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Let's continue our exploration into the Italian social security system.
Today we talk about maternity and paternity leave allowance.
What is and when we can request it?
Maternity leave (congedo di maternità): for pregnancy and post-natal recovery, a period of obligatory absence from work is prescribed for employed working mothers. There is no link between the benefit and any mandatory lack from work for independent workers or self-employed professionals.
Paternity leave (congedo di paternità): seven-day compulsory paid leave that can be taken separately and can be claimed within five months of the child's birth, granted simultaneously as the maternity paid leave. In severe conditions that prevent the mother from taking care of the baby, the right to absence from work and the relative allowance is granted to the father. Five months after the child's birth, the father can be entitled to one more day of unpaid leave (which can be paid if the mother agrees to transfer it from her maternity leave).
A voucher for future mothers (Bonus mamma domani) is granted to pregnant women upon completion of the 7th month of pregnancy or at delivery and also granted in case of adoption or pre-adoptive foster parenting.
Optional supplementary parental leave (congedo parentale facoltativo): until the child reaches the age of 8 or within 8 years of the youngest adopted child or child over whom guardianship is assumed upon entering the family, parents can also opt to take parental leave.
You are also entitled to these benefits if you adopt or assume guardianship over children.
IN WHAT CASES CAN YOU CLAIM IT?
You are entitled to Maternity leave for the period of obligatory absence from work if you are an employed worker.
If you belong to the categories of independent workers, freelancers, workers with a fixed-term contract signed up to a separate INPS scheme, you are not obliged to take a leave of absence from work.
You are entitled to Paternity leave if you are a working father. You can take seven days of leave during the mother's obligatory leave plus one day of optional unpaid leave. In addition, you are entitled to the period of maternity leave if the mother is unable to take care of the child in the following cases: death or severe illness, abandonment, sole custody of the child with the father.
If you have completed your 7th-month pregnancy or are in the process of adopting a child, you can be entitled to the Voucher for future mothers.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO YOU NEED TO MEET?
In general, for the maternity allowance, no minimum contribution is required, except if you are an agricultural, domestic or independent worker, signed up to a separate INPS scheme and a freelancer.
During maternity leave, you must cease all working activities. This obligation is not provided for if you belong to the categories of independent workers, freelancers or workers with a fixed-term contract signed up to a separate INPS scheme.
Absence from work is also required for paternity allowance.
Regarding the Voucher for future mothers, you can claim this after completing your 7th month of pregnancy or being in the process of adopting or fostering a child, and within a year from the event (birth, adoption, fostering).
Regarding parental leave, you can claim this whether you are the mother or the father until your child reaches the age of 12 or until the twelfth year since the adopted child or child over whom you have guardianship enters the family.
WHAT ARE ENTITLED TO?
Cash maternity allowance is equal to 80% of pay. It's payable for five months (2 before and three after the date of birth or one month early and 4 after). In case of adoption or guardianship, the 5 months start when the adopted child or child over whom control is assumed enters the family.
Paternity leave: the worker receives a full salary for seven days.
Voucher for future mothers: a one-off lump sum of EUR 800.
Cash paternity allowance the worker receives a full salary for seven days within five months after the birth.
Concerning amounts and forms to fill you can find more details on the INPS Website or Patronato and Caf.
For more details you can read the below link to European Commission publications on social security coordination: ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1116
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.