Italy - Article 27

Article 27

Measures to support employers
Measures to support workers with disabilities
Discrimination
Employment on the open labour market
Employment in the supported / sheltered sector
Employment in the public sector
Employment of blind and partially sighted women
Self-employment
Vocational rehabilitation and training
Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities
Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities
Vocational counselling
Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment
Looking for a job
Legal recognition of disabled worker status
Trade unions and workers with disabilities
 

Measures to support employers

In order to support employers who hire disabled people in Italy, the Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) offers a bonus on social security tax fees and a funding scheme to adapt the premises and working conditions to the disabled worker. This scheme is set depending on the employee's disability level and it is financed by a National Fund for the Right to Work of People with Disabilities.

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Measures to support workers with disabilities

The Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) is the main legislation governing the employment of disabled workers in Italy. Disabled workers are also supported by various other legal provisions.

A training scheme is made available to both disabled workers and job seekers under Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999 ("Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) This scheme is known as “targeted employment” because it aims to allow disabled people to compete on the job market. An individual plan is designed and if it includes training the regional government will mandate the company that employs the disabled person or a disability specific organisation to carry out the relevant training.

Under Law no. 120 of 28 March 1991, all visually impaired workers who are currently employed receive a bonus amounting to 4 monthly pension payments in addition to their wage for each working year.

Under Law no. 946 of 6 September 1967 visually impaired teachers are entitled to specific benefits, including priority access to positions in blind schools and institutes and facilitated access to positions in mainstream schools.

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Discrimination

Law no. 67 of 1 March 2006 (“Provisions for judicial protection of persons with disabilities, victims of discrimination”), Article 3 of the Italian Constitution and Article 3 of Law no. 104 of 5 February 1992, and Legislative Decree no. 216 of 9 July 2003 (implementing European Directive 2000/78/EC on equal treatment in employment and occupation) are the main legal items concerning disability-based discrimination in Italy. The legislation promotes the full implementation of the principles of equal treatment and equal opportunity in the civil, political, economic and social spheres. Discrimination practices are unlawful and can be brought before the courts of justice.

Article 3 of Law 104/1992 provides the following definition of the disabled person : “person with physical, psychological or sensory impairment, whether stable or developing, causing problems with learning, relationships or occupational integration likely to bring about a disadvantageous and marginalizing process”.

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Employment on the open labour market

The Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) is the main legislation concerning disability employment in Italy.

Based on the size of their workforce, both private and public sector employers are required to hire a certain percentage of disabled workers:
• Employers with more than 50 employees must meet a 7% disability employment quota;
• At least 2 disabled workers must be hired in workplaces of 36 to 50 employees;
• Workplaces of 15 to 35 employees must hire at least 1 disabled worker if they operate new intake
Disabled workers hired on temporary contracts for a period of less than 9 months cannot included in the percentage, in other words employers must hire disabled workers for longer periods to meet the legal requirement.

Employers in unfavourable economic situations may be exempted from meeting the target or paying the compensation fee until their situation improves. Otherwise, employers who do not meet the disability employment target must pay a compensation fee to a specific fund. This fund is managed at regional level and works on furthering the integration of disabled people in the labour market.

In addition to this general legislation, various legal acts govern target disability employment in specific branches.

Law no. 113 of 29 March 1985 regulated the employment of visually impaired switchboard operators and comprehensively addresses vocational training, job placement, contracting and retirement schemes. All public offices and private companies with a switchboard of at least 5 telephone lines must hire one visually impaired telephone switchboard operator. Public offices with switchboards comprising more than one operator position must reserve no less than 51% of all positions to visually impaired people.

Law no. 29 of 11 January 1994 governs the employment of visually impaired rehabilitation therapists. Private nursing homes and public hospitals must hire at least one and up to 5% of visually impaired therapists.

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Employment in the supported / sheltered sector

Sheltered employment no longer exists in Italy. However, Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999 regulates specific supported contracts which are used to provide people with multiple disabilities with working experiences. These workers often require additional support. Such contracts may concern both public institutions and private employers who are required to hire workers with disabilities.

Disability organisations have pointed out that more recently introduced legislations (Law no. 30 of 14 February 2003 and Legislative Decree no. 276 of 10 September 2003) act as barriers to these inclusion programmes by subjecting supported contracts to extremely complicated administrative procedures.

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Employment in the public sector

The Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) is the main legislation concerning disability employment in Italy.

Based on the size of their workforce, public offices are required to hire a certain percentage of disabled workers:
• Offices with more than 50 employees must meet a 7% disability employment quota;
• At least 2 disabled workers must be hired in workplaces of 36 to 50 employees;
• Workplaces of 15 to 35 employees must hire at least 1 disabled worker if they operate new job intake
Disabled workers hired on temporary contracts for a period of less than 9 months cannot included in the percentage, in other words employers must hire disabled workers for longer periods to meet the legal requirement.

Public services who do not meet the disability employment target must pay a compensation fee to a specific fund. This fund is managed at regional level and works on furthering the integration of disabled people in the labour market.

In addition to this general legislation, various legal acts govern target disability employment in specific branches.

Public offices who do not meet the disability employment target must pay a compensation fee to a specific fund. This fund is managed at regional level and works on furthering the integration of disabled people in the labour market.

In addition to this general legislation, several laws govern target disability employment in specific job branches.

Law no. 113 of 29 March 1985 regulated the employment of visually impaired switchboard operators and comprehensively addresses vocational training, job placement, contracting and retirement schemes. All public offices with a switchboard of at least 5 telephone lines must hire one visually impaired telephone switchboard operator. Public offices with switchboards comprising more than one operator position must reserve no less than 51% of all positions to visually impaired people.

