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03.082021

Hiring with an apprenticeship contract and tax exemption: INPS clarifications (Corriere delle Paghe de Il Sole 24 Ore, 3 August 2021 – Roberta De Felice, Antonello Gerardi)

In circular no. 87/2021, INPS clarified the total exemption from social security contributions for first-level apprenticeship contracts signed in 2020-2021 by employers who hire up to nine employees.

Before analysing the circular’s provisions, we provide a brief overview of this type of contract and its features.

Apprenticeships for professional qualification and diploma, upper secondary education diploma, and higher technical specialisation certificate (“first-level apprenticeship”) integrate work and training within the education, training and vocational qualification system.

This type of apprenticeship is designed to ensure a better link between school and the labour market. It can be stipulated by public and private sector employers with young people aged between 15 and 25.

The contract duration, under art. 43 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 81/2015 is defined based on the qualification or educational qualification to be obtained and cannot exceed three years (or four years for a four-year professional diploma).

However, the above article in paragraph 4 allows cases in which the contract duration may be extended by a further year, namely for:

  • workers who have obtained the three-year qualification or the four-year diploma, to acquire further technical-professional and specialised skills, needed to obtain the certificate of higher technical specialisation or the professional high school diploma at the end of a supplementary annual course;
  • workers who have not successfully obtained the qualification, diploma, certificate of higher technical specialisation or State professional high school diploma after the supplementary year.

The same article, in paragraph 5, introduced some exceptions to the duration of the first-level apprenticeship contract allowing the signing of:

  • a contract of a maximum of four years for students starting from the second year of upper secondary school to allow them to “acquire additional technical and professional skills to those already provided for by school regulations”;
  • a contract of up to two years for young people attending the annual supplementary post-diploma course (Presidential Decree 87/2010).

Continue reading the full version published in Corriere delle Paghe of Il Sole 24 Ore.