Instruction INPS incentive “IO LAVORO”



We would like to remind you that the Anpal, with Decree 52/2020, has regulated for the year 2020 the Work Incentive (IO Lavoro) relating to the recruitment/transformation of unemployed personnel from 1 January to 31 December 2020, on the whole national territory, while with Decree 66/2020 it has decreed the cumulation of the incentive also with the exemption for the permanent hiring of young people up to 35 years of age.

With Circular no. 124/2020, INPS finally issued the indications and instructions for the management of the obligations connected to the facilitation, including the indications for filling in the UniEmens flow.



Interested parties


All private employers, including non-entrepreneurs, who hire or have hired, are eligible for the benefit in question:

– unemployed persons (unemployed persons who declare, in telematic form, to the unitary information system of labour policies, their immediate willingness to work and to participate in active labour policy measures agreed with the Employment Centre);

– workers with income from employment or self-employment to which a gross tax equal to or less than the deductions due according to Article 13, Tuir.

The unemployment requirement is sufficient for workers under 25 (24 years of age and 364 days), while over-age workers must also be without regular paid employment for at least 6 months (i.e. they have not worked in an employment relationship lasting at least 6 months or have not carried out self-employment or parasubordinate work with an income corresponding to a gross tax higher than the amount of the deductions due under article 13, Tuir). Moreover, excluding the hypothesis of a change in the relationship, the worker must not have had an employment relationship, of any duration, with the same employer that hires him with the incentive during the 6 months before hiring (in the case of employment, the assessment must be made by the user company).


Place of work


Regardless of the worker’s residence, the place of work for which the permanent recruitment/transformation is carried out must be located in the Regions:

– “less developed” (Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily);

– “more developed” (Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Autonomous Province of Trento, Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Lazio);

– “in transition” (Abruzzo, Molise and Sardinia).

In the event of a change in the place of work from one group of Regions to another, the incentive can continue to be used only if resources are available on the regional counter of destination, otherwise, the incentive is not granted from the month of pay following that of the transfer.

The incentive is granted within the limits of specifically allocated resources, distributed as follows:

– 234,000,000 Euros for the “less developed” Regions;

– 12,400,000 euros for the “more developed” Regions;

– 83,000,000 Euros for the “less developed” and “transition” Regions.

For the “less developed” Regions, therefore, 2 different allocations are foreseen and INPS will check the availability of resources on the specific counter and, residually, on the mixed one, destined to the “less developed” and “transition” Regions.


Incentive relationships


They can be encouraged, both in the case of full-time and part-time relationships:

– hiring and transformations for an indefinite period, also for administration purposes;

– professionalising apprenticeship relationships;

– subordinate employment relationships established in implementation of the association bond with a labour cooperative.

For the transformation into an open-ended contract, it is not required to meet the requirements of unemployment and the absence of employment relationships in the last 6 months with the same employer, while it remains necessary for the worker to be without regular paid employment for at least 6 months if he or she is at least 25 years old on the date of transformation.

The benefit is excluded for:

– hiring as a domestic or intermittent worker or with occasional work services according to article 54-bis, Law Decree 50/2017;

– 1st and 3rd level apprenticeship contracts.

In the case of hiring on an open-ended basis for temporary employment, the exemption is granted for both permanent and fixed-term employment, including any periods in which the worker is still waiting to be assigned.

For the same worker, the incentive can only be granted for one relationship.


Structure and extent of the incentive


The incentive is equal to the employer’s social security contribution for a maximum of 8,060 euros per year, repaired and applied monthly (for 12 months) from the date of recruitment/transformation. The maximum monthly exemption threshold is therefore equal to € 671.66 (€ 8,060.00/12) to be re-proportioned, for employment relationships established and terminated during the month, taking as a reference the measure of € 21.66 (€ 671.66/31) for each day of benefitting from the contribution exemption. For part-time relationships, the ceiling of the benefit must be proportionally reduced.

Please note that the following contributions are not subject to relief:

– premiums and contributions due to Inail;

– the contribution, where due, to the “Fund for the payment to employees in the private sector of severance indemnities according to Article 2120 of the Italian Civil Code”;

– the contribution, where due, to the Funds referred to in Articles 26, 27, 28 and 29 of LD 148/2015, as well as to the Inter-sector Territorial Solidarity Fund of the Autonomous Province of Trento and the Bilateral Solidarity Fund of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano-Alto Adige;

– the contribution, where due, to the Solidarity Fund for the air transport sector and the airport system;

– the contribution of 0.30% for the financing of inter-professional funds for continuing training;

– contributions not of a social security nature and those designed to bring elements of solidarity to the reference social security management (Inps circular no. 40/2018).

