The agricultural unemployment allowance is an economic benefit to which dependent agricultural workers and those equivalent by law are entitled.
The benefit is due to:
- fixed-term agricultural workers registered in the list of names of dependent agricultural workers;
- permanent agricultural workers who are hired or dismissed during the calendar year, thus giving rise to any periods of non-employment outside the employment contract;
- small tenant farmers;
- joint participants of the family unit;
- small direct growers who have up to 51 days of registration in the named lists by means of voluntary payments.
The following are not entitled to the allowance:
- workers who make a claim after the deadline;
- workers registered in one of the autonomous pension schemes or in the Separate pension scheme for the whole year, or for part of the year but whose number of working days falling within the registration period is higher than those of dependent employment;
- workers who already have a direct pension on 1 January of the year relevant to the benefit. In the event of retirement during the year, the number of days compensated for agricultural unemployment is re-proportioned with respect to the number of months prior to the start of the pension;
- workers who have carried out mainly non-agricultural dependent work during the year or two years prior to the claim;
- workers who resign voluntarily, excluding working mothers who resign during the puerperium period (or fathers) and those who resign due to a just cause;
- workers who are non-EU citizens with a residence permit for seasonal work.
START DATE AND DURATION
The allowance is due for a number of days equal to those worked within the maximum limit of 365 annual days, from which the following must be deducted:
- days of dependent agricultural and non-agricultural work;
- agricultural and non-agricultural work days;
- days compensated by way of sickness, maternity, accident, etc .;
- those that cannot be reimbursed, such as, for example, those subsequent to final expatriation.
WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO?
Allowance is due up to 40% of the reference payment. 9% of the daily unemployment allowance as a solidarity contribution is deducted from the amount due. The above withholding is made for a maximum of 150 days.
The indemnity is paid to agricultural workers on permanent contracts for an amount equal to 30% of actual remuneration. The withholding for the solidarity contribution is not applied.
Allowance is paid directly by INPS in a single payment.
Payment of the agricultural unemployment allowance automatically determines the payment of deemed contributions, calculated by subtracting from parameter 270 (equal to the whole year for pension purposes), the days worked and those already compensated for other reasons. Deemed contributed days are useful for the purposes of the right and amount in old-age, disability and survivors' pensions and only for the amount of early retirement.
For those who, in the year of relevance to the benefit, are registered on the list for at least 101 days or who have carried out agricultural and non-agricultural work for more than 150 days, the first 90 days of deemed accreditation are also valid for purposes of the right to early retirement.
The interested party, at the same time as the claim for agricultural unemployment allowance, can claim the ANF (Family Allowance) within the limit of the retroactive limitation period of five years. Income and family composition requirements are the same as those required for all dependent workers.
The INPS grants the family unit allowance on unemployment allowance due and, limited to fixed-term agricultural workers, on dependent employment in the agricultural sector. The receipt of the allowance is linked to the duration of working activities.
Fixed-term agricultural workers who work less than 101 agricultural days in the calendar year are entitled to the family unit allowance for the days actually worked, plus the percentage of days due for holidays and holidays (13.78%) and for all days of unemployment covered by deemed contributions, deducting from the parameter 270 the days worked and those compensated for other reasons up to a maximum of 180 days.
For fixed-term agricultural workers who work a number equal to or greater than the 101 agricultural days in the calendar year, the family unit allowance applies for the entire year (312 days) in respect of work.
The ANF also applies for days of inactivity, caused by an accident or occupational disease, illness, pregnancy and puerperium, provided that the agricultural worker:
- makes the claim through form AF4/AGR/SPEC (SR15);
- is registered or entitled to be registered in agricultural lists for a number of days of no less than 51;
- has worked in agriculture for at least 6 days in the 30 days prior to the occurrence of the event.
Given the above conditions, the duration of the payment contribution will be:
- for the entire period of absolute temporary disability acknowledged by INAIL, up to a maximum of three months, in the event of an accident and occupational disease;
- for the entire period for which sickness allowance is paid, in the event of illness;
- limited to the period of compulsory absence from work established by law, in the event of pregnancy and puerperium.
