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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IT-2020-23/997 – measures in Italy

Regularisation of irregular employment

Emersione di rapporti di lavoro irregolari

Country Italy , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 June 2020 – 15 July 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Lisa Dorigatti (University of Milan) and Eurofound
Measure added 14 July 2020 (updated 17 July 2020)

Background information

In order to ensure adequate levels of health protection for both native and migrant workers, the Law Decree No. 34 of 19 May 2020 (art. 103) introduced an exceptional instrument to ensure the regularisation of irregular employment relationships. The Decree Law also entitles foreigners with an expired residence permit to apply for a six-month residence permit.

Content of measure

Article 103 of Law Decree No. 34 of 19 May 2020 defines the procedures for the regularisation of irregular employment relationships and the issuing of temporary residence permits for foreign citizens.

According to the Law Decree, employers have the possibility to sign a new subordinate employment relationship or to declare one illegally established with Italian or foreign citizens present on the national territory before 8 March 2020. Moreover, foreign citizens with a residence permit expired on 31 October 2019 can apply for a six-month residence permit.

The measure is limited to specific economic sectors: agriculture, fishing and livestock, domestic and personnel care work.

Demands can be presented between 1 June and 15 July 2020.

Use of measure

As of the 9 July 2020, the number of presented requests is 93,371 (much lower than the 300,000 demands expected by the Government). Around 90% of the requests refer to domestic workers.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Undeclared workers
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Social partners were not involved in designing, implementing, and monitoring the measure.

Views and reactions

Trade unions, together with several NGOs, strongly pushed for the regularisation of foreign citizens present on the Italian territory. Criticisms were expressed for the fact that the measure introduced was limited only to specific economic sectors and had relatively strict requirements.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      A - Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing A1 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities
      A3 Fishing and aquaculture
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
      T - Activities Of Households As Employers; Undifferentiated Goods- And Services-Producing Activities Of Households For Own Use T97 Activities of households as employers of domestic personnel

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Regularisation of irregular employment, measure IT-2020-23/997 (measures in Italy), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.