In cases of transformation/establishment of term relationships within 6 months of the relative expiry date, the additional contribution of 1.40% is refunded.

The benefit can be used, under penalty of forfeiture, by 28 February 2022 and the period of use can be suspended only for compulsory absence from work due to maternity, with a time deferment of the benefit period, but no later than 28 February 2022: it will not be possible to recover benefit shares in subsequent periods and the last month in which regularisations and recoveries can be made is that of January 2022.

For the professionalising apprenticeship, the benefit applies only during the training period and is not due for the period of maintenance at the end of the apprenticeship period:

– in cases where the apprenticeship lasts 12 months or more, the incentive is the same as for permanent contracts.

– If, on the other hand, the duration of the training period is shorter, the amount of the benefit due must be proportionally reduced.

The exemption, for apprenticeship relationships, concerns the reduced contribution due from employers in the first 12 months of the relationship; for the following years the ordinary rates apply.


Conditions of entitlement to the incentive


The right to benefit from the incentive is subject to the following conditions:

– regularity of social security contribution obligations, in accordance with Durc regulations;

– absence of violations of the fundamental rules for the protection of working conditions and compliance with other legal obligations;

– compliance with national agreements and collective bargaining agreements, as well as regional, territorial or company agreements, signed by the OO.SS. that are comparatively more representative on a national level;

– application of the general principles on employment incentives laid down, most recently, in article 31 of LD 150/2015.

It should also be remembered that the incentive does not apply if:

– hiring constitutes implementation of a pre-existing obligation;

– hiring infringes the right of precedence, even if, prior to the use of a worker by means of a staff leasing contract, the user has not previously offered the worker with a right of precedence for having previously been dismissed from an open-ended relationship or for having terminated a fixed-term relationship (in the absence or pending a willingness expressed in writing by the worker within the terms of the Law, the employer may legitimately recruit/transform other workers);

– the employer/employer is suspending from work related to a crisis or company reorganisation, except in cases where the recruitment/transformation/administration is for workers at a different level from that of the suspended workers or to be employed in production units other than those affected by the suspension;

– the hiring concerns workers dismissed, in the previous 6 months, by an employer who, at the date of the dismissal, had elements of relationship with the hiring employer, from the point of view of the substantial coincidence of the ownership structure or the existence of control or connection relations.

The late forwarding of compulsory telematic communications relating to the establishment and modification of an employment or employment relationship produces the loss of the incentive for the period between the start of the facilitated relationship and the date of the late communication.


Compatibility with State aid rules


The incentive can be legitimately enjoyed and the choice of one of the 2 applicable schemes excludes the operation of the other for each individual employment relationship:

– in compliance with the provisions for “de minimis” aid;

– or, beyond these limits, where hiring or conversion to an open-ended contract leads to a net increase in employment compared to the average number of workers employed in the previous 12 months.

In order to determine the employment increase for each individual hiring, which is only necessary in the case of benefits beyond the “de minimis” limit, the number of employees is calculated in AWU, comparing the average number of work units per year in the year preceding the hiring with that of the year following the hiring, considering the actual average workforce at the end of the 12-month period and not the “estimated” workforce at the time of hiring. If at the end of the following year there is an increase, the incentive already enjoyed is “consolidated”; otherwise, what has already been enjoyed must be returned through the regularisation procedures. The benefit is in any case applicable if the net increase in employment is not achieved due to voluntary resignation, disability, retirement due to age limits, voluntary reduction in working hours, dismissal for just cause.

The calculation of the average workforce must be carried out and maintained for each month, with regard to the notion of “single enterprise”, i.e. in relation to the entire organisation of the employer and not to the single production unit where the work is carried out. In the hypothesis of hiring for the purpose of provision, the evaluation must be carried out by the user enterprise.

If the increase ceases to apply, the benefit for the calendar month in question is lost; if the increase is reinstated for the following months, it can be used from the month of reinstatement until its original expiry date, but the lost benefit cannot be recovered.


Coordination with other incentives


The contribution exemption can be cumulated with:

– the incentive for the hiring of citizenship income recipients (in case the tax exemptions under the IO Labour incentive are exhausted, the residual benefit due for the hiring of a citizenship income recipient can be used in the form of a tax credit and INPS will issue special instructions on the subject);

– the exemption for the permanent hiring of young people up to 35 years of age under the 2018 Budget Law, up to a maximum of 8,060 euros on an annual basis;

– with other regional incentives of an economic nature provided for and implemented in favour of employers based in the territories of these Regions, within the maximum aid intensity limits provided for by European regulations on State aid.

The incentive may not be cumulated with other exemptions or reductions, including reductions for agricultural employers with staff in particularly disadvantaged (former mountain) territories or in disadvantaged areas.

