More severe sanctions for illegal work: what changes with the May Day Decree


Emma Potter

The May Day Decree, approved on 30 April 2024, introduces a significant crackdown on undeclared work in the construction sector, extending the obligation to verify the adequacy of labor costs to all renovation works, regardless of their economic entity.

This measure aims to combat tax avoidance and improve transparency in construction transactions, with severe penalties for those who do not comply with the regulations.

But let's go in order and see what has changed.

Extension of sanctions to small jobs

As reported by The Messenger with the approval of the new decree, the Italian government has significantly lowered the threshold for the application of sanctions relating to failure to verify the adequacy of the cost of labor in renovation works.

Previously, fines were triggered only for contracts exceeding 500 thousand euros, but now the threshold has been reduced to just 70 thousand euros, a figure that represents the average cost of renovating an apartment. This change requires clients of all construction works, large or small, to ensure that the chosen construction company operates in full legality and transparency.

The legislation requires that the declaration of cost adequacy is signed and presented by the project manager, who is usually the architect or engineer responsible for the project. This step ensures professional control over the adequacy of expenditure relating to the labor employed.

However, if the client decides not to use a professional, he is required to personally prepare the certificate of congruity. In case of failure to present this document, the client exposes himself to sanctions that may reach up to 5 thousand eurosa measure introduced to encourage transparency and legality even in smaller private works.

Expansion of sanctions in the public sector

The reform of the decree also extends the application of sanctions to very small public contracts, eliminating any economic threshold which previously limited checks only to works worth more than 150 thousand euros.

Now, every public job, regardless of its value, will be subject to verification to ensure the correct declaration of the adequacy of labor costs.

For public administrators who fail to certify the adequacy, the sanctions take a peculiar form: the violation must be reported to the ANAC (National Anti-Corruption Authority), and will influence the variable part of the project manager's salary.

These measures aim to strengthen control and integrity in public works, underlining the importance of transparent management of public resources.

100 euro bonus starting from January 2025

The decree also introduced significant changes regarding bonus for low incomes. Initially scheduled with the thirteenth at Christmas 2024, the payment of the 100 euro bonus was postponed to January 2025 due to budget constraints.

Furthermore, the benefit was limited to families with a single working income and at least one dependent child, with a income total not exceeding 28 thousand euros.