Observatory

COVID-19 parental leave: INPS operating instructions

24 January 2022

In circular no. 189/2021, INPS has provided operating instructions on the new “SARS CoV-2 parental leave” provided for by Article 9, Decree-Law no. 146/2021, which can be taken by parents who are private-sector employees, working parents who are exclusively registered with the Separate Management Scheme and self-employed parents registered with INPS.

The leave under management can be taken by either parents, but not on the same days, for:

  • periods of SARS CoV-2 infection;
  • periods of quarantine from contact, or
  • periods of teaching or educational activity suspension

the presence of a cohabiting child under 14 years of age.

For the abstention periods, an indemnity equal to half of the salary or income is paid, depending on the applicant parent working category, covered by imputed contributions. Only working days within the requested leave can be compensated.

Parents of children aged 14 -16 can take leave from work without pay or allowance, or imputed contribution, without being dismissed or losing their job.  Applications must be submitted only to employers and not to INPS.

 

Leave can be taken by working parents who are foster parents or foster carers. The circular summarises the situations of compatibility/incompatibility between the leave and other institutions, providing instructions for event management in the UniEmens flow.

Use of leave

Leave can be taken on a daily or hourly basis and the following requirements must be met:

  • The parent must have an existing employment relationship. If the employment relationship is terminated or suspended while the leave is being taken, the right to take it is lost, and the days following the termination or suspension cannot be compensated. Parents must inform INPS of the change in the employment relationship;
  • the child for whom the leave is taken must be under the age of 14. When the child reaches 14 years of age, leave can no longer be taken;
  • The parent and child must be cohabiting throughout the leave period. Cohabitation exists when the child has their registered residence in the same house as the applicant parent. If the parent and child are registered residents in two different homes, the leave cannot be taken, as the factual situation is irrelevant. In case of child custody or placement, cohabitation is inferred from the custody or placement order to the worker requesting the leave;
  • one of the following conditions must exist for the child for whom the leave is taken:
    • Infection with SARS CoV-2, as certified/attested by the general practitioner, a paediatrician, or by order of the relevant local health authority. All the above documents must specify the child’s name and measure’s duration;
    • quarantine due to contact with the child (wherever it may have occurred), imposed by order of the Prevention Department of the relevant Local Health Authority;
    • suspension of in-attendance teaching or educational activities, ordered by a measure adopted at national or local level or individual school organisations, containing the suspension duration.

Leave can be taken for children with disabilities in a serious situation under article 3, paragraph 3, Law 104/1992, and enrolled in schools at every level or in daycare centres even if the child is older than 14. It is irrelevant if they live with the parent taking the leave, the other requirements remain unchanged.

Conversion of parental leave periods

Periods or extensions of parental leave taken from the 2021/2022 school year until 21 October 2021 may be converted, on application, to “SARS CoV-2 Parental Leave” and shall not be counted and compensated as parental leave.

At the person’s request, periods or extensions of parental leave taken from 22 October 2021 and until the issue of the telematic application procedure for the new “SARS CoV-2 Parental Leave” may be converted. 

The employed parent may submit the new application without sending a formal cancellation notice of the previously submitted application for parental leave or its extension.

Employees with advance allowance payment by their employer must promptly notify their employer of submitting an INPS application. This is to pay the allowance of half of the salary instead of the standard 30 per cent and allow the employer to adjust the UniEmens flows.

 

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