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Italy Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation Days (Annual Leave), Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on February 2, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Italy

Vacation Leave Quota (Annual Leave)

Between 22 and 26 days

Employees in Italy have a right to from 22 to 26 days (approximately 4 weeks) of paid annual leave.

Employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements specify employees’ vacation days, and some of these agreements may offer shorter or longer vacations, but not below the legal minimum of 4 weeks. Some agreements also offer additional vacation days based on the number of years of work for the company (seniority).

Part-time employees are entitled to the same vacation entitlement as full-time employees, but the number of days is determined based on the number of hours of their working day.

Days off for public holidays are given in addition to statutory annual leave.


Employees begin to accrue vacation in the first month of employment, in which they work for at least 15 days. In the general case, the number of vacation days accrued each month is 2.16 (because of 26 / 12).

Vacation days accrue regularly during:

  • maternity leave,
  • a disease,
  • an accident at work,
  • a marriage leave,
  • participation in voting,
  • public holidays,
  • other paid leaves.

Vacation days don’t accrue while the worker is absent for:

  • parental leave,
  • illness of the children,
  • carrying out public functions or trade union offices,
  • unpaid leaves.
Taking Annual Leave

It is not only the employer who decides when employees are going to take their annual leave. The company is required to agree with its employees about the periods established for vacation. This is done according to business needs, while at the same time taking into account the interests of employees.

Workers are permitted to take at least 10 continuous working days of annual leave.

Carry Over

A worker is required to take a minimum of two weeks of vacation per year. The rest of it, the days that are allocated and not used, must be taken within 18 months (usually June 30) after the end of the year in which they were provided.

The company must pay attention to vacation days that are accrued but not taken to avoid overloads of work and financial penalties.


Employees are paid their regular salary during their annual leave, except for additional allowances related to actual work performed.

Employers are not allowed to substitute the employees’ right to their statutory minimum vacation entitlement (4 weeks) with a financial equivalent. However, employers can provide monetary compensation for any vacation days that are beyond the statutory minimum of 4 weeks.

Upon termination of employment, all unused vacation days must be paid out to the employee.

Sick Leave in Italy

180 days of paid sick leave.

Employees in Italy are generally entitled to 180 days of partially paid sick leave per calendar year. This applies to the majority of employees but is all defined in the employee’s employment contract or collective agreement. Additionally, once the allocated paid sick leave is used up, an employee may continue with unpaid leave if this is specified by collective agreements.

While on sick leave, the employment contract remains legally effective and is prohibited from being dismissed. As a result, sick leave is counted in the length of service, and all the rights of the employee, including seniority, public holidays, and so on, carry on with accumulation.

Right to Salary Compensation During Sick Leave

Employees usually receive a portion of their salary from the government while on sick leave. In some cases, collective agreements mandate that an employer must top up these government benefits so that an employee can have his or her full salary.

Sick leave is paid as follows:

  • The first three days (also called “waiting days”) are paid by the employer at a rate of 100% of the regular salary.
  • From the 4th to the 20th day of sick leave, sick pay is generally set at 50% of regular salary.
  • From the 21st to the 180th day of sick leave, sick pay rises to 66.66% of salary.

The first part of sick leave is compensated by an employer, and the second part by the social security of the Italian government.

Who pays sick leave?

When an employee is on sick leave, their employer pays them sick pay directly. This payment is then recorded in the employer’s financial accounts. However, it’s not just recorded as a regular expense. Instead, it’s noted as an adjustment to the amount of money the employer is supposed to pay to the National Institute for Social Security (INPS) as part of their regular social security contributions. In other words, the money the employer pays to the sick employee reduces the amount they have to pay to the INPS for social security.

Leave to Care for Sick Child

Parents can alternately take leave to care for a sick child.

For children under 3 years old, there is no limit to the amount of leave parents can take. For children aged 3 to 8 years, each parent is entitled to 5 working days of leave per year for the child’s illnesses.

In Italian, this leave is referred to as ‘Congedi per la Malattia del Figlio/a,’ which translates to ’leave for a child’s illness.’

In the private sector, leave taken for a child’s illness is not paid.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Italy

18 weeks of fully paid leave.

Pregnant female employees in Italy are entitled to 5 months (18 weeks) of fully paid leave.

