On 18 November 2021, Law 162/2021 ("Amendments to the equal opportunity code”) was published in the Official Gazette. It will come into force on 3 December 2021.

The law widens the field of discrimination in employment to include an employer's treatment of an employee that because of sex, age, personal or family care needs, pregnancy and maternity or paternity (including adoption), results in at least one of the following:

  1. the employee being in a disadvantageous position compared to other employees;
  2. limitations on the employee's opportunities to participate in the company’s “life” and decisions; and / or
  3. limitations on the employee's access to career progression processes.

This treatment includes a change in company working conditions and working hours.

The law covers both employees and applicants.

Gender pay report

The law on gender pay reporting has been extended to both public and private companies that have between 51 and 100 employees, thus being applicable to about 31 thousand companies all over the Italian territory. Previously, the law was only applicable to companies with over 100 employees.

Employers with over 51 employees must produce a gender pay report every two years. This includes information on the number of male and female employees, the number of male and female employees hired over the period, differences in pay treatment, level of enrollment, and job titles, among other data.

Gender equality certification (“Pink Label”)

With effect from 1 January 2022, private companies can be granted a reduction in social security contributions if they acquire the newly issued gender equality certification called bollino rosa (“Pink Label”).

The implementation of the certificate aims to:

  • reduce the gender gap in relation to career opportunities in companies;
  • ensure equal pay for equal tasks; and
  • implement policies for the management of gender differences and maternity protection.

A ministerial decree (not yet published) will establish the minimum parameters for obtaining the certification, with reference to remuneration, career opportunities and work-life balance.

Board gender balance

The new law extends to companies controlled by public administrations, (and not listed on regulated markets), the duty to appoint directors on the based on a criteria that ensures a balance between genders. For the first six terms of office following application of the rule, the balance will be considered reached when each gender is represented by 40% of the board members.