Recruitment and stabilisation of “disadvantaged women”: operational instructions are available

Prepared by Marzio Scaglioni and Leila Rguibi

With the Message no. 3809 of November 5th, 2021, INPS provided operating instructions for the use of the contribution exemption for the hiring of working women carried out in the course of the year 2021. This is the exemption envisaged, on an experimental basis, for the two-year period 2021-2022, by virtue of Law no. 178/2020 (so-called “Budget Law 2021”), article 1, paragraphs from 16 to 19, for employers who hire with a fixed-term or open-ended employment contract, or who transform the employment relationship of so-called “disadvantaged” women into an open-ended one. In particular, recruitment or conversion to an indefinite term must relate to one of the following categories:

  • women aged 50 or over and unemployed for more than 12 months
  • women of any age who have not been in regular paid employment for at least six months and who reside in a region benefiting from EU structural funds (formerly the 2014-2020 regional aid map);
  • women of any age, who have not been in regular paid employment for at least six months, and who work in professions or economic activities with high gender employment gap;
  • women of any age who have not been in regular paid employment for at least 24 months.

The extent of the contribution exemption is equal to 100% of the social security and insurance contributions paid by the employer, up to a maximum amount of 6,000 euros per year. The exemption is recognized for the duration of the fixed-term employment relationship, within the maximum limit of 12 months, and for 18 months in the event of transformation of the employment contract in a open-ended one. In the event that, on the other hand, the hiring takes place from the beginning for an indefinite period, the exemption is recognized for 18 months.

Please note that the exemption in question is recognized to all private employers, including employers in the agricultural sector, but does not apply to the public administration. In addition, companies in the financial sector, identified with the ATECO 2007 Code from 64.11.00 to 66.30.00, are excluded from the application of the exemption.

Employers who intend to benefit from the exemption and who have the prerequisites – on the one hand, the existence of the general principles on employment incentives, most recently governed by Article 31 of Legislative Decree no. 150 and the conditions provided for in Article 1, paragraph 1175, of Law no. 296/2006, and on the other hand those specifically provided for the exemption in question (see requirement relating to the realization of the net employment increase) – are required to transmit, starting from November 11th, 2021 – a prior online communication, using the form “92-2012”, present in the Italian so-called “Cassetto Previdenziale” of the INPS site.

In particular, for each event that can be facilitated, such as hiring, extension or transformation, it is necessary to complete a single online communication. In the event that this online procedure has already been used for the purpose of communicating the use of the incentive equal to 50% of the employer’s contributions provided for by Article 4, paragraphs 8 to 11, of Law no. 92/2012, from which this exemption originates, the same will be considered valid for the purposes of the use of this exemption and, therefore, the employer will not have to make any additional communication.

After sending the aforementioned communication, the employer will be able to expose – starting from the UNIEMENS flow of the month of competence of November 2021 – the workers for whom the exemption is due. The arrears relating to the previous period, on the other hand, must be exposed through the codes specifically created by the Institute exclusively in the UNIEMENS flows of competence of November, December 2021 and January 2022.

It should also be noted that the exemption in question is, to date, usable only for recruitment or stabilisation carried out during the year 2021 and that subsequent operating instructions will be provided by the Institute for the year 2022, at the outcome of a new authorisation procedure by the European Commission.

Finally, please note that the exemption in question can be combined with other exemptions or reductions in the funding rates provided for by current legislation, within the limits of the social security contribution due by the employer and on condition that, for the other exemptions intended to be used, a prohibition on cumulation with other benefits is expressly provided for. However, it should be noted that the exemption in question is not compatible with the incentive aimed at promoting stable youth employment (article 1, paragraphs 10 to 15, of the 2021 Budget law).

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Marzio Scaglioni

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti