Work in Italy: how Ukrainians can protect their rights as an employee
Italy allows refugees from Ukraine official employment. However, as everywhere, in the country you can come across unscrupulous employers. Learn more about how to protect your employee rights and where to go if they are violated
Thousands of Ukrainians are currently in European countries. Many of them are employed, because it is difficult to live only on financial payments. Italy continues to accept Ukrainians and allows them to work officially.
At the same time, many Ukrainians complain about poor working conditions, violations of labor legislation, and lower wages than the established minimum. We share tips on how to protect your rights and where to turn in case of their violation.
Let us emphasize that Italy clearly regulates the labor market. The legislation is the same in all regions of the country, so you don't need to look for local specifics of the laws.
The main cases of violation of workers' rights
We invite you to familiarize yourself with the most common violations of workers' rights and labor legislation in Italy.
• Absence of an employment contract or contract;
• violation of the terms of the contract;
• refusal to pay all the time worked;
• non-payment of liquidation TFR or 13th salary;
• absence of days off during holidays;
• refusal to grant leave;
• psychological pressure;
Caregivers and home care staff often face such problems.
Who protects the rights of workers?
Compliance with the letter of the law in Italy is monitored by trade unions and patronages, which at the same time protect workers.
Therefore, in case of violation of legislation, discrimination or oppression, firstly, contact the trade unions and patronages. These institutions will explain your rights, analyze all the details of the situation and demand compensation from the employer. For complex cases, union representatives will engage lawyers who will review the case and, if necessary, take it to court.
List of Italian trade unions
• CGIL – Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro;
• CISL – Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori;
• UGL – Unione generale del lavoro;
• UIL.it – Unione Italiana del Lavoro: il Sindacato delle Persone.
Specializing in the protection of domestic workers (nannies, housekeepers, caregivers, etc.):
• Federcolf – Il sindacato delle colf;
• Colf e Badanti – Patronato Acli;
• Colf e badanti – Caf Cgil;
• Assistenza familiare: colf, badanti, baby sitter – Caf Cisl.
In order for your application to be considered, you need to fill out the forms, describing the situation and requesting the intervention of the authority. We would like to add that in addition to trade unions, you can apply to the territorial labor inspection.
It is necessary to appeal the working conditions or the working situation within the first 60 days from the day of termination of the employment relationship.
The cost of applying to the trade union and the court
Persons who are members of the trade union and who pay an annual fee receive assistance free of charge. However, consideration of the case in court must be paid for.
Consideration of the case in court
Often, the case is not transferred to court, because the parties are trying to reach an amicable agreement. If this did not happen, the trade union representative recommends going to court. In this case, you will be asked to prepare the necessary documents and evidence, as well as to attract witnesses.
The approximate terms of consideration of the case are as follows:
• The first hearing is scheduled 2-6 months after the complaint is filed;
• consideration of evidence - after 6-12 months;
• a labor lawsuit in general can be considered from 1 to 3 years.
Where to look for a job in Italy?
Browse vacancies and send your resume on special sites:
You can also contact agencies looking for temporary work:
Another option is the Italian government offices "Uffici di Collocamento", which offer work at local enterprises.
We will remind you! Refugees from Ukraine in Italy can receive Social Assistance (L'Assegno unico). How to apply for support, who can apply for it and what are the conditions for providing funds - read at the link.
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