Congratulations on getting a job in Italy! Moving to a new country for work is an exciting adventure, but navigating the legal and bureaucratic hurdles in Italy can be daunting. This article is specifically for you, an international professional moving to Italy for work. We understand that deciphering a new work environment, complete with unfamiliar employment contracts and regulations, can be stressful. In this article written by our employment law specialist we will guide you through some key considerations to ensure a smooth transition, focusing on the importance of a thorough employment contract review by an Italian employment law specialist. So, do not sign until you have read this:

New job in Italy? Understand your employment contract

Understanding the core components of your employment contract is crucial before signing on the dotted line for your new job in Italy. Here’s a breakdown of some key clauses you are likely encounter:

  • Probationary Period (Periodo di Prova): Most Italian contracts include a probationary period, typically lasting for a few months, typically between 3 and 6 months. This period allows both employer and employee to assess suitability. Termination during probation is usually easier for both parties, with shorter notice periods required.

  • Notice Periods (Preavviso): The length of notice required to terminate the contract depends on factors like your position and contract type. Minimum legal notice periods exist, but collective bargaining agreements or your individual contract may dictate longer periods.

  • Working Hours (Orario di Lavoro): Italian law establishes a standard workweek of 40 hours. However, flexible working arrangements and overtime pay regulations are also outlined in the contract. Be sure to understand these details, including any potential for overtime expectations.

  • Vacation Days (Ferie): Italian employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 paid vacation days per year. Your contract should clearly specify how these can be accrued and taken.

  • Sick Leave (Assenza per Malattia): Italian law provides employees with paid sick leave for a set duration based on medical documentation. The specific details and any additional company sick leave policies must be outlined in your contract.

This is just a general overview, and specific details will vary depending on your contract and industry. An Italian employment lawyer can provide a comprehensive review to ensure your contract aligns with your expectations and protects your rights.

The Italian Lawyer - Employment law specialist - legal assistance for employment contract review when moving to Italy for work

Italian employment law: clauses to watch out for

While the previous section covered some common clauses, navigating an Italian employment contract as a foreigner requires extra vigilance, moreso in  Here are some specific clauses to carefully examine:

  • Non-Compete Agreements (Patto di Non Concorrenza): Italian law allows non-compete clauses under certain conditions, such as protecting confidential information. However, these clauses cannot be overly broad and should be limited in duration and scope to be enforceable, according to the Italian Ministry of Labour website. Ensure the clause is reasonable and doesn’t unduly restrict your future career opportunities.

  • Relocation Assistance Details: If your contract includes relocation assistance, meticulously review the specifics. This could involve a lump sum payment, housing assistance, or reimbursement for moving expenses. Be clear on the conditions for receiving this assistance and any potential repayment obligations if you leave the company before a certain timeframe.

  • Governing Law and Dispute Resolution: Pay attention to the clause specifying which country’s laws govern the contract and how potential disputes will be resolved. Ideally, the contract should specify Italian law and courts for resolution, but negotiation might be possible depending on your situation.

  • Language of the Contract: While Italian is the official language, having a bilingual lawyer by your side and an English translation of the contract alongside the Italian version will prove incredibly helpful. Negotiate for both versions to be considered equally binding if any discrepancies arise.

If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask for clarification on any clauses you find unclear. An specialist Italian employment lawyer can advise you on the enforceability and implications of specific clauses in your contract, ensuring your rights are protected.

Relocating to Italy? Let our employment lawyer help you.

Get employment law advice for a stress-free move to Italy divorce registration from one of the UK’s top-rated Italian law firm specialising in employment law. Our specialist team of employment lawyers will guide you through every step of the process. Book your FREE ASSESSMENT CALL today!

Contract review: secure your employment rights

Negotiating your employment contract for your new job in Italy can feel intimidating, but with a strategic approach, you can secure a fair agreement. Here are some tips from our legal experts to consider:

  • Research industry standards: Familiarise yourself with average salary ranges and typical benefits packages for your position and industry in Italy. This knowledge empowers you to make informed counteroffers during negotiation.

  • Focus on mutually beneficial terms: Present your desired terms (salary, vacation days, etc.) in a way that emphasizes how they benefit both you and the company.

  • Be prepared to walk away: While you want to reach an agreement, don’t be afraid to walk away if the offered terms fall significantly below your expectations.

  • Seek expert guidance: An Italian employment law specialist can be your greatest asset during negotiations. They can advise you on the enforceability of specific clauses, suggest alternative wording, and ensure your final contract aligns with Italian legal requirements.

Remenber that having your contract reviewed by an expert before you sign is crucial. This allows you to identify potential issues and negotiate from a position of knowledge. Don’t underestimate the value of an employment lawyer’s expertise in safeguarding your rights and future in Italy.

FAQs: negotiating your employment contract in Italy

What are some red flags to watch out for in an Italian employment contract?

In our experience, some general red flags to be aware of during your contract negotiation include:

  • Unusually long probationary periods: These can limit your rights and make it harder to leave a bad situation.
  • Vague or overly broad language: Unclear terms can be used to restrict your rights later.
  • Unbalanced obligations: The contract should outline responsibilities fairly for both employer and employee.
  • Lack of details on benefits: A clear breakdown of benefits like healthcare or transportation is crucial, specially when moving from abroad.

Can I negotiate for additional benefits beyond what's offered in the contract?

Absolutely! Negotiation is a two-way street. While the contract outlines the initial offer, you can propose additional benefits that align with your needs. Our lawyer can help you include in the negotiations things like flexible work arrangements, training opportunities, or company car benefits, depending on the role and company culture.


What if I do not speak Italian fluently?

If Italian isn’t your first language or your are still not that fluent, consider having a professional Italian employment lawyer present during negotiations to ensure clear communication. Negotiating through an Italian lawyer can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure your interests are accurately represented.

Your contract review by our expert Italian employment lawyer

Our team of Italian lawyers are experts in employment law and will be able to guide you through the contract review and negotiation process, indentifying potential issues, negotiating favourable terms, mediating with the employer and making sure your rights and interests are protected. 

Contact us today and get the employment law advice you need to get your dream job in Italy. Send us an email at info@theitalianlawyer.com and book your initial FREE ASSESSMENT CALL, during which we will provide you with all the details to proceed with your contract negotiations.

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In need of legal advice? Fill in our contact form, and a member of our expert legal team will get back to you with help tailored to your situation.

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