The Extraordinary Wage Compensation Fund (CIGS) is a socio-economic safety net, granted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and provided by INPS, with the aim of replacing and/or supplementing salaries received from suspended or reduced working hours of companies facing production difficulties or assisting said companies with restructuring processes if they have signed job security agreements.
Payments from the Extraordinary Wage Compensation Fund can be claimed by employees, with the exception of managers and home workers, who are employed by a company to which the Extraordinary Wage Compensation Fund regulations apply and who, on the date of submission of the claim, have completed at least 90 days of actual employment at the production unit for which assistance is being claimed. Apprentices are also entitled to the benefit if employed by companies covered by the extraordinary wage subsidies alone and only if the reason for receiving the assistance is due to a corporate crisis.
Start date and duration
Extraordinary wage subsidy can be claimed when the suspension or reduction of work activity is caused by one of the following circumstances:
- corporate restructuring;
- company crisis, except for cases involving the termination of production activity of a company or of a branch of it (as of 1 January 2016);
- solidarity contracts.
For cases involving corporate restructuring, the maximum duration per production unit is 24 months (continuously, if required) during a rolling five-year period.
In the event of a company crisis, extraordinary wage subsidy benefit can be received for a maximum duration of 12 months for each production unit (continuously, if required). A new authorisation cannot be granted until two-thirds of the period relating to the previous authorisation has elapsed.
Where solidarity contracts have been concluded, extraordinary wage subsidies can be received for a maximum duration of 24 months for each production unit (continuously, if required) during a five-year rolling period.
There is also an overall maximum limit in place (article 4 of Legislative Decree No. 148 of 14 September 2015) according to which the combined ordinary and extraordinary wage subsidies for each production unit may not exceed the maximum total duration of 24 months in a five-year rolling period.
For building sector companies and companies carrying out the excavation and processing of stone materials, the maximum total duration of the ordinary and extraordinary wage fund is 30 months for each production unit.
Furthermore, in order to calculate this maximum total duration, the duration of payments made for the purpose of job security agreements is taken into account at a rate of half for the part below 24 months and in full for the part exceeding 24 months.
What am I entitled to?
The total sum of the wage subsidies amounts to 80% of the total remuneration that would have been due to the worker for their unworked hours, ranging from zero hours to the contracted working hours.
The sum of the payments referred to in paragraph 1 is subject to the provisions of article 26 of law No. 41 of 28 February 1986 and may not exceed, for the year 2016, the maximum monthly amounts relating to the hours of authorised income support payments. The support payments can be received in a maximum of twelve monthly payments, including the additional monthly instalments. The limits are: 971.71 euros (gross amount) if the monthly payment amount used to calculate the benefit, including additional monthly instalments, is equal to or less than 2,102.24 euros; 1,167.91 euros (gross amount) if the monthly payment amount used to calculate the benefit, including additional monthly instalments, is greater than 2,102.24 euros.
Since 2016, with effect from 1 January of each year, the maximum payment amounts, and the monthly reference payment amounts referred to above are, for households of blue and white collar workers, increased by 100% of the annual increase of consumer prices in the ISTAT index.
The maximum amounts must be increased, in relation to the provisions of article 2, paragraph 17 of law n. 549 of 28 December 1995, by a further 20% for wage subsidies granted to companies in the building and stonework sector due to seasonal bad weather.
|Wage subsidy benefits|
Gross amount (euros)
Net amount (euros)
Less than or equal to 2,102.24
More than 2,102.24
Wage subsidy benefits - building sector (seasonal bad weather)
Gross amount (euros)
Net amount (euros)
Less than or equal to 2,102.24
More than 2,102.24
Withdrawal of Benefit
Workers carrying out self-employed or subordinate work activities during the period in which they received the wage supplement are not entitled to the benefit for the days of worked carried out. This non-totalisation (INPS circular n. 130 of 4 October 2010) also applies to work activities started before the worker was registered with the wage compensation fund.
