Italy Eases Some of the Burden of Hiring Seasonal Workers

The newly-introduced reform will last two years and aims to ease bureaucracy and reduce the costs of maintaining a seasonal workforce.
By Paolo DeAndreis
Jan. 30, 2023 14:56 UTC

Italy recently intro­duced a reform aimed at reduc­ing farm­ing pro­duc­tion costs and bureau­cracy. The new law should make it eas­ier for agri­cul­tural busi­nesses to hire sea­sonal work­ers. The reform will be tri­aled from 2023 to the end of 2024.

The new reg­u­la­tions aim to cur­tail labor costs, which are the total tax exemp­tion awarded to all income col­lected by work­ers who sign the newly-estab­lished national work con­tract.

The rev­enue of work­ers remains the same as in exist­ing national and regional agri­cul­tural labor con­tracts.

Adhering to the new con­tract allows work­ers to keep their unem­ployed sta­tus when apply­ing for social secu­rity ser­vices in the coun­try. Moreover, income pro­duced by such work will add to any pen­sion or pub­lic sup­port already awarded to the worker.

The new con­tract cov­ers a max­i­mum of 45 work­days within 12 months. Promoters of the new reg­u­la­tions noted that the limit should ease hir­ing in smaller com­pa­nies, as most of their farm­ing activ­i­ties hap­pen in a lim­ited time frame. For exam­ple, olive com­pa­nies only need extra work­ers dur­ing the har­vest sea­son.

See Also:Spain Lowers Barriers for Agricultural Workers to Access Wage Subsidies

Should the lim­its not be suf­fi­cient, the con­tract will become an unde­ter­mined-time con­tract, which implies dif­fer­ent tax and social secu­rity reg­u­la­tions.

In the past, farms had to pay at the end of each work­day. Under the new reg­u­la­tions, farms may now pay the worker at the end of the con­tract. Both par­ties could also agree upon weekly pay­ments.

Contribution taxes for farms were also cur­tailed. They are now due only after the end of the con­tract. Moreover, con­tri­bu­tion taxes will be cal­cu­lated within the same para­me­ters as the spe­cial reg­u­la­tions for dis­ad­van­taged regions, which trans­lates into lower taxes.

The new con­tract is only avail­able to work­ers who have not been reg­u­larly employed by farms in the last three years, a mea­sure that does not apply to retired work­ers.

Appropriate sanc­tions have also been estab­lished, and farms might be fined up to €2,500 should they vio­late the new reg­u­la­tions.

The Italian gov­ern­ment aimed to encap­su­late many kinds of occa­sional ser­vices in the reform. All pre­vi­ous reg­u­la­tions on occa­sional agri­cul­tural work have been can­celed with its pass­ing.

The lack of a work­force in the field is a wide­spread phe­nom­e­non impact­ing the agri­cul­tural sec­tor in many devel­oped coun­tries. The olive oil sec­tor has also affected Italy and most European olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries.


Related Articles