Law no. 29 of 11 January 1994 governs the employment of visually impaired rehabilitation therapists. Public hospitals must hire at least one and up to 5% of visually impaired therapists.

The standard recruitment process in the Italian public sector is a competitive entry examination although certain positions are also opened to direct hire procedures. In some cases, a certain percentage of posts are reserved for disabled candidates or applicants.

Under Law no. 270 of 1982, 2% of the teaching posts made available in the context of each examination are reserved for visually impaired candidates. They are also entitled to priority in choosing the localisation of their teaching post and to a reduction in the quantity of required service. Under Law no. 946 of 6 September 1967 visually impaired teachers are entitled to specific benefits, including priority access to positions in blind schools and institutes and facilitated access to positions in mainstream schools.
 

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Employment of blind and partially sighted women.

There are no specific measures applicable to female disabled workers including visually impaired women in Italy. All legal measures concerning the employment of persons with disabilities people are applied equally to men and women.

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Self Employment

There are no specific regulations concerning self employment of persons with disability in Italy. Disabled self-employed workers are subject to the same provisions as other self-employed workers.

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Vocational rehabilitation and training

Persons with disabilities are entitled to access vocational or rehabilitation training, regardless of whether their disability occurred from birth or later on in their lives.

Vocational training courses for the visually impaired in switchboard operation, other telephone-based jobs and physiotherapy take place in specialised centres. Training costs are funded by regional governments.

A training scheme is made available to both disabled workers and job seekers under Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999 ("Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) This scheme is known as “targeted employment” because it aims to allow disabled people to compete on the job market. An individual plan is designed and if it includes training the regional government will mandate the company that employs the disabled person or a disability specific organisation to carry out the relevant training.

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Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities.

The main incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities in Italy are the bonuses granted to employers who hire disabled workers. These bonuses are regulated by the Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”). Measures include bonuses on social security tax fees, funding schemes and financial bonuses. 

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Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities

The Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) is the main legislation concerning the legal obligation to employ disabled workers in Italy.

Public and private employers are required to hire persons with disabilities belonging to the following categories:
• Persons of working age with physical, sensory , mental or cognitive disabilities whose working ability is reduced by more than 45%
• persons with a visual or hearing disability
• military and civilian war-disabled persons, work-disabled persons (public sector).
• work-disabled persons with an invalidity percentage of more than 33% (private sector)

Based on the size of their workforce, both private and public sector employers are required to hire a certain percentage of disabled workers:
• Employers with more than 50 employees must meet a 7% disability employment quota;
• At least 2 disabled workers must be hired in workplaces of 36 to 50 employees;
• Workplaces of 15 to 35 employees must hire at least 1 disabled worker if they operate new intake
Disabled workers hired on temporary contracts for a period of less than 9 months cannot included in the percentage, in other words employers must hire disabled workers for longer periods to meet the legal requirement.

Employers in unfavourable economic situations may be exempted from meeting the target or paying the compensation fee until their situation improves. Otherwise, employers who do not meet the disability employment target must pay a compensation fee to a specific fund. This fund is managed at regional level and works on furthering the integration of disabled people in the labour market.

In addition to this general legislation, various legal acts govern target disability employment in specific branches.

Law no. 113 of 29 March 1985 regulated the employment of visually impaired switchboard operators and comprehensively addresses vocational training, job placement, contracting and retirement schemes. All public offices and private companies with a switchboard of at least 5 telephone lines must hire one visually impaired telephone switchboard operator. Public offices with switchboards comprising more than one operator position must reserve no less than 51% of all positions to visually impaired people.

Law no. 29 of 11 January 1994 governs the employment of visually impaired rehabilitation therapists. Private nursing homes and public hospitals must hire at least one and up to 5% of visually impaired therapists.

In the public sector a certain percentage of posts are reserved for disabled people both in competitive entry examination and direct recruitment procedures. For example, under Law no. 270 of 1982, 2% of the teaching posts are reserved for visually impaired candidates.

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Vocational counselling.

There is no specific public service catering for vocational counselling in Italy. Vocational counselling is carried out mainly by disability specific organisations or by the agencies who work in the rehabilitation and training field.

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Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment.

The main occupations of blind and partially sighted workers in Italy are as follows:
• Telephone work;
• Rehabilitation specialists and physiotherapists;
• IT specialists and programmers;
• Teachers;
• Musicians;
• Lawyers;
• Journalists;
• Psychologists;
• Civil servants.

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Looking for a job

The Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) is the main legislation concerning this aspect in Italy.

Job offices register job seekers and provides counselling and outplacement. A specific scheme, known as “targeted employment”, is made available to disabled job seekers to help them find a job, further their skills and compete on the job market. An individual plan is first designed to assess the disabled person's skills, aspirations and profile. If the plan includes training, the regional government will mandate a company or a disability specific organisation to carry out the relevant training. The person also receives help with locating relevant job announcements.

Under Law no. 113 of 29 March 1985 and law no. 29 of 11 January 1994, specific registration lists for visually impaired people looking to work as switchboard operators and physiotherapists should have been established by job offices. However, the Italian Union of the Blind has noted that this measure is only partly implemented.

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Legal recognition of disabled worker status

The Law on the employment of disabled people (Law no. 68 of 12 March 1999: "Regulations on the right to employment for persons with disabilities”) regulates the disabled worker status in Italy. The disabled worker status is acquired by registering with the relevant office.

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Trade unions and workers with disabilities.

Italian trade unions offer assistance to disabled workers under the same conditions as any other trade union members. However, unions have developed specific measures to target employment and work-related issues for disabled persons.

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