Labor rights and social assistance in Italy


If you are in Italy legally, then you have certain rights. Every foreigner should know them to be able to use.

A foreign national may register as unemployed if his / her legal status permits (except for seasonal workers). In this case, he has the right to receive assistance to the unemployed (albeit in a limited amount).

The law provides for the same rights for migrant workers to provide housing, in particular, the right to public housing. In practice, foreign nationals are often discriminated against.

Labor migrants have equal rights with citizens of Italy and EU countries to use medical care.

Labor rights violations and exploitation

In Italy, as in other major Mediterranean countries like Spain, Greece, Portugal, a large number of migrants working in seasonal jobs. As in other countries, there are many cases of violations of labor rights or exploitation of migrants.

There is also a significant proportion of female migrants in the household. As a rule, they live in the employer’s house, which provides employees with everything necessary for living and legal stay in Italy. Unfortunately, women find themselves in a situation where they have to rely on the employer to solve all important issues. Clearly, this makes women too dependent and vulnerable to threats or pressure. As a result, women often accept long-term work or work that is not their responsibility. In addition, they cannot fight back the violation of their rights or violence, knowing that the conflict with the employer entails the loss of wages, housing, and opportunities to stay in Italy. Thus, cases of violence or dishonesty are more common than is believed.

Women who want to work in Italy as domestic workers need to gather as much information as possible about their rights. Victims of trafficking/witnesses can obtain a short-term residence permit in Italy before the trial is completed. In this case, the decision is taken by the Prosecutor, who gives the relevant orders to the internal Affairs bodies.

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