Employment Contracts

The execution of an employment contract is a legal requirement in Italy. The contract contains all the relevant conditions of employment including scope of responsibility, place of work, salary, benefits, work hours, duration of contract, notice period, and any special arrangements. The framework and minimum standard for individual employment contracts are generated by the wage agreements of the given industry, some of which are supplemented on a local level by addenda determined by the province and/or operating agreements.

An open-ended employment contract (contratto a tempo indeterminato) may specify a probationary period of 6 months, during which time either party may terminate the employment relationship at any time. Outside of this probationary period, all terminations must made be in writing and, if it is the employer who doing the terminating, the grounds for dismissal must be clearly specified; notice periods are laid down in wage agreements.

At the end of an employment contract, employees are entitled to a severance payment (trattamento di fine rapporto) in the amount of about one month's salary for every year of employment. New and more flexible types of contracts are becoming more widespread in Italy and are replacing traditional working relationships more and more. Temporary contracts (contratti a tempo determinato) are limited to a total duration of 36 months and may be renewed only once during this period of time. There are also a number of atypical employment contracts including: project work (contratto di lavoro/di collaborazione a progetto), part-time work, on-call work (lavoro intermittente), job-sharing (lavoro ripartito), temporary employment (contratto di somministrazione) and marginal employment (prestazione accessorio di lavoro).

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