Requirements for Foreign Employees to Work
There are no specific rules related to the employment of European Union (“EU”) citizens as they can move and work in every EU Country, free of restrictions. On the other hand, limitations are provided by the law with respect to non-EU citizens. Visas and different work permits are necessary in the following situations:
- Hiring of non-EU citizens: their employment can start only after a specific immigration procedure is completed, which includes complying with the limitation of the annual quotas. After the annual quotas are established, a non-EU citizen must request a work visa, assuming that they have been offered employment in Italy.
- Secondment in Italy of non-EU citizens: this is not subject to annual quota limitations, but should be activated on the basis of a special and more simplified procedure, strictly related to the purposes of the secondment in Italy.
Does a Foreign Employer need to Establish or Work through a Local Entity to Hire an Employee?
No, it does not. The foreign employer needs to file for an Italian tax number and elect a domicile in Italy. The situation should of course be evaluated having regard to the activities to be performed. More specifically, should the foreign employer be active in the trade sector, with the employee having to perform bargaining activities, the risk of the constitution of a stable organisation would be high and would have an impact under a tax perspective.
Limitations on Background Checks
Prior to hiring and during the employment relationship, the employer may not carry out any checks or investigations, even through third parties, regarding the employee’s political opinions, religious beliefs, union membership, or on any matters which do not strictly relate to the employee’s professional skills. Therefore, any such investigation is always prohibited, as is any investigation of facts that cannot be objectively used to demonstrate the employee’s skills, competence, experience and compatibility with the specific duties to be assigned to him/her. This rule also applies to checks carried out through social networks, which are becoming common among HR departments and head-hunters.