Legislative changes: draft law on self-employment and smart working

13 Apr 2016

During Session no. 102 of 28th January 2016, the Council of Ministers approved a draft law (DDL no. 2233 - still under discussion in Parliament and which is expected to be approved by the end of May), which made provisions for the protection of non-entrepreneurial self-employment, as well as provisions aimed at favouring the flexible structuring of employment working hours and places of work. 

The most important changes are as follows:

  • Should a self-employed worker give birth to a child, she will be able to receive maternity allowance, while continuing to work, for two months prior to the date of birth and the three months that follow. Furthermore, it will be possible to obtain parental leave of six months in the first three years of the child’s life. 
  • The pregnancy, sickness or injury of self-employed workers will not entail the termination of the work contract, the performance of which remains suspended, without any entitlement to pay, for a period not exceeding 150 days in the calendar year. In case of sickness and injury that is serious enough to prevent the performance of the professional services for a further 60 days, the payment of the social security contributions and the insurance premiums will be suspended for the entire duration of the illness and the injury up to a maximum of 2 years. The arrears can then be recovered, for social security purposes, by means of installments for a period equal to three times the period for which the professional services were suspended. 
  • The expenses incurred for vocational training activity can be completely deducted from taxes within an annual limit of Euro 10,000. Also deductible in full are the charges incurred for coverage provided by insurance or other forms of coverage against failures to pay for the self-employment services rendered.
  • The clauses which give the principal the power to unilaterally amend contractual terms and conditions, to terminate the contract without adequate notice and which set payment terms exceeding 60 days will all be prohibited. 
  • Finally, a specific bundle of laws has been introduced which aims at governing a new way of performing work under an employment contract: flexible working. This consists in providing services under an employment contract which can be performed, in part, at the company’s premises and, in part, outside of such premises, solely limited by a maximum duration of daily and weekly working hours as provided for by the law and the collective bargaining agreement.