The National Social Security Entity (Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale, ‘INPS’), with Circular No 4 of 16 January 2023, provided a summary of the provisions in force on the subject of social shock absorbers relating to employment relationships for 2023.
In its circular, the Entity reviewed the legislation relating to the main wage guarantee tools for each sector, starting from the provisions of Italian Law No 197/2022 (hereinafter, ‘2023 Budget Law’).
The main financing initiatives established by the 2023 Budget Law
The 2023 Budget Law provided for various initiatives in the field of social shock absorbers envisaged for 2023; with the above-mentioned circular INPS set out the details. In particular, it describes:
The Circular then summarised the wage guarantee tools currently in force, as well as the provisions on income and family support, the main contents of which are set out below.
Financing for employees of companies operating in areas of complex industrial crisis
For workers at companies operating in areas of complex industrial crisis, there is an increase in funding from the Social Fund for employment and training, established by Italian Law No 2/2009, equal to EUR 250 million, starting from 2023.
Furthermore, there is funding of EUR 70 million for the continuation of income support financing (CIGS and special unemployment fund), for employees.
The funds will be distributed among the Regions, through an inter-ministerial decree, jointly between the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Income support measures for workers in the call centre sector
Financing from the Social Fund for employment and training will be refinanced and disbursed according to INPS message No 1495 of 4 April 2022. The indemnity paid is equal to the maximum wage guarantee financing, notwithstanding current legislation. The measure is subject to the issuance of specific decrees by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, containing the data relating to the beneficiary company, the payment methods and the period of financing provision.
Extension of the extraordinary wage guarantee fund financing for complex reorganisation processes or complex crisis recovery plans
For the two-year period 2023-2024, the extension of the provisions under Article 22 bis of Italian Legislative Decree No 148/2015, relating to income support measures through the extraordinary wage guarantee fund financing.
Furthermore, in derogation from Article 22 bis of Italian Legislative Decree No 148/2015, companies of regional strategic importance may request the use of the financing in question beyond the legal deadlines. The extension may be six months on the basis of ‘Corporate Crisis’, or 12 months in cases of ‘Corporate Reorganisation’ and for ‘Collective Reduced Hours Agreement’.
CIGS intervention for reorganisations and situations of particular economic difficulty
Throughout 2023, the provisions of Article 44, paragraph 11-ter of Italian Legislative Decree No 148/2015 regarding the possibility of resorting to the extraordinary wage guarantee fund financing – CIGS – for situations of particular economic difficulty will continue to apply.
By way of derogation from the legislative provisions, employers who have already benefited from the maximum period of wage guarantee envisaged, equal to 12 months in the rolling five-year period, will be able to access this financing.
Provisions on CIGO and wage guarantee allowance provided for by Article 44, paragraphs 11-quinquies and 11-sexies, of Italian Legislative Decree No 148/2015
It should be noted that the previous provisions relating to CIGO and the Wage Guarantee Allowance of the Wage Guarantee Fund (Fondo di integrazione salariale, ‘FIS’), as described in INPS Circular No 97 of 10 August 2022, no longer apply with effect from 1 January 2023.
In the context of the provisions on support for families, Article 1, paragraph 359, of the 2023 Budget Law introduced an important change in relation to parental leave, namely that for the maximum duration of one month of leave and up to the sixth year of the child’s life, the indemnity was raised from 30% to 80% of salary.
In particular, the new measure – which can be used alternatively between parents – applies to employees who finish the period of maternity leave or, alternatively, paternity leave, after 31 December 2022 and will be explained in detail with the subsequent specific circular that will be issued by INPS.