The unemployment allowance is for agricultural workers who:
- are registered in the lists of names of dependent agricultural workers, for the year to which the Claim refers or who have an agricultural employment relationship of permanent duration only for a part of the year for which the service is provided, thus giving rise to any periods of non-employment outside the employment contract;
- have at least two years of seniority in the insurance against involuntary unemployment (by registering in agricultural lists, or agricultural work with an OTI qualification for at least two calendar years prior to the claim or, alternatively, by registering with the lists, or agricultural work with an OTI qualification, for the year of performance of the service and accreditation of a contribution in respect of involuntary unemployment for non-agricultural dependent activity prior to the two-year reference period of the benefit);
- have at least 102 daily contributions in the two-year period established by the year to which the allowance refers and from the previous year (this requirement may be fulfilled by cumulating contributions relating to non-agricultural dependent activities provided that the agricultural activities is prevalent in the year or in the two-year reference period). Figures related to periods of compulsory maternity and parental leave, including in the two-year period, can also be used to reach 102 contributions.
In the case of working mothers who resign during the period in which there is a prohibition on dismissal (300 days before the presumed date of birth, from the date of gestation and until the child reaches the age of 1) or of working fathers who resign during the duration of paternity leave and until the child reaches the age of 1, when the other requirements have been met, resignation does not preclude the right to unemployment allowance.
Concerning workers who resign due to a just cause, INPS accepted the guidelines stated in the Constitutional Court ruling No. 269 of 24 June 2002, which provides for the payment of ordinary unemployment allowance even when there have been resignations "due to just cause" in the event of:
- non-payment of remuneration;
- sexual harassment in the workplace;
- changes in work duties with worse conditions;
- mobbing, breakdown of the worker's psycho-physical balance due to oppressive behaviour by hierarchical superiors or colleagues;
- significant changes in working conditions, following the sale to other parties (individuals or legal institutions) of the company;
- displacement of the worker from one site to another, without the existence of proven technical, organisational and productive reasons;
- abusive behaviour displayed by the hierarchical superior towards the employee.
With the exception of cases in which resignation is established due to non-payment of remuneration, when submitting Claims, workers must attach the substitute declaration of sworn affidavit (as well as warnings, accusations, complaints, urgent appeals pursuant to Article 700 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure, rulings or any other suitable document), showing their willingness to defend themselves in court against an employer's unlawful behaviour. Moreover, the latter must undertake to notify the outcome of dispute settled in or out of court.
If the outcome of the dispute does not acknowledge the just cause for resignation, INPS will recover the unemployment allowance that may have been paid, as may happen in cases where a worker, following a dismissal judged as unlawful, is reinstated in the workplace.
The assumption of dismissal with acceptance of the conciliation offer referred to in Article 6, Italian Legislative decree No. 23 of 4 March 2015 shall not preclude the granting of unemployment benefits. This article states that in the event of dismissal, employers may offer dependent workers, within the terms of an out of court appeal of dismissal, an amount that does not constitute a taxable income and is not subject to social security contributions and whose acceptance by the worker involves the termination of the employment relationship on the date of dismissal and the waiver of the right to appeal against the dismissal. The acceptance of the amount in question does not change the reason for the termination of the employment relationship which remains the dismissal and is to be understood as the assumption of involuntary unemployment resulting from the employer's unilateral act of dismissal.
The unemployment allowance can also be acknowledged to dismissed workers for disciplinary reasons as this termination of the service cannot be understood as an event which leads to voluntary unemployment because the sanctioning measure of dismissal is not an automatic consequence of the disciplinary offence but always refers to an employer's judgement and decision, constituting the exercise of its discretionary power.
WHEN CAN I CLAIM?
The claim for the agricultural unemployment allowance must be submitted between 1 January and 31 March of the year following that in which the unemployment occurred, or risk forfeiture of the right. If this date coincides with a Sunday or a public holiday, the deadline is moved to the first following working day. The obligation to keep the paper claim and the original documents lies with the person claiming the benefit.
In the event of the insured's death, the claim can be forwarded by the heirs by the same date (31 March of the following year).
HOW CAN I CLAIM?
To obtain the allowance, in addition to meeting the legal requirements, the agricultural worker can submit the claim online to INPS through the dedicated service.
Alternatively, claims can be submitted by:
- Calling the contact centre on +39 803 164 (free from Italian landlines) or +39 06 164 164 from mobile phones
- on-line services offered by patronage institutes.
The interested party must state on the claim how payment will take place, if credited to a bank / post office account, postal savings booklet or prepaid payment card with an IBAN (the applicant must be the IBAN holder) or by bank transfer at the counter of any post office in Italy located by zip code (cash payment is allowed only within the limit set by current legislation), subject to checking the recipient's identity, by:
- the identification document;
- the tax code;
- delivery of the original letter of notice of the available payment sent to the interested party by mail.
Allowance is not paid if the claim is submitted after the deadline.