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Paternity leave (birth, adoption or foster care of a child)
Article 4, paragraph 24, letter a) of Italian law 28 June 2012 n. 92 instituted mandatory and optional leave, an alternative to a mother’s maternity leave, that can be used by an employed father, including adoptive and foster fathers, before and no later than the fifth month of the child’s life.
Article 1, paragraph 354 of Italian law 11 December 2016 n. 232 (2017 budget law) also extended the mandatory leave for employed fathers for births and adoptions/fostering in the 2017 calendar year and provided, for the 2018 calendar year, for the increase in the afore-mentioned mandatory leave from two to four days.
For the 2019 calendar year, article 1, paragraph 278 of Italian law 30 December 2018, n. 145 (2019 budget law) increased the number of mandatory leave days to five.
The same article 1, paragraph 354 of Italian law 232/2016 did not extend the, optional leave, for 2017, but reinstated it by one day for 2018.
For the 2019 calendar year, article 1, paragraph 278 of Italian law 30 December 2018, n. 145 (2019 budget law) confirmed the possibility of using one day of optional leave instead of the mother.
Working fathers, including adoptive and foster fathers, can use the above leave no later than the fifth month of the child’s life or from adoption or fostering between 1st January 2013 and 31st December 2019.
As regards working fathers serving in public administrations, the Department of Public Administration of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers clarified that the Minister for Public Administration would approve a regulation that identifies and defines the areas, methods and time frames for adjusting the legislation.
START DATE AND DURATION
Mandatory leave can be used by the father by the fifth month of the child’s life (or from their entry into the family/Italy for national/international adoption or foster care) and therefore during the working mother’s maternity leave, or afterwards provided it is within said time limit. This leave is considered an autonomous right and is therefore in addition to the mother’s leave and is in any case independent from the mother’s right to her leave. The mandatory leave is also given to a father who uses the paternity leave pursuant to article 28, Italian legislative decree of 26 March 2001, n. 151.
Working fathers are entitled to:
- four days of mandatory leave, which can also be used non continuously, for birth, adoption or fostering events between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2018;
- five days of mandatory leave, which can also be used non continuously, for birth, adoption or fostering events between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2019.
The father’s optional leave is, on the other hand, subject to the working mother’s choice not to use one day of maternity leave. The Father’s Day therefore brings forward the end date of the mother’s maternity leave.
The optional leave can also be used at the same time as the mother’s leave and must be used within five months of the birth of the child (or entry into the family/Italy for national/international adoption or fostering), independently of the end of the mother’s mandatory leave, with her agreement to waive one day. Lastly, the leave is still valid if the mother waives her maternity leave, even if she has the right to it.
WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO?
The working father has the right, for the days of mandatory and optional leave, to a daily indemnity paid by the INPS equal to 100% of his remuneration.
The provisions outlined for paternity leave by articles 29 and 30 of Italian legislative decree 26 March 2001, n. 151 apply to the statutory and social security payment.
The father must hold an employment contract.
WHEN can i claim?
The working father must notify his employer the dates during which he intends to use the leave, at least 15 days in advance. If requested to coincide with the birth, the prior notice is calculated using the due date.
HOW can i claim?
In cases of equalised payment (article 3, Italian ministerial decree of 22 December 2012), in order to use the days of leave, the working father must notify his employer in writing the dates of use.
In cases of direct payment by the INPS, the claim is submitted on-line to the Institute using the dedicated service. The internal service menu contains the following entries:
- Information, a page that describes the benefits provided for different categories of employees;
- manuals, a page where users can consult and download the manuals on how to use the “retrieve claim” function available for each employee category;
- retrieve claim, a function where the claim can be completed and sent for the various employee categories;
- cancel claims, a function that allows users to cancel the claim inserted;
- consult claims, a function that allows users to verify the claims inserted and sent to the INPS.
Alternatively, claims can be made by:
- Telephoning the contact centre on +39 803 164 (free from Italian landlines) or +39 06 164 164 from mobile phones;
- Electronic services offered by patronage institutes and intermediaries thereof. Further information is available in the INPS circular, 14 March 2013, n. 40.