Working 7 Days a Week | What Does The Law Say In Italy?

We come from a difficult period, first of all the Covid 19 pandemic that has brought millions of people to their knees: restrictions, lockdowns and closures Covid Italy have undoubtedly contributed to the decrease or loss of work for many, who barely doing a 7-day job out of 7 manage to live with dignity in a country where the high cost of living is the order of the day. At this point, have you ever wondered if it is legal to working 7 days a week? So let’s analyze the situation more specifically.

Just when this nefarious period of Covid restrictions seems to end and now that we begin to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel, there comes a further moment of crisis due to the conflict in Ukraine, which has seen the increase of all raw materials, services and bills, a further economic blow to Italian families, already returning from a black period. Having said this, there is no doubt that having a secure job, possibly indefinitely, is today as vital as ever.

Fortunately, with the arrival of summer, coinciding with the easing of Covid restrictions, there are many professionals who, especially in the hotel and restaurant sector, are highly sought after. Optimal! Well, not quite apparently or at least not in all cases. So, this question arises: what does the 7-day labor law say?

7-day work shifts without rest

We are in an era in which workers’ rights are often trampled on, so it is better to bring the truth to light: can you work 7 days a week? First of all, let’s go to assess the issue from a legal point of view, just to clarify it.

In Italy, the law differentiates normal working hours from overtime and, specifically, sets the normal weekly working time at 40 hours a week, with some exceptions, such as:

  • Journalists
  • The polygraphic staff involved in the composition, printing and shipping of newspapers and weeklies
  • Employees assigned to radio and television information services
  • Workers of concessionary companies, service companies in the post office, motorways, port and airport services, public transport, telecommunications sectors, as well as in other sectors of primary importance.
  • In its entirety, the legislation of our labor system provides that the calculation of working hours can never exceed 48 hours per week in total, including overtime hours. We specify that the normal working hours are calculated weekly and not daily.

What does the Labor Law say 7 days a week?

Let’s now try to answer precisely the question we asked ourselves earlier, so is it possible to work 7 days a week and legal? Let’s find out together how the laws are pronounced in this regard.

Well, according to the Italian labor system, working 7 days a week is legal, and the question itself is incredible! At the end of this period, however, there is a compulsory weekly rest period.

Weekly rest at work is a worker’s right contained in Article 36 of the Italian Constitution and inalienable. So, yes, it is possible to work shifts over 7 days or work for 7 consecutive days, provided that at the end of these there is at least one day off work and it is important to note that no worker can be prevented from enjoying them, with sanctions and severe consequences for those who do not respect these very specific dictates.

How many consecutive days can you work?

In summary, every 7 days the worker has the right to at least 24 hours of rest starting from midnight and ending at midnight the following day. Consequently, as clearly stated, working 10 consecutive days is illegal.

As regards the maximum daily hours of work that, in theory, can be carried out, even here the Law clearly comes to our aid, in fact, those who are wondering if it is normal to work 12 hours a day, the Law establishes that the individual a working day cannot exceed 13 hours and, between the end of one work performance and the next, at least 11 hours must elapse (consecutive in the following 24 hours). All clear? No exploitation of labor for a few euros an hour.

Types of employment contracts. Which ones are they?

In addition to the types of employment contracts that provide for a weekly commitment, so-called full-time, there are also alternatives that consist of fewer hours per day, fewer days of work or, for example, work every other week (one week of work and a rest).

These types of employment contracts are divided into three distinct categories:

Horizontal part-time work, the number of hours of work expected is compared to the daily hours. Horizontal part-time contracts are those in which the worker goes to the workplace every day, usually for 4 or 5 hours
Vertical part-time work, in this case the worker works full time, but only a few days of the week
Mixed part-time work, typology that combines horizontal and vertical part-time work. The employee may be required to work a few days with full-time hours and others with part-time hours, the latter is widespread in certain sectors and is gaining momentum lately. It is very likely that thanks to these methods of administration contracts, a worker has more part-time work contracts: it is possible to the extent that he is able to carry out the professions, based on how many hours of part-time work 7 days a week are given to him. requests.

Part time work and extra work

In addition to workers employed on part-time contracts, there is another type of contract: additional work.

The aforementioned additional part-time occurs when a part-time worker with a contract of 25 hours per week, carries out 5 additional hours.

As regards part-time overtime hours, vertical or mixed part-time contracts may also be affected.

Except for specific exceptions, the additional part-time work cannot exceed 25% of the hours foreseen by the individual contract, and the salary must exceed the ordinary minimum of 15%.

Low wages and exploited workers in Italy

So far we have analyzed the world of work from a legal point of view, but what is the working situation really like in Italy? According to the many direct testimonies of the workers themselves, the situation is not the rosiest.

As we have already anticipated in the initial part of this article, with summer just around the corner, therefore with the start of the tourist season, the demand for various types of labor increases, to be used especially in tourist resorts (bathing establishments, hotels, restaurants) from the Alps to Sicily.

Having said this, there does not seem to be any kind of problem, but apparently the reality is quite different:

  • Starvation wages
  • There is also talk of job offers with wages from € 30-35 per day
  • Grueling work shifts, sometimes of 12 or 13 hours, without a day off
  • All in black, because hiring would cost too much, with the total lack of any type of insurance and therefore health coverage

With this type of job offer, quite rightly, many refuse or quit after a few days, evidently when they find out what they are getting into. With a consequent series of complaints from entrepreneurs in the sector, who, remaining without staff, blame the citizenship income, the aftermath of the pandemic period and the usual lack of will to work on the part of young people.

The reality, as you will have understood, is another. We hope that soon wages in Italy and 7 days a week work shifts will be favorable for both and not, in many cases, only for those who hire. Stop working shifts over 7 days with starvation wages, stop the exploitation of workers in Italy.

Financial Empires, The Editorial Staff



FINANCIAL EMPIRES is a web site magazine founded by Corrado Firera in 2021. The mag is focused on business, money and Investments topics. Our first purpose is to give you information and news. Please be sure to read our disclaimer policy.

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