Part-time work of a vertical or cyclical nature, carried out in some weeks of the month or in some months of the year, is characterised by work alternating with periods of non-activity.
As a result of the provisions of Article 1, paragraph 350, of Law no. 178 of 30 December 2020, the period of duration of the part-time employment contract, according to which the work is concentrated in certain periods, is recognised as fully useful for the purpose of achieving the seniority requirements to access the pension entitlement.
Therefore, for part-time workers, the length of contributory seniority that is useful for the purposes of pension entitlement is calculated as if they had occupied a full-time position, also taking fully into account periods not worked under the work negotiation programme agreed with the employer.
Recognition is given to workers who perform vertical part-time work (part-time work relationship where the reduction does not concern the daily schedule, but the limitation to certain periods during the week, month or year) or cyclical work (part-time employment relationship where the worker only works in certain periods of the year).
Article 1, paragraph 350, of Law no. 178 of 30 December 2020, in force from 1 January 2021, states that “the period of duration of the part-time employment contract, according to which the work is concentrated in certain periods, is recognised as fully useful for the purpose of achieving the seniority requirements to access the pension entitlement”. Recognition of periods is applied in relation to vertical or cyclical part-time employment contracts in progress or completed and for the entire period of their duration.
Recognition operates for the period of suspension of the employment relationship due to the lack of work, connected to the structure of the time of performing the work activity under the part-time relationship itself, thus with the exclusion of periods not worked and unpaid due to suspension of the unpaid employment relationship deriving from a cause other than part-time (for example, unpaid leave).
The period not worked in the part-time relationship is recognised as useful only for the purposes of pension entitlement and not also for measuring it.
It is understood that the number of weeks to be taken for pension purposes is determined by comparing the total annual contribution to the weekly contributions' minimum, determined by Article 7, paragraph 1, of Decree-Law no. 463 of 12 September 1983, converted, with amendments, by Law no. 638 of 11 November 1983.
It follows that, in the event of a part-time employment relationship, all the weeks within the duration of the same will be calculated in full, for the pension entitlement, provided that the salary accrued in the annual reference period is at least equal to the minimum amount of remuneration required for the year in question; failing that, several contributions equal to the ratio between the annual salary taxable and the minimum weekly pension in force in the same year will be recognised, pursuant to and for the purposes of Article 7, paragraph 2, Decree-Law 463/1983.
Payment of pension benefits may not take effect before 1 January 2021.
Concerning the working periods following the entry into force of the law (1 January 2021), instructions were provided to employers to compile the UNIEMENS flows aimed at including in the monthly report also periods totally not worked due to being vertical or cyclical part-time, fully useful for retirement entitlement to pension benefits.
For periods prior to that date, referring to existing or exhausted employment contracts, the recognition of periods not fully worked due to vertical or cyclical part-time work is subject to submitting a specific claim through the dedicated service. A copy of the vertical or cyclic part-time employment contract to which it refers must be attached to the claim. Where present, the employer's certificate must also be attached, with an indication of any suspension periods of the unpaid employment relationship. In the case of work with multiple employment relationships with a vertical or cyclical part-time contract, a single claim can be submitted, taking care to attach a certification form (with the relevant employment contract) for each employer.
For more information, please refer to the INPS Circular no. 74 of 4 May 2021 and INPS Circular no. 4 of 5 January 2022.