1. Legal Framework
In Italy, pensions are operated by INPS and are fed by salary-based contributions paid by both the employer and the employee.
Receipt of pension benefits is contingent upon payment of the social security contributions provided for by the law.
In certain specific cases provided for by law, in order to allow the employee to reach the minimum pension requirements, the contribution is directly paid by the government. In other cases, such as the interruption or the termination of work, the contribution due by law can be directly paid by the employees.
Protection of workers who suffer accidents or occupational illness is primarily controlled by the INAIL (National Institution for Insurance Against Work Related Accidents).
4. Maternity Leave
Employees are entitled to specific rights during maternity leave. During the period of prohibition to work (five months), unless otherwise provided for by the collective agreement, the employee is entitled to a payment equal to 80% of the salary, which is paid by INPS. Depending on specific circumstances, such periods may be extended.
The Italian pension system was redefined by Law no. 335/95, which combined two different kinds of pension schemes into a single system. The preexisting systems were based, alternatively, depending on the choice of the employee, on the attainment of a certain age (“pensione di vecchiaia”, or old-age pension) or on a minimum period of contributions (“pensione di anzianità”, or length-of-service pension). The amount of the length-of-service pension was based on the remuneration paid to the employee during his or her last year of work.