In case of cumulation between contribution exemption under 35 and IO Labour incentive, the maximum annual exemption threshold for the latter incentive is 5,060 euros (total 8,060 euros for the IO Labour incentive, less the maximum recognisable amount of 3. 000 euros for the exemption under 35), with a maximum monthly amount of 421.66 euros (€ 5,060.00/12) and, for employment relationships established or terminated during the month, for a maximum of 13.60 euros (€ 421.66/31) for each day of contributory exemption.





In order to know with certainty the residual availability of the resources before any hiring or transformation for an

indefinite period, it is necessary to submit a preliminary application for admission to the Inps (“Access to services” > “Other types of users” > “Companies, consultants and professionals” > “Services for companies and consultants” > “Ex DiResCo benefits portal”), providing the following information:

– the worker in respect of whom the hiring or transformation of a previous term relationship could take place (or has already taken place);

– the Region and Province where the work is carried out;

– the amount of the average monthly salary, including thirteenth and fourteenth-monthly accruals;

– the amount of the employer’s contribution rate that may be subject to the relief;

– whether the relief is intended to be granted within the limits of the “de minimis” aid or beyond such limits;

– if for recruitment/processing it is also intended to benefit from the exemption under 35.

The Inps:

– calculates the amount to be paid, by dividing any amount already available to the under 35s that it has chosen to cumulate;

– verifies the financial coverage;

– consults the Anpal archives to verify the state of unemployment and, for the over 25, if at the date of hiring/processing or, if the hiring/processing has not yet been carried out, at the date of sending the request for which the incentive is requested, they are without regular paid employment because they have not worked for at least 6 months in the previous 6 months;

– consult the National Register of State Aid (RNA) to check whether the incentive can be granted (maximum three years’ mobile and any obligation to repay aid);

– informs, with notification at the bottom of the application, that the amount of the incentive for hiring the worker indicated in the application has been booked.

Booking applications initially not accepted due to lack of funds will be marked by the status of “not accepted provisionally” and, in the event that useful resources are freed up, they will be automatically accepted. Those initially not accepted for lack of DID will remain in the status of “not accepted temporarily”, without losing the priority acquired, waiting for updates in the Anpal database for automatic acceptance.

In all the cases in which the booking request sent is accepted, within 10 calendar days, it is necessary to communicate, under penalty of forfeiture, the hiring, asking for the confirmation of the booking made.

The utmost care must be taken in correctly filling in the Inps computer forms and the obligatory telematic communications (Unilav/Unisomm) because a confirmation request with data different from those indicated in the booking or with an inconsistent Unilav/Unisomm communication cannot be accepted.

After having obtained authorisation of the amount of the benefit, it should be remembered that, in the event of an increase, the benefit available cannot exceed the authorised ceiling, while in the event of a decrease, the incentive to be enjoyed must be reduced.

After the definitive allocation of resources, the amount due can be used in 12 monthly instalments (without prejudice to the duration of the employment relationship and except for apprenticeships with a training period of less than 12 months), by means of an adjustment in the contribution claims, taking care not to attribute the benefit to contributions not subject to exemption.


For workers of at least 25 years of age who must not have carried out, in the 6 months preceding the date of the facilitated event, self-employment or parasubordinate work from which income corresponding to a gross tax higher than the amount of the deductions due pursuant to Article 13, Tuir, it is the company’s responsibility to ascertain in advance that the worker complies with the above requirement, since, if subsequent assessments reveal that the same has not been complied with, the benefit already granted may be revoked and the amount already paid may be recovered. The authorisation to use the incentive will be made on the basis of the chronological order in which the applications are submitted, but applications received in the 10 days following 26 October 2020 will be subject to a single deferred cumulative processing and, for recruitment/processing carried out between 1 January and 25 October 2020, the chronological order of recruitment will be followed. Otherwise, recruitments/processing carried out from 26 October 2020 will be processed according to the general criterion of the chronological order in which the application was submitted.

For applications sent after the cumulative processing, the general criterion of the chronological order in which the application was submitted will apply, regardless of the date of hiring.


At the same time as the deferred cumulative processing, the function of forwarding the confirmation request for final admission to the benefit will be made available.





The study remains available for any further clarifications, inviting anyone who believes that they fall within the scope of application of the above mentioned regulation to contact us in order to verify the conditions of application and organize the work.



Arianna De Carlo

Head of Payroll Department

LDP provides Tax, Law and payroll  scalable and customised services and solutions. LDP Professional have also matured a significant expertise in  M&A, Corporate Finance, Transfer Price, Global Mobility Consultancy and Process Automation. 

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