The different forms of recruitment


If you want to make a consistent and compatible choice with your organizational objectives, as an employer, you must proceed with the analysis of the different contractual forms, their characteristics, their convenience and the level of adaptation to an increasingly dynamic and flexible labour market, balancing your interests with the needs of the person you would like to hire

Here are the main ones:

  1. Permanent contract
  2. Fixed-term contract
  3. Administration contract
  4. Intermittent employment contract
  5. Apprenticeship
  6. Part-time
  7. Internships
  8. Occasional performances

Let’s see what the contracts today can be used according to the needs of employers and workers.

1) Permanent contract

An open-ended employment contract is the common form of an employment relationship. The contract is called "for an indefinite period" as it has no duration. The contract between the parties is generally regulated by the CCNL (National Collective Labour Agreements), to which reference is also made for the test pact. By law it is not mandatory to enter into a contract of employment for an indefinite period in writing, but the test agreement must result from a written act, pursuant to art. 2096 cod. civ., the first paragraph, and failure to comply with that formal requirement renders the clause null and void, meaning that the recruitment must be considered as having taken place definitively from the initial date of the relationship. The contract may be terminated within the contractual probation period, specified in the contract of employment by both parties, without giving any reason. After the trial period, the withdrawal may take place within the notice periods provided by the collective bargaining.

An act of withdrawal is required to terminate an employment contract for an indefinite period.

In the event of termination by the worker, there is talk of resignation; the worker is free to withdraw from the contract without having to give any reasons but with the obligation, introduced by the Jobs Act, to do so by electronic means.

If it is the employer who withdraws from the contract, it is called dismissal and the same can happen (for the following reasons):

  • for just cause, in the case of serious actions committed by an employee which do not enable him to pursue his activity properly
  • for justified objective reasons, that is, for reasons relating to productive activity or the organisation of work and its proper functioning
  • for a justified subjective reason, or because the worker has failed to fulfil his contractual obligations, but with a lesser degree of seriousness than the just cause.

Except in cases of withdrawal for just cause, both for resignation and dismissal, those who decide to withdraw from the contract of employment are required to give notice to the other person. The duration of the notice is generally set by the reference CCNL. Failure to give notice shall give rise to the obligation to pay an allowance equal to the remuneration which would have been payable for the period of notice.

2) Fixed-term contract

It is an employment contract that has a beginning and an end. The law provides that the term of the contract must always be put in writing and that such contract must be delivered to the worker. If the expiry is not present, such contract is without effect. The term employment contract has been radically modified by D.L. 87/2018 (s.c. Decreto Dignità) regarding the maximum duration and the number of extensions of the determined times. Decree 87/2018 provided that, without prejudice to the possibility of conclusion between the parties, in the absence of specific causal factors, of the first fixed-term contract, of a duration not exceeding 12 months of work, any extension of the same, for a maximum of 4 extensions and a duration not exceeding 24 months, it will be possible only in the presence of one of the following reasons:

  1. Temporary and objective requirements, unrelated to ordinary activities;
  2. Replacement needs of other workers;
  3. Requirements for temporary, significant and non-programmable increases in ordinary business;

On the other hand, the right of precedence, the rules of which are contained in the Jobs Act (Article 24 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015), has not been modified. The worker who, with one or more fixed-term employment contracts, has worked for a period of more than six months in the same company and is entitled to priority in open-ended employment by the employer within the next 12 months. No minimum period of activity is required if the worker is engaged in seasonal activities. The right of priority must be exercised by the worker in writing.

3) Administration contract

The work administered, former temporary work, is a contract under which the company (user) may require manpower from authorized agencies (administrators) and registered in a special Register.

The administration of work involves therefore three subjects:

1) the worker

2) the user = the enterprise using the provider of employment (may be a private entity or a Public Administration, in this case may conclude are fixed-term contracts)

3) the supplier = work administration agencies.

linked by two different contractual forms:

  • the contract of administration between the user and the operator which is of a commercial nature and may be of a fixed or indefinite nature
  • the contract of employment between the employer and the worker, which may be of a fixed term or of an indefinite duration

Employment contracts are applicable to any production sector and may be either fixed-term or open-ended.

