Moving to Italy, getting an apartment, learning a new language, finding a job… it can take all your energy to start a new life abroad. When you finally find a job in Italy, you can feel tempted to just sign the contract of employment and be done with it. However, it is vital to know the basics of Italian work contracts before signing one. So, read on to know exactly what you are signing and how contracts work in Italy.
An employment contract is meant to describe in detail the specifics of the working relationship of both parties, the employer and employee, including job title, salary, responsibilities, duties, sick pay, holidays and notice periods.
There are two main kinds of contracts – a permanent employment contract (contratto a tempo indeterminato) and a temporary, fixed-term employment contract (contratto a termine or contratto a tempo determinate). Both contract types are under the control of the general rules established by the Italian Civil Code.
Permanent employment contract
This type of contract governs the “normal” employment relationships in Italy. It contains an indefinite period of working time and it guarantees the employee higher protection than any other contract type in Italy, because there is no end date and the conditions necessary to be fired are stringent.
Fixed term contract
The goal of this type of contract is to hire employees for a limited time. A fixed-term contract can last up to 36 months, including the possible extensions. Measurable limits are typically set by national collective agreements (NCA). Italian law states that the general number of fixed-term contracts may not surpass the 20% threshold of the work force that is hired on a permanent basis.
These types of contracts can’t be used for replacing workers that are on strike or to replace employees who are temporarily laid off. In addition to these, these are other typical contracts in Italy:
- Part-time contracts: These must be in writing and specify the working hours. Pay and other entitlements are normally proportional to those of full-time workers with the same job title. This type of contract allows the employer more flexibility, for the ancillary clauses that can be added to the contract.
- “On call” jobs (lavoro a chiamata o intermittente): These types of Italian work contracts allow the employee to declare their availability to work for a certain period of time, during which they can be called in for just a few days with short-term notice. This contract must be drafted in writing.
- Apprenticeship (apprendistato): This is an open-end contract with occupational training content. The employer is required to ensure that the apprentice acquires professional skills and a qualification.
So, if you agree with all the terms and conditions of the contract of employment that your Italian employer gives you for your new job in Italy, you can sign on the dotted line with peace of mind, and really start your new life in Italy.