When does the thirteenth salary arrive for public and private workers?

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The thirteenth month's salary, also called Christmas bonus, is an additional amount to the salary that is paid to employees, generally by December 25th.

Let's see in more detail what the legislation says and how this company benefit is regulated.

Regulations and payment times

In Italy, the payment date of the thirteenth is not univocally established, but is left to the discretion of the collective labor agreements.
Generally, it is paid within the first two weeks of December, but it is a custom and not a specific rule.

In any case, there are some restrictions by law, in particular those for public employees managed by national labor contract, while for private workers there is a general indication. Let's delve deeper into these aspects.

When are thirteenth wages paid for public employees?

For the public employees, the payment of the thirteenth is expected by 15th December.

There is no specific law which establishes the payment date of the thirteenth salary for public employees. The collective labor agreement of the public functions sector, stipulated on 13 July 2017, requires the thirteenth to be paid by December 15th.

This collective agreement it is applied to all public employees, including fixed-term, part-time and flexible working workers.

In the event of interruption of the employment relationship during the year, the thirteenth salary due is paid on the last NoiPA payslip. For workers in the school sector whose contract expired before December 1st, NoiPA proceeds with the payment of the thirteenth salary through a special disbursement.

When are thirteenths paid for private employees

For the workers of private sector generally the thirteenth must be paid by 20th December, but as already specified, this is a custom and not an obligation on the part of the employer who, however, is required to pay the same.

In case of non-payment of the thirteenth, the worker can contact the employer to request payment. If the employer does not pay, the worker can turn to the labor judge to obtain compensation for damages.

In particular, the worker can request from the labor judge:

  • The payment of the thirteenth;
  • Legal interest on the unpaid thirteenth;
  • Compensation for damages suffered due to non-payment of the thirteenth installment.

The labor judge, evaluating the circumstances of the case, can decide to condemn the employer to pay all or only some of the damages requested by the worker.

Furthermore, the worker can contact the Labor Inspectorate to report the non-payment of the thirteenth. If the Labor Inspectorate ascertains the violation, it can impose an administrative sanction on the employer.

Origins and history of the thirteenth

La thirteenth month's salary, also known as Christmas bonus, has its roots in the history of Italian work. Its introduction dates back to the 20s and 30s of the twentieth century, when some companies began to offer it as a end of year bonus to its employees. This practice was then consolidated in the post-war period, becoming a fundamental component of remuneration of workers in Italy.

Concept and purpose of the thirteenth

The thirteenth is a extra salary delivered before Christmas, designed to support workers in holiday expenses. It is seen as important economic help for employees, allowing them to face the financial needs typical of the Christmas period with greater tranquility.

What is the fourteenth and when is it paid

The fourteenth month's salary, also called "best month's salary", it is an additional amount to the salary which is paid to employees, generally by June 30th.

The fourteenth it is foreseen by some collective labor agreements, but is not mandatory by law.

Collective labor agreements that provide for the fourteenth salary generally establish the following rules:

  • The fourteenth is paid in addition to the ordinary salary for the month of June.
  • The amount of the fourteenth is equal to one or two months' salary.
  • The fourteenth is due to workers who have completed a minimum of months of service in the reference year.

In the event of interruption of the employment relationship during the year, the fourteenth salary due is paid in proportion to the period of service provided.

For example, if a worker has served for 6 months in the year and the collective agreement provides that the fourteenth is equal to one month's salary, the worker will receive the fourteenth equal to 6/12 of a month's salary.

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Written by Gennaro Marchesi
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