Working Mothers in Italy

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 21.5 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 80  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? More than one hour
What is the length of breastfeeding breaks? Breastfeeding breaks are provided for the first 12 month(s) of life of the child
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Paid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 300 days
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? 30 % of normal wage
Who pays for parental leave? Government
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? No

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.

More about maternity leave:

In general, workers are entitled to 5 months (usually 2 months before and 3 months after birth) of maternity leave. A worker may choose to take a one-month leave before confinement and 4 months after the confinement. The flexible period can go from one day to one month, it can be reduced later and is anyway subdued to a medical certificate attesting the good conditions of the woman and of the unborn.  (Articles 16 and 20) 

The interruption of pregnancy, spontaneous or voluntary, is considered in all respects as an illness. (Article 19)

Adoption/custody leave is 5 months. (Article 26)

(Legislative Decree of 26th March 2001, n. 151)

During the term of maternity leave, workers are paid a maternity allowance that is equal to the 80% of the monthly wage, paid by Social Security (INPS). Some collective agreements provide that the employer integrates the allowance paid by INPS to reach 100% of the worker’s wage. 

Allowance is in every case paid by the employer, who will then be refunded by INPS.

Source: §22 of the Decree 151/2001

More about parental leave:

The Decree number 151 (as modified by the decree of 11th June 2015, valid only for year 2015) provides for the parental leave to care for children after maternity or paternity leave. Either the mother or the father can take parental leave when needed until the child is 12 years old. Parental leave for each parent can’t be more than 6 months in total (the father is entitled to 7 months if he takes at least 3 months). The parental leave taken jointly by the two parents can’t be more than 10 months in total (11 months if the father has taken 7). If there is only one parent, the limit is 10 months in total.

Parents are entitled to 30% of the wage for the first 6 months of total parental leave taken by both if the child is under 6 years of age. If parental leave is taken when the child is between 6 and 12 years old, parental leave is unpaid leave and no cash benefits are provided. (Article 32)