Maternity Leave: How does maternity leave and pay work in Italy?

Article author
Wioleta MIodowska
  • Updated

This article describes everything you need to know about maternity leave in Italy. You can find answers to common questions about maternity leave duration, when you can start your leave and how maternity pay works.

In this article we cover:

Duration of maternity leave

In Italy, maternity leave is a flexible period of compulsory leave from work for a total of 5 months. Maternity leave can be used by the father in case of serious illness or death of the mother or in case of abandonment or exclusive custody of the child to the father. Maternity leave can be extended up to 7 months after childbirth if the employee is assigned to dangerous, exhausting tasks and cannot be delegated to other duties.

When can I start my maternity leave?

During pregnancy, an employee has the right to abstain from work for 2 months preceding the expected due date. Employees can choose to postpone the start of maternity leave to 1 month preceding the expected due date or can choose to not abstain from work before the baby’s due date, provided that the specialist doctor certifies that this option does not jeopardize the health of the expectant mother and unborn child. In case of pregnancy at risk maternity leave can start already during the first months of pregnancy.

Mandatory leave period after childbirth

The duration of mandatory leave after childbirth depends on the start of the leave. Employees are entitled to a total of 5 months.

  • If the maternity leave started 2 months preceding the estimated due date it will end 3 months after the birth.
  • If the start of maternity leave was postponed to 1 month preceding the expected due date it will end 3 months after the birth.
  • If the employee chose to not abstain from work before the baby’s due date, maternity leave ends 5 months after the childbirth.

How maternity pay works in Italy

In Italy, during maternity leave, 100% of an employee's wages are covered. Employee’s salary is paid by the employer and partially reimbursed by Italian Social Security (INPS). 80% of the wages are covered by Italian Social Security (INPS) and 20% are paid by the employer.


Disclaimer: Please be advised that the information provided is for general guidance only and should not be considered legal advice. Clients are strongly encouraged to contact the Lifecycle - Time & Attendance team for expert guidance and assistance in navigating the intricate landscape of time off requirements in Italy. Consulting with our team is imperative to ensure compliance with local employment standards legislation and clearly understand the stipulated time off and attendance related requirements. Your proactive engagement with the Time & Attendance team is vital to making informed decisions and adhering to all relevant regulations.

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