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Employers: classification and automated grading procedure

Publication: 10/12/2020 Last update: 25/08/2023

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The grading is what the INPS (National Social Security Institution) uses to classify employers for social security and welfare purposes, within one of the sectors set out under Article 49 of Law No 88 of 9 March 1989 in relation to the activities being carried out.

The grading allows for the employer to be assigned a contribution status that is characterised by a series of codes. These codes determine the relevant contribution characteristics and also identify the employer and associate them with a specific sector:

  • Registration number – unique across the nation and made up of a 10-digit numerical sequence;
  • Administrative statistical code (CSC) – a 5-digit code that represents:
    • sector;
    • type;
    • employers' business registration category.
  • Authorisation code (c.a.) – a code made up of a number and a letter, intended to identify specific contribution aspects or methods that differ to those in the specific classification sector and for which the allocation of the CSC is not suitable. In the case that there are no specific contribution details, this code may also be missing.

The automated allocation procedure is structured so that it can assign employers a social security classification based on a self-certification of declared activities and, if necessary, on a self-certification of activities after completing a personalised questionnaire based on the activities indicated.

For that reason, employers must compile a list of any additional fields that the procedure could suggest for the activities indicated, in addition to the fields containing personal data.

Once the processing described above is carried out, the registration number will be issued and, in most cases, the employer's classification will be automatically generated at the point of submission of the application.

If the declared activities do not clearly fit into the automated grading, the registration number will still be issued, but the classification will be carried out by the local INPS authority.

From 2014 onwards and following the implementation of the automated grading procedure, when an INPS registration application is submitted, the Ateco 2007 code must be given, which represents the economic activity being carried out in relation to the company position open to employees. The Ateco code can be found in the Ateco 2007 table, used by government departments as a shared system of classification of economic activities.

In any event, the adoption of the Ateco 2007 code does not affect the INPS's authority to classify anyone in one of the sectors provided for by law according to the activity being carried out, as set out under Article 49 of Law No 88 of 9 March 1989, regardless of the grouping of economic activities carried out by ISTAT. The manual of employer classifications can be consulted if desired; it can be found attached, in addition, to INPS message no. 2185 of 7 June 2021; as well as INPS message no. 1560 of 7 April 2022, containing the 2022 update of the ATECO2007 classification of economic activities.

Relevant legislation

  • Article 49 of Law No 88 of 9 March 1989; Classification of employers for social security and welfare purposes.

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