Work and Wages

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-25

Minimum Wage

Although according to article 36 of the Constitution, the wages must be proportionate to the quality and quantity of work done and also high enough to provide a minimum subsistence for the worker and his family, in Italy there is no minimum wage by law, and hence there is no separate legislation for that. Around half of the employees in the country are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, where wages are always set through collective negotiation. These are signed by employers / employers' organisations and trade unions / confederations of trade unions. The Government can also sign collective agreements with public sector workers.Minimum wages vary by sectors as wages are determined under the sectoral collective bargaining agreements. In a sector, minimum wage rates also vary in accordance with a worker’s skill level. 

Since minimum wages are determined through collective bargaining, compliance with these is ensured by the agreement signing parties, i.e., the employer and union. In the case of violation of collective agreement, trade union can take necessary legal action.

Source: §36 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic

Regular Pay

Collective agreements usually provide for monthly payment, although a different interval (weekly or fortnightly) can be agreed. In accordance with article 1277 of the Civil Code, employers are under the obligation to pay the workers in legal tender. Payment can be made in cash or, if the employee agrees, in checks or by transfer to a bank or postal account. 

Under a newly enacted law on income protection for workers of seized and confiscated companies, there are provisions for protecting the salaries of workers of those companies which have been placed under judicial administration as a result of having been seized or confiscated due to mafia-related activities. The law allows a Judge, with jurisdiction over the seizure and confiscation measures at the request of judicial administrator, to allocate a salary subsidy for workers to maintain their previous income levels for 12 months within a three-year period. The benefit is also granted to dependent workers whose employer has failed to comply with employment and social security obligations.

Source: Civil Code, art. 1277; Legislative Decree No. 72 of 2018

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana, 1948 / Constitution of the Italian Republic, 1948
  • Codice civile (Regio Decreto 16 marzo 1942, n. 262, aggiornato nel 2013) / Civil Code (Royal Decree of 16th March 1942, n. 262, revised in 2013)
  • CCNL Metalmeccanici / Metal Workers collective agreement

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