Relief for recruitment of disadvantaged female workers: INPS’ operating instructions

20 July 2023

In Circular No 58/2023 the INPS provided operating instructions for the management of social security obligations connected to contributions’ exemption for the recruitment of female workers, under Article 1, paragraph 298, of Italian Law No 197 of 29 December 2022 for the period 1 January – 31 December 2023.

Reference legislation

Article 1, paragraph 16 of the 2021 Budget Law (Italian Law No 178/2020), granted a 100% contribution exemption up to a maximum limit of EUR 6,000.00 for the recruitment of disadvantaged female workers between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2022.

The 2023 Budget Law (Italian Law No 197/2022) confirmed the exemption also for new recruitment, on fixed-term or permanent contracts, and for conversions of fixed-term to permanent contracts, of disadvantaged female workers carried out between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023. The maximum amount limit has been raised to EUR 8,000.00 per year.

The aforementioned exemptions apply to the recruitment of ‘disadvantaged female workers’, i.e. they apply to the following categories:

  1. women aged at least fifty and ‘unemployed for over 12 months’;
  2. women of any age, residing in regions eligible for funding under the European Union’s structural funds and without regular paid employment for at least six months’. With reference to this category, the female worker must be resident in one of the areas identified by the Regional Aid Charter for Italy, approved by the European Commission with the decision and subsequently amended with the decision of 18 March 2022;
  3. women of any age who carry out professions or work in economic sectors where there is a marked gender employment disparity and ‘without regular paid employment for at least six months;
  4. women of any age, resident anywhere and ‘without regular paid employment for at least twenty-four months’.

From this it follows that, for the grant of the benefits under discussion, female workers of at least 50 years of age must be long-term unemployed (over 12 months) or, in combination with further provisions, ‘without regular paid employment’.

The incentive in question is also granted to agency supply contracts while, on the contrary, it is not granted to intermittent work contracts. Apprenticeships and domestic work contracts are also excluded from the benefit.

Finally, with reference to the duration of the exemption, it is clarified that the incentives have a duration of:

  • up to 12 months in the case of temporary employment;
  • 18 months in the case of permanent employment or conversion of a fixed-term contract into a permanent contract.

On this second point, it should be specified that in the event that a fixed-term contract which is subject to the exemption is converted into a permanent contract, then the exemption applies for a total of 18 months from the date of recruitment.

In the event of the conversion of a fixed-term contract which does not benefit from the exemption into a permanent contract, the exemption applies for a total of 18 months but starting from the conversion date.

The incentives are also due in the event of an extension of the relationship, up to the overall limit of 12 months.

In the case of part-time employment relationships, the maximum relief must be proportionally reduced.

It should also be noted that the ability to suspend the period of use of the incentives is granted only in cases of compulsory absence from work due to maternity leave, thus allowing the exemption period to be deferred.

The right to use the incentives in question is subject to the following general conditions:

  1. compliance with the provisions of Article 1, paragraph 1175, of Italian Law No 296/2006, i.e.:
  2. compliance with social security contribution obligations (Certificate of Contributions’ Compliance (Documento Unico di Regolarità Contributiva, ‘DURC’);
  3. no breaches of the fundamental rules for the protection of working conditions and compliance with other legal obligations;
  4. compliance with national collective agreements and contracts, as well as regional, territorial or company agreements, signed by the most representative employers’ and workers’ trade unions at national level;

The application of the general principles on employment incentives as governed by Article 31 of Italian Legislative Decree No 150 of 14 September 2015.

The contribution exemptions do not apply where one of the following circumstances intervene:

  1. the recruitment constitutes the implementation of a pre-existing obligation, established by law or collective bargaining; or
  2. the recruitment breaches the right of precedence, established by law or by the collective agreement, of the re-employment of another worker who has been dismissed from a permanent contract or terminated from a fixed-term contract and who has expressed in writing – within 6 months of the termination of the contract (3 months for seasonal contracts) – his or her willingness to be re-employed;
  3. suspensions from work connected to a company crisis or reorganisation are in progress with the employer or the user with an administration contract, except in cases where the recruitment, conversion [from fixed-term to permanent] or agency supply contract is to recruit workers classified as a different level from that of the suspended workers or to be employed in production units other than those affected by the suspension (Article 31, paragraph 1, letter c);
  4. with reference to those female workers who have been fired in the previous six months by an employer who, at the time of the dismissal, had ownership structures substantially coinciding with those of the employer who hires or uses them on agency supply contracts, or has a relationship of connection or control with the latter (Article 31, paragraph 1, letter d).

Finally, we should point out that if the mandatory electronic communications are provided late, this gives rise to the loss of the part of the incentive relating to the period between the start date of the relationship which benefits from the relief and the date of the late communication.

Scopri le soluzioni HR
pensate per te