Maternity leave must be taken in the following manner:

  • Prenatal (before the due date): 2 months,
  • Postnatal (following the birth of a child): 3 months.

A mother can postpone pre-childbirth leave so that she then takes all 5 months post-childbirth if she provides a medical certificate from a doctor that allows this. Also, an expectant mother can begin her leave earlier than two months before the due date, provided that she has a medical certificate confirming this choice.

There is no option to extend maternity leave as defined by Italy leave laws, but an employee may take partially paid parental leave.


Maternity leave is paid as a daily allowance of 80% of the regular wages for the entire period of maternity leave. An employer pays this amount to an employee and then gets reimbursed by a social security system. Certain collective agreements mandate that the employer top up an extra 20% so that an employee can have a full salary while on maternity leave.

Paternity Leave in Italy

10 days

An employee who is the father of a newborn child in Italy is entitled to 10 days of fully paid paternity leave. A father is obliged to take this leave within five months after the birth of a child.

Although a father may take partially paid parental leave, the law does not provide for the extension of paternity leave.


During 10 days of paternity leave, employees continue to receive their full wages, paid by the social security system.

Parental Leave in Italy

Total of 10 months for both parents

After paternity and maternity leave, both parents have the right to take parental leave. This leave can be taken individually for up to six months, allowing parents to decide on their distribution, with a combined limit of 10 months. However, if the father takes at least 3 months of leave, the total allowance for the couple extends to 11 months.

Parental leave must be taken before the child reaches 12 years of age. It may be taken for its entire duration, divided into a few parts, or by hours.


If the leave is taken within the first 6 years of the child’s life, the employee is entitled to an allowance of 30% of their salary, up to a total of 6 months shared between the parents.

Bereavement Leave in Italy

Up to 4 days.

An employer must grant their employees 3 or 4 days of paid leave in case a close family member dies for bereavement and funeral attendance. Entitlements for this leave apply to relatives who are up to the second degree.

Jury Duty Leave in Italy

There is no legal definition of jury duty leave.

Military Leave in Italy

When needed for military service, all employees are assured of job protection and the retention of their rights and seniority. The same applies to those serving in the civil service as conscientious objectors and those working in underdeveloped countries.

Voting Leave in Italy

There is no law defining voting leave.

Public Holidays in Italy for 2024

12 days of public holidays

There is 10 official public holidays in Italy which last 12 days in total. Christmas and Easter are celebrated for 2 days each.

A definite list of official holidays celebrated in Italy for 2024:
Date Holiday
January 1, Moday New Year’s Day
January 6, Saturday Epiphany (12 days after Christmas)
March 31, Sunday Easter
April 1, Monday Easter Monday
April 25 Liberation Day
May 1, Wednesday Labor Day
June 2 Republic Day
August 15, Thursday Assumption Day
November 1, Friday All Saints’ Day
December 8, Sunday Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 25, Wednesday Christmas Day
December 26, Thursday St. Stephen’s Day (Second Day of Christmas)

When a public holiday occurs on a Sunday, the holiday will either be moved to the following Monday or be given as an alternative day off (time off in lieu).


In addition to the list of public holidays provided in a table, an employee may also be entitled to observe regional holidays. There are also 10 regional holidays observed in certain cities and territories in Italy (but dates may vary each year for some of them):

  • 25th April – Feast of St. Mark (Venice only)
  • 28th April – Sa die de Sa Sardigna (Sardinia only)
  • 24th June – Feast of St. John the Baptist (Florence, Genoa, Turin only)
  • 29th June – Saint Peter and Saint Paul (Rome only)
  • 15th July – Feast of St. Rosalia (Palermo only)
  • 19th September – Feast of St. Gennaro (Naples only)
  • 4th October – Feast of St. Petronius (Bologna only)
  • 2nd November – Feast of St. Giusto (Trieste only)
  • 6th December – Feast of St. Nicholas (Bari only)
  • 7th December – Feast of St. Ambrose (Milan only)


  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/italy

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Italy, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/italy/

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Italy, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/Italy

  4. Hire in Italy from abroad, https://workmotion.com/countries/italy/

  5. Italy - Statutory sick pay, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1116&langId=en&intPageId=4620

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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