Constraints and opportunities for non-Italian citizens
Anybody looking for a job in another Member State can consult the employment services in their home country or in the country where they wish to work. All these services are linked up in a network called EURES network (European Employment Services). The European Commission and the National Labour Administrations jointly founded the EURES. This network is composed of 450 Eurocounsellors across the Union and the European Economic Area (UE, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). It is possible to contact them through job centres. EURES offices are found in all regions. In addition, the European Commission has a new web site where it is possible to find new job offers: http://www.europa.eu.int
For regulatory aspects concerning work accidents, insurance and social security, contact should be made with INAIL (National Work Accident Insurance Institute) and with INPS (National Social Security Institute) regional offices. For regulatory matters concerning health insurance, instead, contact should be made with AUSL regional offices (Local Health Unit Enterprise).
These are the rules to follow before leaving your country to look for a job in Italy:
- Check the job offers in the EURES system
- Check your own national papers and professional journals
- Check international publications (e.g. Economist, Financial Times etc.)
- Check the Italian papers (e.g. Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Stampa, Il Sole 24 Ore etc.) which are available in all cities and in tourist areas
- Check agencies dealing with work abroad, youth centres etc.
EU citizens that desire a personal logbook of employment may register with the Uffici Anagrafe del Comune (City Council Census Office) when taking residence.
Non-EU citizens that are in possession of a work record may start in their search for a work placement. As soon as they have found an employment non-EU citizens should remember that in order to sojourn for a period that is longer than three months they will need to visit the Questura with the following documents: work record, visitor notification receipt and a letter from their employer to state that a work relationship has been agreed. Non-EU citizens will then receive a five-year residence permit. These are the steps to follow after finding work:
- Obtain a residence card: once you enter Italy for more than seven days to look for work you must go to the Questura to get a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). After three months, this must be renewed. Family members are also entitled to permits.
- Obtain a worker registration card: this card is called libretto di lavoro and is needed in most areas. You should check with your employer or with the City Council (Comune).
- Tax: your employer deducts tax and social assurance contributions. You should obtain a codice fiscale from the local tax office (Intendenza di Finanza).
- Bank account: you should open an account since most payments both to you and from you are often done directly by post/bank office.
No differences, however, are made in social benefits aspects between national and non-national workers. Exclusion from social services cannot be argued on the basis of nationality or residence.
It is extremely important for workers changing residence from one Member Country to another to know from which country their fiscal domicile is being taken. Although fiscal domicile policies tend to change from country to country the rules of the country of residence should prevail.
Opportunities for young first job seekers
The first action one must take when looking for a work placement is to stop at the town of residence SCICA (Territorial District Employment Section) where it is possible to register in an unemployment list. Young job seekers must understand that this is not a problem solving solution, but it is a fundamental step in order to achieve their goal. It is also possible to contact information services offered by Labour Unions (CGIL, CISL and UIL). Furthermore, Informa Giovani help desks and local guidance services are also available. Even if these services will not guarantee immediate job offers they can provide useful contacts.
There are two types of contracts for young workers: training&work and apprenticeship.
Training&work contracts (C.F.L.)
These type of contracts are intended for paid work on a fixed term basis (24 months maximum, non renewable), with vocational training objectives. CFLs have been designed for unemployed people aged from 16-32 and are not compelled by education certificates (from compulsory school leavers to graduates).
A young job seeker should be aware that CFLs are:
- Awarded individually (employers select the contract holders).
- Awarded on a fix term basis.
- Grant vocational training provided by the employer.
- Include a trial period (duration to be defined) with a possibility of contract termination.
- Offer a smaller pay than the wages paid to same level workers on an indefinite contract.
This is a special work contract whereby the employer is obliged to provide the young employer with sufficient training for the acquisition of skills comparable to a qualified workerÅfs experience, while using the labour provided by the apprentice. These types of contracts may last from 18 months up to 4 years. It is important to notice that wages are less than fore a normal employment contract.
Some other alternatives might be seasonal&summers works which usually last 3 to 4 months, working as a tourist entertainment in a tourist resort in Italy or decide to work as an au-pair in an Italian family.
Work in the private sector
Some major changes have taken place regarding the minimum age requirement for private sector employment which is now 15 but will be shortly brought up to 16. In addition, the government has issued decree 469/97. This decree allows private citizens to perform as mediators in the labour market and no longer forbids, within certain limits, intermediary activities in job placement. In this respect the new provisions are a timely alignment with the decision of the European Union Court of Justice.
As mentioned earlier, when searching for a new placement one can enquire the SCICA placement offices or use his personal initiative to approach prospective employers.
One of the changes that were brought by decree 469/97 in 1997 was the introduction of temporary jobs (lavoro interinale). The temporary jobÅfs aim was to try and make job demand meet with job supply so that the work environment would become more dynamic.
All EU citizens have the right to start their own business since the general idea is that new enterprises create new jobs and are therefore an element of welfare. The Italian government offers a whole range of incentives: from low interest instant loan to tax rebates, etc. A new business starter must be 18 or over and must be registered in a commerce or craft list. In addition, the entrepreneur must open VAT and bank accounts. The Chamber of Commerce town office will supply extra formalities. It is possible to attain further information from the Ministry of Labour.
There is no need for a work permit when starting a new business since it will be automatically issued and will have a validity of five years and will be renewable from then onwards. Before commencing a new activity, proven experience is required from working at least three years in the same sector and last but not least, registration to the Chamber of Commerce is obligatory.
For further help it can be useful to consult the JEV (Joint European Venture) and the JVP (Joint Venture Programme) which offer specific assistance towards the development of small businesses.