1. Minimum Working Conditions
In Italy, the most important provisions included in an employment contract are provided by the law and by the applicable collective agreement. In particular, collective agreements set the terms and conditions of employment, amongst which are: categories and related job descriptions; duties and obligations; minimum wages; job retention rights during absences due to illness; salary increases due to length of service; termination, resignation, criteria for calculation of the severance pay; night work; maternity leaves; and holidays.
Salary is usually paid at the end of the working month, as established in the company policies or by the collective agreements with the employer deducting all applicable social security contributions and withholding taxes. Moreover, Italian law provides for an annual 13th payment.
3. Maximum Working Week
The maximum length of the working week is established by the collective agreements. However, the average weekly working time cannot exceed 48 hours, inclusive of overtime. The average working time must be calculated over a period of 4 months; however, the applicable collective agreement can extend that term for objective, technical or organizational reasons.
The article 5 of Legislative Decree66/2003 provides that normally it is the collective agreement that governs the conditions for performing overtime work and that, in the absence of any provisions of the collective agreement, overtime is only permitted subject to the agreement between the employer and the employee and for a period not exceeding 250 hours per annum.
Under Italian law, employees are entitled to annual holidays. Legislative Decree 66/2003 establishes that the minimum length of annual holidays is four weeks per year, but the applicable collective agreement may provide more favorable conditions for the employees.
There are approximately 11 public holidays in Italy and an additional four days that used to be public holidays, but are now working days on which workers are paid double time.