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Last update03:58:23 PM GMT

Regularisation of illegal domestic workers

Ministry of Home Affairs: Employer can’t give up the application

8th December 2009: Employers who submitted applications to regularise their illegal non-EU domestic workers cannot at this stage give up the application.

They must complete the process of regularising their workers as they clearly manifested by paying the 500 Euro fee and submitting the application for regularisation.

All employers will have to turn up at the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture (sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione) when summoned to undersign the residency contract (contratto di Soggiorno) and then notify the National Social Security Institute (Istituto nazionale per la previdenza sociale, INPS) of the hiring of the worker.
Only after completing the regularisation process and fully formalising the hiring of the worker can the work relationship be terminated either through the firing of the worker or through the worker’s resignation, in accordance with the National Collective Agreement for domestic work.

These are the indications given by a circular letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 29th October 2009.
Meanwhile, those who submitted the application for regularisation will have to report to the competent Immigrations Office at the Prefecture together with the foreign worker to undersign the residency contract and formalise the hiring by notifying INPS within 24 hours of undersigning the work contract. The notification of hiring can also be done at the same time of undersigning the residency contract if an officer from INPS is available at the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture or in case the residency contract is undersigned at the INPS' office.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also clarified that the work relationship can be terminated before the employer is summoned to the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture only due to circumstances beyond control such as employer’s death, or the death of the assisted person.

In such cases, the dead employer or the assisted person can be replaced by a family member who can modify the type of contract for instance, from housekeeper (colf) to caregiver (badante), if the new employer meets the requirements.

In case there is no family member willing or ready to replace the dead employer, the worker will have a right to be issued the Permit of Stay valid for six months, to look for a new job.

What happens if the employer gives up?
If the employer gives up the application before being summoned to the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture, the application will be archived. The employer will in any case be summoned to the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture to formalise the archiving of the application.

This will automatically lead to resumption of the previously suspended criminal, civil and administrative sanctions foreseen by the law for undeclared work, and for hiring an illegal immigrant.
The same sanctions will be applied to the employers who will not turn up when summoned to the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture.

Giving up the application for regularisation while still being processed will lead to serious criminal, civil and administrative sanctions both to the employer and worker.

The employer will be charged for violating the rules governing entry and stay of foreign citizens in Italy and for violating the labour laws by using undeclared work.

According to Italian law, anyone found hiring an illegal immigrant risks a prison sentence ranging from six months to three years, with a fine of 5,000 Euros for each illegal worker hired.

There also administrative sanctions for tax evasion, for failure to pay social security contributions, etc.
The foreign worker risks expulsion and being charged for committing the offence of illegal immigration.

By Rosanna Caggiano


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