Work-Life Balance in Italy pre-, during and post-COVID-19

Olga Rymkevich


The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing immense pressure to bear on labour law and social security institutions in all countries of the world, while having a major impact on work-life balance. The total lockdown, also of schools and higher education, the unprecedented fall in the level of production, the reduced possibility of relying on other family members, friends and domestic workers, traditionally constituting the essential pillars of formal and informal caring, in addition to working from home with children doing their schooling online (in large part on the parents’ shoulders) have compelled families to face new and abrupt organizational changes. The aim of this article is to investigate the legislative measures such as parental leave (ordinary and emergency) adopted in Italy aimed at supporting families during the pandemic, with a view to assessing their effectiveness and the impact on the Italian labour market during and after the pandemic. For this purpose, the socio-economic and legal framework dealing with parental leave before the COVID-19 emergency will be outlined, followed an the analysis of the emergency measures to provide support for parents, concluding with some reflections on possible future developments.

ASJC: 3308, JEL: K31

Słowa kluczowe: urlop macierzyński, urlop ojcowski, urlop dla osób z niepełnosprawnościami, nadzywczajny urlop, obowiązki opieki, premia, równoważenie obowiązków zawodowych i osobistych, środki nadzwyczajne związane z COVID-19, prawodawstwo nadzwyczajne, maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, disability leave, extraordinary leave, care responsibilities, bonus, work-life balance, COVID-19 emergency measures, emergency legislation

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Legislative acts

Law No. 104, 5 February 1992, G.U. Serie Generale No. 39, 17 February 1992.

Law No. 92, 28 June 2012, G.U. Serie Generale No. 153, 3 July 2012.

Legislative Decree No. 80, 2015 G.U. Serie Generale No. 144, 24 June 2015.

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Legislative Decree No. 18, 17 March 2020 (Cura Italia) (G.U. Serie Generale No. 70, 17 March 2020) converted into law No. 27 , 24 April 2020, No. 110, 29 April 2020.

Legislative Decree No. 34, 19 May 2020 (Rilancio Decree) converted into law No. 77, 17 July 2020.

Legislative Decree No. 151, 26 March 2001, G.U. 26 April 2001, No. 96, S.O.