Minimum Working Conditions
In Italy, the most important provisions included in an employment contract are provided by the law and by the applicable NCBA, in particular, the terms and conditions of employment: 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; holidays.
Italian law explicitly provides that the salary paid to employees must be stated in a pay slip (produced by the employer or by a third party on the employer’s behalf) specifying the period of service which the salary refers to, the amount and the value of any overtime, together with all the elements that constitute the amount paid, as well as all withholdings made in accordance with Italian law. Moreover, Italian law provides for an annual 13th payment, paid once a year on the occasion of the Christmas holidays that usually corresponds to one month’s remuneration. In addition, NCBA or even individual contracts may provide for the payment of the 14th payment, usually paid in July.
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 NCBA can extend that term for objective, technical or organisational reasons.
The needs of a particular company may, in exceptional circumstances or on an occasional basis, require employees to work beyond their “usual working hours.” 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. Finally, the law provides that overtime is calculated separately and paid by way of an increase in salary pursuant to the NCBA, which may in any case permit that overtime be compensated with time off in addition or as an alternative to the salary increases that may be due.
Employer’s Obligation to Provide a Healthy and Safe Workplace
When managing and operating its business, the employer is required to adopt all measures that—in light of the specific type of work performed, past experience, and techniques used—are required to protect the psychological and physical wellbeing of the employees. In addition to these general principles, there are some specific duties that the employer must fulfill: i) evaluation of risks; ii) identification of protective and preventative measures; and iii) preparation of the plan for the improvement of safety at the workplace, amongst others.
Any employee’s breach of the safety and health obligations could result in disciplinary sanctions.