Labour law for interns in Italy: something to read before your internship in Europe! Hello everyone, my name is Francesco and today I’m going to try to explain to you as best I can all the procedures and rights that an intern obtains when they sign a contract on Italian soil. Everything I’m going to say also applies to all those who are not Italian citizens but who intend to experience life in this fantastic country rich in history, art, culture and good food ; ).

Labour law for interns in Italy: something to read before your internship in Europe: The difference between internships and apprenticeships

In recent years, due to the very high rate of youth unemployment in Italy (42.4% out of a total of 690,000 young people looking for work), young people have had to resort to new types of employment: internships, thanks to which thousands of young Italians enter the world of work. In Italy, all traineeships are protected by the “Guidelines for traineeships”, which distinguish three different types of traineeships: training and orientation traineeships (for those who have graduated within 12 months), integration or reintegration courses in the labor market (intended for the professional recovery of the unemployed), orientation and training courses, or integration/reintegration courses (for disabled or disadvantaged people). On the other hand, the types of internships excluded from the scope of these guidelines are the following: curricular internships organized by universities, educational establishments, vocational training centres, etc., periods of professional practice, as well as that traineeships envisaged for access to mainstream professions, transnational traineeships, for example those carried out under EU education and training programmes, such as the Lifelong Learning Program life, internships for non-EU subjects promoted under entry quotas and summer internships.

Employment law for trainees in Italy: to read before your internship in Europe: Duration and remuneration

The duration of internships can be 6 months for young school leavers and recent graduates, 12 months for the unemployed and people unable to work and up to 24 months for people with disabilities. In addition, the intern has the right to suspend his internship due to maternity or long illness (more than a third of the duration of the internship). Since the recent Fornero reform, it is no longer possible to conclude free internship contracts: all interns must receive a participation allowance of at least 300 euros. From the national minimum of 300 euros gross, the compensation may however vary from one region to another. Currently, salaries range from a minimum of 300 euros to a maximum of 600 euros per month. However, remuneration is not compulsory for curricular internships and all types of internships not recognized by the guidelines. In order to avoid problems related to the differences between traineeships and apprenticeships, the guidelines also state that traineeships cannot be activated: for tasks that are not very specialized (for which a training period is not necessary), for solve staffing problems during periods of high workload, to replace workers on sick/maternity/holiday leave. Finally, companies that have made redundancies in the last 12 months or have redundancy procedures in progress (for similar tasks and in the same production unit).

Employment law for trainees in Italy: to read before your internship in Europe: Obligations

In the case of internships for suspended workers and, in any case, recipients of forms of income support, as recipients of social shock absorbers, the remuneration for the internship is not paid. For an internship to begin, the following conditions are required: an agreement must be established between the parties indicating: the personal data, the description of the internship, the training project, the rights and duties of the parties; a contact person or tutor must be identified for each intern as responsible for organizing the internship; a follow-up action and an attestation of results must be carried out by the organisation/company; at the end of the internship, a certificate must be issued on the activity carried out and the skills acquired by the intern, who must in turn complete an experience evaluation form. All companies, regardless of their size, must respect a limit of interns: institutions/companies with up to 5 employees: 1 intern maximum, institutions/companies with 6 to 20 employees: 2 interns maximum, institutions/companies with 21 or more employees: 10% maximum of permanent employees. Another obligation that all companies must comply with is the insurance obligation, under which the entity is required to ensure that the trainee is insured against accidents at work with INAIL, as well as for civil liability with an appropriate insurance company. All these regulations/decrees on the rights and duties of the trainee are contained in: Law 92/2012 (Fornero Law) art.1 paragraphs 34-36, Decree of the Ministry of Labor of March 22, 2006 concerning the modalities of internships for non-citizens Europeans, Interministerial Decree 142/1998.

Labour law for interns in Italy: something to read before your internship in Europe: The intern’s charter of rights 

In order to help companies adapt to all the rules if they want to come into contact with the world of trainees, the Charter of Trainee Rights has been drawn up, expressing many of the rules that need to be respected if you are considering hiring a trainee. This charter specifies that all interns must be young people with little work experience behind them, that they must be limited in number to ensure that they are properly trained, and that they have a chance of being hired at the end of their internship contract. For companies with between 10 and 19 employees, a maximum of two trainees per year. For companies with fewer than ten employees, one trainee per year, all types of internship combined. Interns must not be used to replace staff on sick leave, maternity leave or vacation. The internship experience must be specifically formative for young people, and each intern must be assigned a mentor who can follow him or her on an ongoing basis. At least in the case of internships in private establishments, interns must have a concrete chance of being employed after the internship: at least 30% of interns taken on each year. Trainees must receive adequate reimbursement of expenses to cover their personal costs (accommodation, food, transport) and in line with their age, education, previous skills and the contribution made by the host establishment.

This reimbursement of expenses can be quantified as follows: at least 250 euros net per month for school-leavers and university students; at least 500 euros net per month for university graduates; for holders of an Mba or second-level Master’s degree, a higher figure at the discretion of each host company.Free internships must be limited to school-work projects for secondary school students.The internship must be of a duration appropriate to the training project and above all to the tasks the intern is called upon to learn. The maximum duration is six months. Internships should not be seen as the only means of training: the use of apprenticeship contracts should be encouraged. For all those looking for an internship in Italy, there are various types of structures to which it is possible to apply, namely employment agencies or structures with similar institutional tasks identified by the regions, district employment sections or structures with similar institutional tasks identified by the regions, universities* or institutes, including private ones, authorized to award academic qualifications, provveditorati agli studi, public (or state-owned) training centers, vocational training centers or centers operating in agreement with or accredited by the province or region, therapeutic communities and social cooperatives, provided they are entered in specific regional registers, vocational integration services for the disabled run by public bodies delegated by the region, private non-profit training structures, other than those indicated above, operating on the basis of a specific authorization issued by the region.

*In Italy, a number of universities make themselves available to trainees, including the University of Naples Federico II, the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, the University of Milan, the University of Macerata, the University of Padua and the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

If you have any questions about this, do not hesitate to contact us because we will be happy to answer your doubts, even if you want to try to gain work experience in this wonderful country, which offers many possibilities to visit it. , especially in the context of employment. In addition, we suggest anyone looking for an internship in the Italian State to use Linkedin, Facebook or simply contact universities or companies to understand what the requirements and the different advantages disadvantages. We would also like to remind you that, especially in large companies, it will be necessary to have a good knowledge of English, since it is perhaps the language most used by all staff, (but knowing some Italian words simply by learning a few applications will certainly be a plus during your experience).