You are in
Allowance for special leave (assistance to disabled family members)
Extraordinary leave refers to a period of absence from paid work taken by employees in order to assist relatives with serious disabilities within the meaning of Article 3(3) of Law No 104 of 5 February 1992.
Special leave can be taken by dependent workers who correspond to the following descriptions, listed in order of priority:
- spouse or civil union partner ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the severe disability;
- father or mother, including adoptive or foster parents, of the individual with the severe disability, if the spouse or civil union partner ordinarily resident in the same household are absent, deceased or also suffer from a disability;
- child ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the severe disability, only when the spouse or civil union partner ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the disability and their parents are absent, deceased or also suffer from a disability;
- sibling ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the severe disability, if the spouse or civil union partner ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the disability, and both their parents and children in the same household are absent, deceased or also suffer from a disability;
- relative or in-law up to the third degree ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the severe disability, if the spouse or civil union partner ordinarily resident in the same household as the individual with the disability, and both their parents and children in the same household are absent, deceased or also suffer from a disability.
The following individuals are not eligible to take special leave:
- workers employed for household and care services;
- daily farm workers;
- self-employed workers;
- para-subordinate workers;
- workers on vertical part-time work contracts, during lay-off periods of redundancy.
START DATE AND DURATION
Claims are valid from the moment they are submitted. Up to two years of special leave can be claimed over the employee's working life-time: all those entitled to the leave for each individual with a serious disability can take up to two years combined. As such, those who have more than one relative with a disability can take the leave for each of these relatives, but neither leave period can in any case exceed two years. It is not possible to take the leave twice for the same individual.
This leave can also be split up into days. As public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays are not considered, work must be effectively resumed between one period of leave and the next.
If leave is requested to be taken from Monday to Friday (for a five-day week), effectively going back to work in this case means resuming work on the following Monday of the week after the one in which leave was taken. Days taken as holiday cannot be treated as effectively going back to work either. Days taken as holiday or sick leave, public holidays and Saturdays that fall within a period of special leave and the date on which work is resumed are not considered.
The benefit cannot be granted for periods in which the worker is not required to work, for example in the case of vertical part-time work with unpaid periods.
If the leave is split up into days, for the purposes of calculating the maximum period allowed, the year is treated as 365 canonical days.
Special leave and paid time off work to care for a relative with a disability cannot be granted to more than one worker to care for the same person with a severe disability (Single person of contact, Legislative Decree No 119 of 18 July 2011). This does not apply to parents, including adoptive parents, of children with severe disabilities who have been granted both types of benefits for the same child, including alternately, on the understanding that on the day on which one parent takes paid time off work, the other cannot be on special leave at the same time.
WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO?
The allowance for special leave corresponds to the amount of wages received in the last month of work prior to the leave, excluding variable emoluments of these wages, up to a maximum income threshold which is reviewed every year. Periods of leave are not included when calculating the number of days accrued as holiday, the 13th monthly payment and severance indemnity, but are taken into account when determining the number of years the worker has been insured.
The allowance for special leave requested during a period of partial lay-off from work in which the wage compensation fund (Cassa Integrazione Guadagni, short time CIG) provides assistance must be calculated based on the last wages received, net of this supplementary compensation. The same goes for job-security agreements with a reduction in working hours.
The period of time in which special leave is taken is covered by imputed contributions which can be used to establish pension entitlement and the pension amount.
For leave taken that covers a full week or is split up into days, the amount of imputed wages cannot exceed the maximum weekly or daily threshold respectively.
Employers must establish the maximum period of time this leave can be taken by the person concerned, taking account of any periods of leave that have already been requested.
The allowance and imputed contributions are paid up to a maximum overall amount, which is reviewed every year based on variations to the ISTAT index.
Maximum values of the monetary allowance and imputed wages that can be claimed
Total annual amount
Maximum allowance amount
Maximum amount of imputed wages
The allowance for special leave is paid out in advance by the employer, with it being possible to set off these advance payments against contribution amounts owed to the INPS. For farm workers on temporary or permanent contracts and intermittent or fixed-term entertainment workers, the allowance is paid out directly by the INPS.
WITHDRAWAL OF BENEFIT
Loss of entitlement occurs when the beneficiary no longer fulfils the health or administrative requirements stipulated by the law. Any benefit amounts awarded will then be recovered.
Entitlement to the allowance is limited to no more than one year starting from the day after the end of the period which may be covered by the allowance for special leave.
In order to claim special leave, the claimant must be a private dependent worker (also part-time). The person for whom special leave is being claimed must have a serious disability within the meaning of Article 3(3) of Law No 104/92, as certified by the appropriate internal ASL/INPS medical council, but must not be receiving full-time care (for the full 24 hours) in a hospital or similar institution, be it public or private, which provides round-the-clock healthcare.
Special leave cannot be claimed if the person with the disability requiring the care is receiving full-time treatment (INPS Circular No 155 of 3 December 2010), except for the specific situations provided for by the law (INPS Circular No 32 of 6 March 2012):
- when the person with the disability is required to stop full-time hospital care to attend duly certified appointments and treatment;
- when the person with the disability receiving full-time hospital care is in a persistent vegetative state and/or has a poor prognosis in the short-term;
- when the physicians in the hospital where the person with a severe disability is receiving full-time treatment require that their carer be present.
Recognition of the severe disability will come into effect on the date that the associated certificate is issued, unless the certificate states that it is valid as of the date of the claim.
If no severe disability certificate is issued within 45 days of submitting the claim, the person concerned may submit a certificate issued by a doctor working for the local health authorities (ASL) who specialises in the health condition being declared. This certificate will be valid until the final assessment has been issued.
The provisional certificate for a severe disability must also specify the diagnosis and any socio-occupational, relational and situational issues that the health condition causes. The doctor assumes accountability for certifying that what is stated on the certificate is true, to the best of their knowledge and judgement. The provisional certificate issued by the internal medical council may be taken into account even before 45 days have passed from the claim for recognition of a serious disability and will be valid until the final decision is delivered.
For cancer patients, the provisional certificate will be deemed valid after 15 days have passed from the claim being submitted to the internal medical council and will remain in force until the final decision is delivered.
If the severe disability is not recognised by the final decision, any benefit amounts awarded will be recovered.
Special leave may also be taken during the period that lies between the expiry date of the report subject to review (for reports which require review as of 19 August 2014) and the date on which the health review procedure has been completed. In order to be able to take special leave in this period as well, the worker must submit a new claim (INPS Circular No 127 of 8 July 2016).
HOW CAN I CLAIM?
Claims must be made online to the INPS using the appropriate service.
Alternatively, claims can be made through:
- the contact centre on 803 164 (free for landline calls from Italy) or on +39 06 164 164 from mobile phones;
- aid offices and intermediaries of the institute, using the electronic services that these provide.
For domestic/international adoptions, claimants must provide information on the:
- date the child was placed in the family's care;
- date of adoption/foster care;
- date of entry in Italy;
- date of the custody order;
- competent court;
- custody order number.
This is notwithstanding the obligation to promptly inform the INPS or their employer of any variation to the factual or legal situations declared in the claim.
Workers may appeal against decisions to reject claims for paid time off work to the provincial council of the competent regional INPS office for their place of residence. Appealing to the provincial council does not prevent the claimant from pursuing legal recourse.