Working in Italy



Opportunities abound in Italy, as do the tightest working regulations in Europe.

Already world renowned for its motor vehicles, food, clothing and luxury goods, Italy is slowly but surely making its mark in the technology and media sectors; the Italian business community is thriving. 

Companies in tourism, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, distribution, wholesale, vehicle sales, minerals, food industries, wood furniture, and artisan enterprises make up the general employment trends in Italy.

The IT industry has also grown in the last few years. Communications and IT personnel with a degree in Engineering are highly coveted. Another skill in high demand is that of English teaching, especially in the major Northern Italian cities and in the hotel industry. There are also frequent vacancies for private school teachers. 

However, despite jobs aplenty, obtaining a visa and work permit proves to be an excruciating ordeal in Italy. In order to work, an official tax reference from the local tax office must be obtained.  

Italian financial regulations change on a regular basis, so one must consult carefully with his or her employer before taking up a position. General income tax is deducted at source for salaried workers, at a rate of 25.5 percent in 2009.

Once you're paying taxes, you are automatically integrated into Italy's system and covered by numerous protection laws. Italian salaries are directly under the control of the state and codified based on the employment category. 

Compared to the painstaking process of securing the appropriate visa and work permit in Italy, finding a job is easier, but it does not mean that you won't encounter any problems. 

"Italy is known for being not only difficult but also vague regarding residency permits, etc. The national healthcare system is quite good, however, compared to the US, which doesn't really have one."- Rick Zullo, Expat in Rome, Italy

Search engines are popular in Italy: Monster Italy, StepStone Italy, BancaLavoro, Assioma, JoBlitz, Cliccalavoro, TalentManager, Kangaroo, Assicuralavoro, Handimpresa, etc. Recruiters and headhunters such as Mercuri Urval, Italy Novaconsult, Sintex Selezione Personale and Gajo & Associati, to name just a few, can help speed up the course of joining Italy's workforce. 

Another thing to be grateful for are Italy’s worker benefits. The Italian benefit system puts great emphasis on protecting and assisting workers of the few multi-nationals, which operate in the country. The same benefits, to a lesser extent, are afforded to workers of medium-small sized employers in a country where employers are very much expected to contribute heavily to the social benefits system. Unemployment benefits in Italy, as of 2009, consist mainly of cash transfers based on contributions (indennità di disoccupazione), up to 40 percent of previous wages for up to seven months.

Sickness benefit, maternity benefit, family allowances and income support are just a few of the major benefits available to residents. The cost of the system is set to increase even further with Italy becoming the fastest aging population of the developed world.



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