Maternity Leave in Italy

Following up on our pregnant in Italy series, it was only right to share with you more information about the maternity leave situation in Italy. While Italy is further ahead than some countries in maternity leave, they are actually considered pretty behind in Europe. Recently they have made some changes to their national policies and it appears they are still adjusting them to promote more births. Currently, both parents are allowed a bit of maternity leave in Italy (or paternity) whether they are contract workers or freelance, and even if they adopted rather than giving birth.

This article explains to the best of my ability what I could find as of December 2022. However, I have to admit, this was an area that was very tough for me to understand during research as it was crazy complicated with different rules for different types of workers. I’ve done my best, but I have to say, the best thing to do is speak with your employer or a Patronato for more information.

Who has the right to Maternity Leave in Italy?

In order to take advantage of paid maternity in Italy, you will have needed to contribute to INPS, which means either through some form of contracted job, or Partita IVA. If you have been working in nero, you will not be eligible.

With contributions to INPS, you are then eligible for various maternity options, including 5 months paid, potential anticipated maternity leave, extended maternity in special cases, extra time for the loss of a child pre-term, as well as in the case of adoption.

Maternity in Italy with a contract job

Workers are allowed 5 months of Maternity, but you are able to decide when to take those 5 months. Most commonly it is 2 months before birth, and 3 after, however, it can be divided differently if you choose to do so.

INPS will cover 80% of your stipend during this time, and there are many cases where then the company will cover the other 20% allowing you a full stipend while you are away. (Attn: this I have not found written official in any document, it just has been the case with many I know. Officially the 80% by INPS is the only obligatory payment.)

If you work in an environment that is considered at risk – due to physical conditions or environmental (working in the health field, or a strenuous physical position). If the doctor gives you permission, you can take your maternity “anticipata” which provides more months covered by the state. There is also the possibility to extend the maternity the other direction, for a further 4 months if necessary.

How to apply

In the seventh month of pregnancy, you will need a certification from your doctor saying you are in fact pregnant. It does need to be sent to INPS via an ASL employee, so if you go private, make sure they have the ability to do this certification. Or if necessary, get in touch with your local consultorio.

Once this is done, youl’ll need to request the compulsory maternity from INPS. This is done by presenting directly to INPS either: through your employer, if they have someone who is capable, a local CAF or Patronato, or even yourself. But given the nature of this “pratica” and the fact messing with dates can have you lose payment, its better to trust someone to help you.

Maternity in Italy as a Freelancer

If you are a freelancer in Italy there are two different options that you could be a part of. If you are a “Libera Professionista” then you fall under the category of Gestione Separata. Both this category and other “autonomo” workers are all able to receive 5 months of maternity payment, without necessarily stopping the work you are doing.

Those who adhere to the Gestione Separata are able to receive the daily equivalent of 80% of 1/365 your last years income. Ok so that sounds complicated so let’s break it down:

Say in the last year you have made 20,000€, that evens out to 54.80€ per day (1/365), take 80% of that: 43.84€. Now that is your daily amount, times by 30 for a month: 1,315.

So you, in theory, will receive about 5 months of 1,315€ per month. Now of course all these calculations are done by INPS, and there isn’t exactly a clear calculation in front of you, so you have to trust that they do the math the same.

How to apply:

Again, this can be done by yourself, or through a Patronato or CAF. Your first step is again, to get a certification by your gynecologist within your 7th month of Pregnancy.

You should also apply for this within your 7th month of pregnancy. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way. Here is exactly what you will want to do:

  • Login to MyINPS and go to the “Tutti Servizi” Tab on the left
  • Look for ” Congedo parentale, maternità e paternità – Domanda” and open the Scheda.
  • Go to Acquisizione Domanda, under Congedo Maternità you’ll see the tab for Gestione Seperata
  • Click then “Cominciare una Nuova”
  • Once you go forward you will need to confirm your details such as name, birthdate, address and the sort.
  • From here you will need to select the INPS office closest to you, usually there is only one option.
  • Then it’s time for the birth details. Select the certificate of pregnancy that will be listed, from your gynecologist.
  • Under this you should add the expected date of birth.
  • If you are requesting for 2 months before, and 3 after, there is nothing else to select, scroll down to calculate the dates of maternity, Click Calcola congedo, then conferma.
  • Make sure the dates are the same in the spot under “Informazione sul periodo” Then go forward.
  • Here they will ask about the data for your child, but obviously it doesn’t exist yet, so go forward, confirm and wait.

Family Leave – Paternity

At the moment obligatory paternity leave is ten days. That means they can take 10 working days off and will receive full payment for those days. Other companies might have different policies that offer more time, but know that legally 10 is the minimum.

Know that this is only for fathers with contracts, freelancers are not offered anything.

Then there is optional paternity, known as “congedo parentale” the father can choose to take up until when the child is 12 years old. In this case, they can take up to 6 months, but it will be at only 30% of their stipend.

Hopefully I will be able to update this as policies change, but always check INPS in case!

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

And if you are looking for more help on your journey of making Italy home or looking for local insight to plan the best trip, get in touch, let me help you experience authentic Italy.