Contracts of administration shall be prohibited in the following cases:

  • to replace workers on strike;
  • in production units in which the collective redundancies of workers in the same occupation had been processed within the preceding six months, unless the contract is concluded to provide for the replacement of workers who are absent or whose initial duration does not exceed three months;
  • in production units where there is a suspension of work or a reduction in working hours, under the scheme of redundancy fund, involving workers engaged in the same tasks as those covered by the contract of employment administration;
  • by employers who have not carried out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of workers.

The contract of administration requires the written form, in the absence of which the contract is null and void, and workers are considered in all respects to be employed for an indefinite period by the person using them.

The payment of remuneration to the worker and the payment of social security and insurance contributions are at the expense of the administrator, with the subsequent reimbursement by the user.

The Dignity Decree has also made changes to contracts of administration:

1. established a new quantitative limit with reference to the fixed-term delivery contract:

  • the total number of workers engaged under fixed-term contracts or fixed-term contracts may not exceed 30 per cent of the number of permanent workers employed by the user at 1 January of the year of conclusion of the contract. In the event of the start of business during the year, the percentage limit shall be calculated on the basis of the number of permanent workers at the time of conclusion of the contract.
  • However, the different provisions of the collective agreements applied by the user and the limit of D.Lgs. 81/2015 regarding the total number of fixed-term contracts are not affected.

The limits do not apply to workers on the move, to unemployed persons who have been receiving non-agricultural unemployment or social security benefits for at least six months and to disadvantaged or highly disadvantaged workers (v. decree of the Minister of Labour 18 October 2017).

Infringements of the new percentage limit shall be subject to a fine of between € 250 and € 1,250.

1. Articles 19, subsections 1, 2 and 3, and 21, subsections 01, 1 and 3 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015, previously excluded, apply now regarding the fixing of the term, duration, extensions, renewals and causality of time contracts; in summary:

  • The maximum total duration for the worker in the same job is 24 months;
  • The maximum number of renewals is 4 and no more than 5;
  • Where the first contract between the parties has a duration of more than 12 months or where, as a result of any extension, it exceeds them and in all cases of renewal the reasons must be specified, which must be chosen between the following two reasons:
  • Where the first contract between the parties has a duration of more than 12 months or where, as a result of any extension, it exceeds them and in all cases of renewal the reasons must be specified, which must be chosen between the following two reasons:
    • temporary and objective requirements, unrelated to the ordinary activity (of the user), or the need to replace other workers;
    • needs related to temporary, significant and non-programmable increments of ordinary (user) activity.
  • the rules on Stop and Go (interruptions and re-employments for a fixed period) and the right of precedence do not apply.

4) Intermittent (or on-call) employment contract

It is an employment contract, which may be of limited or indefinite duration, with the particularity that the work is performed only when necessary to the employer. With the intermittent employment contract, the worker makes himself available to the employer for the performance of activities which have the characteristic of not being continuous and predeterminable. The entrepreneur in fact requires the work only when he needs that given activity to be carried out (the "call" to the worker). For this reason, intermittent work is also called "job on call".

The intermittent contract of employment may provide for an availability allowance for non-working periods, against which the worker undertakes to ensure his presence to the employer, should he be called. For this reason, the intermittent employment contract is divided into two types, with or without the obligation to pay an allowance, depending on whether the worker undertakes to answer the call.

The intermittent employment contract must be in writing and must contain the following elements:

  • the total duration, if fixed or indefinite;
  • where and how this type of employment relationship takes place;
  • the availability requested of the worker and the mode of call (notice);
  • financial treatment -regulatory and any availability allowance;

In addition, the reason shall be stated:

  • objective: discontinuous provision in particular periods;
  • subjective: if under the age of 24 or over the age of 55;
  • Intermittent employment contracts may be concluded;

The intermittent employment contract may be concluded when:

  • for the needs identified by collective agreements, including the performance of services in predetermined periods during the week, month or year;
  • in the case of persons under 24 years of age or over 55 years of age. In any case, call services must be completed by the 25th year.

