Each subordinate worker in Italy who gets married is entitled to marriage leave. This is a right recognized by both the Italian Constitution (Article 31, comma 1) and law (RDL 24 June 1937 number 1334). National Collective Agreements and Circular letters from INPS further indicate how the marriage leave is applied.
The main requirement for one to benefit from marriage leave is validity of marriage. The marriage must be valid and in fact be recognized as a civil marriage in Italy.
If the marriage was celebrated abroad, in order for the worker to benefit from marriage leave, he/she must be a resident in Italy.
A non-EU worker for instance, is entitled to marriage leave as long as he/she is a resident in Italy before the marriage date.
A worker who wants to go on marriage leave must submit to the employer a copy of the marriage certificate.
In case the marriage was celebrated abroad, the worker must present to the employer a copy of the marriage certificate which must be translated into Italian and legalized by the Italian Embassy/Consulate in the country where the marriage took place. The worker must also submit to the employer a copy of the Residency certificate issued by the Registry Office of the City Council of residence. The certificate must show that the worker is married to the person indicated on the marriage certificate issued by foreign authorities.
INPS has clarified that should polygamy be recognized in the foreign country where the marriage was celebrated, the worker is entitled to go for marriage leave only once, unless the worker remarries following divorce or death of the spouse (Circular letter of INPS number 190 of 1992).
Most National Collective Agreements don’t recognize the right to marriage leave to workers on probation.
A worker who would like to go for marriage leave must apply for it by giving the employer a prior notice of at least six days and at most 15 days. This may vary depending on the National Collective Agreement applicable.
The worker is obliged to present to the employer, within 60 days of marriage, the marriage certificate or family status certificate with details of the marriage.
Marriage leave entitles a worker to go for 15 days of paid leave. This may also vary depending on the National Collective Agreement applicable.
During marriage leave, the worker is entitled to the normal pay which in most cases is entirely paid by the employer. In some cases, for instance, in the case of domestic workers, the worker can only go for marriage leave after presenting to the employer documents proving that marriage has taken place.
If one works in an industrial company, for a cooperative or is an artisan, part of the marriage leave is paid by the employer while the other part is paid by INPS.
The worker must apply for and go on marriage leave within 30 days of marriage, unless there are unforeseen circumstances or special needs from the part of the employer which make it necessary for the worker to postpone the leave.
Marriage leave is a special leave and as such, must not coincide with the worker’s normal leave or with warning of dismissal. Should the marriage leave coincide with the normal leave, the worker will have the right to go for marriage leave later on.
INPS pays the marriage leave for some categories of workers such as: manual labourers, apprentices, home based workers (who are not domestic workers), and workers who have other types of jobs but for some justified reason (sickness, suspension from work, etc), are not working. They must apply for marriage within a year of marriage and submit to INPS a copy of the marriage certificate.
Unemployed workers who can prove that 90 days before the date of marriage they had worked for at least 15 days are also entitled to marriage leave.
The following categories of workers are not entitled to marriage leave: employees of industrial companies, cooperatives, artisans, apprentices, and managers. Employees of agricultural companies, commercial companies, credit companies and insurance companies are also not entitled to marriage leave.
Instructions on how to apply for marriage leave can be found at www.inps.it.
By Andrea De Rossi