Here are the general guidelines for employers regarding parental leave during the pandemic for their employees with children affected by COVID-19, in quarantine, or distance learning.
Applications for Parental Leave
Article 2 of Legislative Decree 30/2021 provides for leave for parents with children affected by COVID-19, in quarantine, or impacted by the suspension of classroom-based teaching activities for the cohabiting children under the age of 14. The leave is for a period corresponding either in whole or in part to the duration of the COVID-19 infection, the child’s contact quarantine wherever it occurred, and the period of the suspension of classroom-based teaching or educational activities.
The leave can be taken by parents employed in the private sector only if agile work cannot be carried out and in alternation with the other parent cohabiting with the child.
For periods of abstention, an indemnity equal to 50% of salary is recognized, and national contributions cover the periods.
Parents of children aged between 14 and 16 have the right to abstain from work without salary, allowances, or notional contributions. This request from work should be submitted to the employer.
Applications for 2021 Parental Leave must be submitted through one of the following channels:
- The services section of the INPS web portal, using Maternity and Parental leave for employees, the self-employed, separate management if in possession of an INPS PIN code (or a SPID, CIE, or CNS account). Please note that from 1st October 2020, INPS will no longer issue new PINs.
- The Contact Centre, by calling 803 164 (free from a landline) or 06 164 164)
- CAF and patronage organizations.
Who can apply for 2021 Parental Leave?
The legislation is aimed at employees who are parents. Self-employed parents and parents registered in the INPS separate management scheme are therefore excluded from the measure.
The leave can be taken by only one of the parents, or by both but not on the same days, for periods of the child’s infection with COVID-19, for periods of contact quarantine wherever it occurred, or for periods of the suspension of classroom-based teaching and educational activities for a cohabiting child under 14 years of age.
The cohabitation requirement and the age limit of 14 do not apply in the case of care for children with certified severe disabilities enrolled in schools of all types with the suspension of classroom-based teaching or educational activities or day care centers ordered to close.
The leave may be taken only in cases in which the parents cannot carry out agile work.
Foster parents or co-worker employees may also take the leave.
Requirements for taking leave for children without severe disabilities
To take the leave, all of the following requirements must be met:
- The parent must have an existing employment relationship. Compensation does not apply to the days following a termination or suspension of employment and parents must promptly inform INPS of any changes to their employment relationship.
- The parent must not carry out agile work as the leave is applicable only when agile work is not possible.
- The child for whom the leave is taken must be under 14 years of age.
- The parent and the child for whom the leave is taken must be cohabiting throughout the period of use of the leave itself. Cohabitation is considered to exist when the child is a registered resident at the same address as the applicant’s parent. Therefore, if the parent and child are residents in two different homes according to registry office records, the leave cannot be taken. In the case of custody or the placement of the child, cohabitation is deduced from the provision of custody or placement of the employee requesting leave.
One of the following conditions must exist concerning the child for whom the leave is taken:
- A COVID-19 infection resulting from certification/attestation by the chosen GP or pediatrician, or the provision/communication of the territorially competent ASL Local Health Authority. All of the documents must indicate the child’s name and the duration of the prescriptions.
- The contact quarantine of the child arranged through provision/communication from the territorially competent ASL Local Health Authority.
- The suspension of classroom-based teaching activities arranged by the national, local, or individual school level.
Requirements for taking leave for children with severe disabilities
For children with certified severe disabilities, the leave can also be taken for children over 14 years of age. The applicant must, in this case, be able to demonstrate the requirements referred to in the first and second bullets of the previous paragraph in addition to the following condition: the child for whom the leave is taken must be recognized as having a certified severe disability according to Article 4, Paragraph 1, L. 104/1992, and enrolled in schools of all types or hosted at a day care center. Cohabitation with the child for whom the benefit is requested is not necessary.
It is possible to take leave for the care of a child with a serious disability in the case of the following conditions: closure of a day care center due to provisions adopted at a national, local, or individual facility level, covering the duration of the suspension.
Duration and leave notes
- 2021 Parental Leave may be used for periods of COVID-19 infection, contact quarantine, the suspension of classroom-based teaching activities as well as the closure of the day care centers from 13th March 2021 until 30th June 2021.
- The employee parent must apply for 2021 Parental Leave, replacing the previous application for parental leave or extension of parental leave, without the need to submit formal communication of cancellation of the application for parental leave or the extension of parental leave. In this case, employees receiving advance allowance payments from their employer must promptly notify the employer of the presentation to INPS of a new application for 2021 Parental Leave.
- When the legal requirements for the application of 2021 Parental Leave do not exist, the original application for parental leave or the extension of parental leave must be considered.
- When multiple certificates/attestations or measures/communications covering periods previously mentioned, a single indemnity is specified and paid for each overlapping day.
- It is possible to cancel applications for 2021 Parental Leave relating to those days of leave not yet taken.
- The parent is granted an allowance equal to 50% of salary for the days of leave taken.