If the first hypothesis is not implemented by collective bargaining, the hypotheses of recourse to this type of contract are identified by a special ministerial decree. As confirmed by the Ruling n.10/2016, it is still possible to refer to the discontinuous activities of the table attached to the R.D. n. 2657 of 1923, in relation to the possibility of using intermittent work services.

In the case of the conclusion of an intermittent contract of employment, the employer must not only make the mandatory communication within the day before that of the establishment of the relationship but also a communication, to the Territorial Directorate of Labour, which is competent by territory, before the start of work or of an integrated cycle of benefits of no more than 30 days.

The copy of the communication shall be authentic to document the fulfilment of the law, unless there is evidence of falsehood.

5) Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship contract is the main type of contract to facilitate the entry into employment of young people between the ages of 15 and 29, depending on the type of apprenticeship.

The distinguishing feature is that the employer is obliged to pay, as compensation for the presentation of work, not only remuneration, but also the training necessary to acquire professional skills or to retrain a professional.

The types currently in force for apprentices are 3:

  • Apprenticeship for vocational qualification and diploma;
  • Vocational apprenticeship or employment contracts;
  • Advanced training and research apprenticeship;

With a vocational apprenticeship, it is also possible to recruit workers on the move or recipients of unemployment treatment and, given the specific purpose of vocational retraining, in these cases there is no age limit.

Placement into the company through apprenticeship is supported by significant economic incentives for companies.

6) Part-time

The part-time employment contract consists of an employment relationship, whether fixed or indefinite, which differs according to the mode of employment. The part-time employment contract provides, in fact, a working time, indicated in the individual contract of employment, lower than the full-time one provided for by law and collective bargaining.

Working hours can be reduced in three different ways:

  • reduction in working hours in relation to normal daily working hours. In this case, the work is planned for the entire week, but with a reduced number of hours per day.
  • Work carried out on specific days of the week, month or year, maintaining the same daily working time as full-time work.
  • The work is carried out by combining the two modes listed above (daily reduction and performance in predetermined periods of the week, month or year).

A part-time worker shall be entitled to the same pay and regulatory treatment as a full-time worker. Of course, as far as salaries are concerned, the amount that will be paid on the payroll will be proportionate according to the hours worked.

The 2015 Jobs Act confirmed the flexibility and elasticity clauses, introduced by the 2012 Fornero Law, that allow to change working hours in a flexible and elastic way, to meet the needs of the employer and the employee. However, the "right to rethink" is provided, that is, the possibility of revoking consent to the affixing of such clauses if the worker is in certain conditions or is a student worker.

The transformation from full to part-time is always possible if requested by the worker and if there are special reasons (serious illness, assistance to disabled relatives or with serious diseases), parent-workers who request it as an alternative to the use of parental leave.

7) Training placements

The training period consists of a period of training useful for the acquisition of new skills to be used to enter or re-enter the labour market. It is in no way comparable to an employment relationship.

Curricular placements - promoted by universities or schools - are carried out within a formal education or training path, therefore regulated by these public bodies/institutions.

The broader scope of extracurricular training includes:

  • Training and orientation placements, carried out by subjects who have obtained a degree within and no later than 12 months (recently graduated or newly graduated), aimed at facilitating the professional choices and job search of young people in the transition from school to work;
  • Placement or reintegration into the labour market with a view to employment recovery for the unemployed and the unemployed;
  • Placements for guidance and training or for integration/reintegration in favour of disabled, disadvantaged persons and political asylum seekers or holders of international protection;
  • Internships aimed at carrying out professional practice and access to professions regulated by professional Orders and Professional Registers;
  • Transnational placements carried out under specific European programmes and summer placements;
  • Internships for non-EU persons promoted within the entry fees;

The guidelines for the implementation of extracurricular internships are established by the individual Regions, therefore it is necessary to consult the regional indications for the indications about:

  • minimum and maximum duration;
  • minimum amount of compensation;
  • no internship activation for low specialization or seasonal jobs;
  • activation and execution procedures;

8) Occasional performances (Presto)

With the abrogation of the vouchers, the occasional work has been standardized with two new instruments, the Family Booklet and PrestO, abbreviation of Occasional Services, reserved exclusively to the world of Companies.