Workers lose their right to wage subsidies if they do not promptly communicate the performance of work activity to the local INPS office. The mandatory communications sent directly by the employer (INPS circular no. 57 of 6 May 2014) are a valid means of fulfilling this communication. This practice aimed at simplifying the process also applies to communications made by temporary employment providers, which are therefore also a valid way of fulfilling the obligations of communicating the performance of other work activities during periods in which wage subsidies are received.
According to the provisions of article 7, paragraph 3 of Legislative Decree n. 148/2015, under penalty of withdrawal, the company must equalise the supplements paid to workers within six months of the end of the pay period in progress on the date at which the final supplementary benefit compensation is received or within six months of the date that the assistance was granted, if later. For benefits compensation concluded before the date on which the aforementioned Legislative Decree entered into force, the six months start from that date. For ordinary wage subsidy allowances, the “decision to pay benefits” refers to the decision made by the applicable regional INPS office whereas, for extraordinary income wage subsidy allowances, it refers to the deliberation of the ministerial decree.
The rules governing extraordinary wage subsidies and the related contribution obligations apply to the following companies which, in the six months preceding the submission date of the claim, employed an average of more than fifteen dependent workers, including apprentices and managers:
- industrial companies, including building businesses and similar;
- artisanal companies that suspend workers as a result of suspensions or reductions in the activity of the company holding the majority of the managerial influence;
- contracting companies providing canteen or restaurant services that face a reduction in activity as a result of the difficulties of the principal company, leading to the latter claiming ordinary or extraordinary wage subsidy;
- cleaning service companies contractors, even if they are set up as cooperatives, that experience a decrease in activity as a result of the reduction in the activities of the principal company for which ordinary and extraordinary wage subsidies have been claimed;
- auxiliary sectors of the railway service, i.e. the production and maintenance of rolling stock;
- agricultural processing cooperatives and their consortia;
- supervisory companies.
The rules governing extraordinary wage subsidies and the related contribution obligations also apply to the following companies which, in the six months preceding the claim submission date, must have employed an average of more than 50 dependent workers, including apprentices and managers:
- companies involved in commercial activities, including logistics;
- travel and tourism agencies, including tour operators.
The same rules and contribution obligations also apply, regardless of the number of dependent workers, to: air transport and airport management companies and companies arising from them, as well as companies in the airport sector; political parties and movements and their respective divisions and regional sections, within the spending limits of 8.5 million euros for 2015 and 11.25 million euros per year from 2016.
For companies that publish and print daily newspapers and press agencies with national distribution, the specific rules on extraordinary wage subsidies, which are also aimed at professional journalists, publicists and employed trainees, remain effective, regardless of size limits (articles 35 and 37, of law n. 416 of 5 August 1981).
When can I claim?
The claim for extraordinary wage subsidy allowances must be submitted within seven days of the date on which the trade union consultation procedure took place or within seven days of the date on which the company collective labour agreement relating to the claim for support was concluded. The claim must be accompanied by the list of workers affected by the suspensions or reductions in working hours.
Pursuant to article 2, paragraph 1, letter b) of Legislative Decree No. 185 of 24 September 2016, which amended article 25, paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree No. 148/2015, the suspension or reduction of working hours as agreed between the parties must commence within thirty days of the date on which the claim was submitted.
If the claim is submitted late, payments will begin on the 30th day following the submission of the claim.
If, as a result of the failure to submit the claim or result of the late submission of the claim, the workers lose all or part of their right to wage subsidies, the company is required to pay the workers an amount equivalent to the sum of the wage subsidies that they have not received.
How can I claim?
The claim must be submitted electronically in a single submission and simultaneously to both the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and to the competent regional labour office; the claim must also be accompanied by the list of workers affected by suspensions or reductions in working hours, the intervention programme, information relating to the cause declared and a copy of the joint examination report.
The payments are granted by decree of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies; the decree is adopted within 90 days of the submission of the claim by the company, except if the administrative procedure must be suspended for investigation purposes.
Once authorisation has been obtained, the company must electronically submit to INPS the form claiming authorisation for adjustment of the payments granted. They may also submit forms claiming direct payment to workers, if provided for by the decree.