidenced in writing in the employment contract and provided to the employee within 30 days of hiring.

2. Fixed-term/Open-ended Contracts

An employment contract normally has an unlimited duration.

However employment contracts may be entered into for a fixed-term. A fixed-term contract of employment must be executed in writing and the term must be expressly indicated. Where contracts are not executed in writing, they will be considered a contract of employment of unlimited duration.

The rules on fixed-term employment have been partially amended by the Fornero Reform in 2012 and more recently by the Law no. 78/2014. Currently, a fixed-term contract may be entered into for a maximum period of 36 months (maximum 8 extensions / renewals).

3. Trial Period

Employment contracts can provide for a trial period. During this period each party is free to terminate the contract without notice and without the payment of any indemnity in lieu of such notice. The duration of the trial period is set by the applicable collective agreement and varies according to different categories of employees (maximum duration being 6 months for high level employees).

4. Notice Period

Upon termination of an open-ended employment contract, unless the contract is terminated for “just cause”, both the employer and the employee are entitled to a notice period, the duration of which varies according to the employees’ length of service and professional level and as established in the applicable collective agreement.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Italy, please contact LABLAW – Studio Legale
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