Working time in Italy: National Rules, Regulations and habits (2023)

Work-life balance is changing across the globe. The working hours of a modern day employee are incredibly different even from just 20 years ago, and this definitely reflects the experience of workers in Italy.

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How many hours per week do Italians work?

Italy has always been a country that favours agood work-life balance. From north to south, time with family is central to the values of most Italians and this is reflected in the working hours of most jobs. The maximum working week is set at40 hoursandovertimemust not exceed48.Other similarities run up and down the country, with many shopsclosing for the middayriposo, which typically lasts from 1pm till 3.30pm. The average working week in Italy amounts to around36 hours a week, with 4 weeks of paid holiday, in addition to 12 public holidays. Labour contracts and collective bargaining agreements have succeeded in improving these conditions too.

Does the Italian working timetable vary depending on the sector?

The working hours of private sector and public sector workers differs massively in Italy. Although both often work from Monday through to Saturday, full-time workers in the private sector can expect to start work at9amand not finish until6pm, with a 1-2 hour lunch break, although this is usually shorter in the bigger cities.​The longer breaks are usually reserved for business lunches, as it is considered important to share a good meal with your prospective client before agreeing to work together. Mostpublic officesopen from 8am and close shortly after lunch at 2pm. Night workers are entitled to work only 8 hours within 24 hours.

When do holidays mostly take place?

​The majority of this paid vacation is taken inAugust, the month ofFerragosto, when seemingly the entire nation heads to the beach for thesummer break. During this time many shops are closed as business owners take the opportunity to go on holiday.

Trade unions and workers’ rights in Italy

​In addition to these established working patterns in Italy, increasingly more workers are finding themselves subject to moremodern, casual conditions of employment. Thegig economy is alive and well in the country, with many workers choosing their hours based on a casual working relationship with their employer.​Trade unions in Italydeveloped fastin the ‘70s and they remain quite strong today. Food delivery service apps likeGlovoandDeliverooare a striking example of this, with delivery workers choosing their hours based on their own availability at any given time. Also many companies circumvent the rules on paid holidays by keeping workers on temporary 6month contracts, rather than immediately giving them permanent ones.

​Overall the world of work in Italy varies greatly, with different jobs offering different terms of employment. However, there is still a strong cultural focus ontime spent away from workwhich is valued and generallyrespectedacross the economy.

Discover how INPS work in the video below. You will pay INPS taxes in Italy if you work as employees.

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Planning to work and move to Italy?Check out if you are eligible for atax credit for new residents, ourguide for immigration in Italy, and or guide forfreelancing in Italy.

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Working time in Italy: National Rules, Regulations and habits (2)

Nicolò Bolla

After moving back to Italy from the United States in 2013, I realized how much an accounting and tax firm was needed to help expats living in Italy to comply with the local tax regulations.

My idea seeded when I had to go through the complicated Italian tax system myself, and that’s when I started Accounting Bolla. Its mission is very simple, yet utopian: to make Italian taxes easy and manageable.

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At Accounting Bolla we aim to help our clients with straightforward solutions.

Since 2017 we can proudly claim to have helped thousands of clients in optimizing their taxes and in safely investing in Italy.

We help EU based ecommerce business selling in Italy. If you are confused about Italian VAT we’ll handle that.

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