The Italian Budget Law for the year 2021 (Law 30 December 2020, No. 178) introduced several measures to include an increase of the mandatory government-paid paternity leave from seven working days to 10 working days, with an optional extra day if the mother gives up one day of her statutory maternity leave.
The new increase entered into effect on 1 January 2021.
Paid paternity leave was recently increased from four days to five days in 2019 and from five days to seven days in 2020.
This latest paternity leave increase is a result of the falling birth rate in Italy and the obligation to comply with the European Union’s directive mandating member states to provide a minimum of 10-day leave.
The extended leave can be taken on a continuous or non-continuous basis within five months following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child in 2021. Paternity leave may be taken at the same time as the mother’s maternity leave. Male employees are required to give a 15-day notice to their employer prior to taking the leave.
Paternity leave is paid at 100% of the salary (no salary cap) by the Italian government through the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS).
Maternity leave is provided to the father, under the same conditions as for the mother, if the child is not in the mother’s care (death or serious illness).
In addition, in the event of perinatal death of the child, male employees are now entitled to one day of paid paternity leave at 100% of salary funded by the INPS.