When the Dignity Decree was converted into law, some significant changes were made to the existing legislation; the novelties contained in art. 2 bis of Decree 87/2018 concern in particular the use of PrestO in agriculture, in the tourism sector (hotels and accommodation facilities) and in local authorities.

a) Companies concerned:

Professionals and Small Enterprises employing up to 5 permanent employees. Companies with more than 5 workers, therefore, will not be able to use the occasional "PrestO" service contracts. The period to be taken as a reference for the calculation of the workforce with an open-ended employment relationship shall be the six-month period from the eighth month to the third month preceding the date of performance of the occasional employment.

It is also prohibited to use the contract for occasional services:

- by enterprises in the construction industry and related sectors, enterprises engaged in the excavation or processing of stone, companies in the mining, quarrying and peatland sector;

- in the context of the performance of works or service contracts;

- in agriculture, except in the case of work by:

1) old-age or invalidity pensioners;

2) young people under 25 if they are students;

3) unemployed persons within the meaning of Art.19 of Legislative Decree 14/09/2015 n, 150 (who have made, in electronic form, the unitary information system of labour policies referred to in Article 13, its immediate readiness to work and to participate in active labour policy measures agreed with the Employment Centre);

4) recipients of supplementary benefits, income from inclusion or other income support benefits;

However, the limit of no more than five employees remains, even for companies in the agricultural sector.

For hotels and accommodation establishments operating in the tourism sector, employing up to eight permanent workers, the occasional service contract may be used only for work activities carried out by workers of the following categories:

  • old-age or invalidity pensioners;
  • young people under 25 years of age, if they are regularly enrolled in a course of study at any school of any order or grade, or in a university course;
  • persons unemployed, pursuant to Article 19, Legislative Decree September 14, 2015, n. 150;
  • recipients of supplementary salary benefits, of inclusion income (REI or SIA, which is the inclusion support benefit currently in force and intended to be replaced by the REI), or of other income support benefits.

b) The workers concerned:

workers who have not worked and/or worked in the previous 6 months with the same company;

c) Compensation provided for:

for each hour worked, the expected net remuneration is € 9.00 with a cost to the Company of approximately € 12.50 gross;

d) Minimum compensation:

the amount of the daily fee may not be less than the minimum fixed for the remuneration of four working hours (equal to € 36,00 net) even if the actual duration of the work is less than four hours;

c) Limits of use:

- For each company:

with reference to all workers, each Company may pay a maximum of € 5,000 net for each calendar year (1 January-31 December);

- For each worker:

every worker, with reference to the totality of the Companies with which he works, will be able to receive compensation for a maximum of € 5,000 net for each calendar year (1 January-31 December);

- For both of them:

between the same company and worker, the amount of compensation shall not exceed €2,500.00 net,

- Hourly limit:

a benefit limitation of 280 hours over the same calendar year is provided for.

The provider shall be entitled to daily rest, weekly breaks and rest periods.

For the purposes of access to the services of the occasional service contract, both the user and the worker must, using the appropriate telematic platform prepared by the IINPS, register in advance at the following address: and choose to access the Contract for occasional services;

At least sixty minutes before the start of the work, the identification data of the benefit must be provided: identity of the worker, place of performance, time of beginning and end, type of job carried out, compensation agreed.

If the service is not rendered (for example because the service provider is not available), the user must proceed, no later than 12:00 AM on the third day following the day originally scheduled for the performance of the service and always through the electronic procedure, upon revocation of the declaration submitted.

In order to be able to use occasional work, the user must have paid an amount that is sufficient to finance both the payment of compensation to the provider (then the INPS will provide for the payment) and the insurance charges.

To this end, the employees are required to indicate the IBAN of the bank account. In case of failure to indicate the IBAN, the INPS provides for payment by bank transfer payable at the offices of the company Poste Italiane Spa.

For the Contract of Occasional Performances, the payments must be made, by means of F24 ELIDE and the causal CLOC.

For further information, please visit the thematic sites of the Region such as Sardegna Lavoro.

Updated on 23/11/2020