CCNL Commerce: renewal agreement provisions on gender equality

17 April 2024

On 22 March 2024, Confcommercio, Filcams Cgil, Fisascat Cisl and Uiltucs Uil signed the agreement to renew the National Collective Bargaining Agreement (contratto collettivo nazionale di lavoro, ‘CCNL’) for employees of Tertiary, Distribution and Services Companies, effective from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2027.

Leave for women who are the victims of abuse

In addition to wage increases and benefits such as supplementary health care and permanent contracts, the agreement addresses the increasingly topical issues of gender equality, fair distribution of family burdens, and support for women who are victims of gender-based abuse.

In this regard, implementing Article 24 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 80/2015, Article 16-bis of the new agreement recognises the right of female employees of public or private employers included in ‘protection pathways’ related to gender-based abuse to take leave from work for a maximum period of 90 days. For the purposes of exercising this right, the employee, except where it is objectively impossible, is required to give the employer at least seven days’ notice and, furthermore, to produce the certification confirming her inclusion in the pathways in question.

During the leave period, the woman is paid an allowance corresponding to her last salary, paid in advance in her pay packet by the employer on behalf of the Italian National Security Entity (Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale, ‘INPS’) (in line with the payment of maternity benefits).

The period of leave is taken into account for the purposes of accruing seniority, holidays, and for the purposes of accruing additional months’ pay and severance pay (trattamento di fine rapporto or T.F.R.).

Leave for women who are victims of abuse may be taken, over a three-year period, on a daily or hourly basis (the latter is allowed at half the average daily working hours for the month immediately preceding the month in which the leave starts).

If further conditions are met, the leave period may be extended for a further 90 days, with entitlement to payment of an allowance equal to 100% of the current salary.

In addition, the employee has the right to change her employment relationship from full-time to part-time, and both vertically or horizontally within the organisation, and also to apply for a transfer to another place of work, even if located in another municipality.

Parental leave

To promote gender equality as well as the fair distribution of family burdens, the parties to the agreement agreed new provisions on parental leave.

In particular, it should be remembered that, to reconcile workers’ rights with the company’s organisational needs, Italian Legislative Decree no. 151/2001 (the Consolidated Law or Testo Unico, ‘TU’) introduced a notice period under which, to take the leave, the parent is required to give his or her employer at least 15 days’ notice.

In the new agreement renewing the CCNL Commerce, this notice period has been reduced to five days, unless this is objectively impossible.

Finally, it should also be noted that, under Article 34 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 151/2001, both working parents are entitled to the period of parental leave which may be shared between them. This leave may be taken during the first 12 years of the child’s life and may not exceed a total of 10 months, which may be increased to 11 months if the working father uses the leave for a period of at least three months.  

Currently, the period for which the working parent will receive their salary is nine months: in the first month the parent will receive 80% of salary and in the second 60% (increased to 80% for 2024 only) provided that:

  • the leave periods are taken after 1 January 2024;
  • the leave is taken before the child is six years old; 
  • the period of maternity or, alternatively, paternity leave ended after 31 December 2023. 

Otherwise, the parent will receive 30% of salary for the remaining period.

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