CHAPTER 7

Target Country—Italy— Family Leave Benefits

Mandatory Leave

In Italy, parental leave is regulated mainly by the law (currently laws 1204 of 1971 and 903 of 1977). According to a law adopted in 1971 and amended many times since, pregnant women here are obligated to take off the last two months of pregnancy and the first three months following the birth—for a total of five months during which they receive full salary, 80 percent of it paid by the state. Having babies is a serious business everywhere. But, in Italy, working women are given the time to treat it almost like a job. Long paid leaves combined with free medical care are considered part of an Italian mother’s birthright—one element of the safety net that middle-class taxpayers ...

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