New sanctions for irregular hiring: what changes with the PNRR 4 decree


Emma Potter

The recent tightening of sanctions for companies and employers who use irregular hiring practices marks a turning point in the fight against illegal work in Italy.

With the introduction of the fourth implementing decree of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR 4), which came into force on 2 March 2024, the government is working to strengthen measures against the illegal employment of workers.

This new legislation, which provides for increased financial penalties for those who violate the rules on the establishment of employment relationships, reflects the country's commitment to guaranteeing a fair and transparent labor market, in line with the sustainability and social inclusion objectives of the PNRR .

The increase in sanctions according to PNRR 4

The PNRR 4 decree establishes a significant tightening of penalties for employers who do not comply with the regulations on the hiring of workers. Until March 1, 2024, the law provided for sanctions that varied based on the duration of the worker's irregular employment, with fines that could reach 43,200 euros for employment exceeding 60 days.

However, with the entry into force of the new provisions, the sanctions have seen a notable increase, reaching up to 46,800 euros for the most serious cases. This increase in financial penalties aims to strongly discourage the use of illegal labor, ensuring that all workers enjoy the rights and protections provided by law.

To make the impact of the new regulations introduced by the PNRR 4 decree clearer, here are some practical examples of how sanctions apply in the event of irregular hiring:

  • For use up to 30 days: if a company is discovered to have hired a worker without a regular contract for a period of 20 days, the administrative fine can vary from 1,950 to 11,700 euros. In case of repeat offenses, the fine can rise from 2,400 to 14,400 euros.
  • For use from 31 to 60 days: in the event that a worker has been employed irregularly for a period between 31 and 60 days, the fine for the employer varies between 3,900 and 23,400 euros. Recidivism causes the fine to vary between 4,800 and 28,800 euros.
  • For uses over 60 days: for irregular workers employed for more than 60 days, the fine reaches its maximum, oscillating between 7,800 and 46,800 euros, with a further aggravating circumstance in the event of a repeat offense, which can lead to the fine varying between 9,600 and 57,600 euros.

The changes introduced also concern an increase in the additional sanction in the event that the irregularly employed worker is a foreigner, a minor, and/or receives an inclusion allowance, underlining the importance of protecting the most vulnerable categories in the labor market.

These examples demonstrate the tough approach taken by the government to discourage irregular hiring, while promoting transparent and regular hiring practices. The aim is to ensure that all workers are protected and that employers follow legally established procedures, helping to create a fairer and more sustainable labor market.

The consequences for recidivism and the strengthening of measures

One of the most significant innovations introduced by the PNRR 4 decree is the maintenance and intensification of sanctions in case of repeat offenses. The previous law already provided for a doubling of fines for repeat employers, i.e. those who had already been sanctioned for similar violations within three years.

The new decree not only confirms this provision, but also introduces a further aggravating circumstance for repeated crimeswith a increase in sanctions up to 30% compared to the basic values. Furthermore, the decree specifies the conditions in which recidivism does not apply, as in the case of the payment of fines at a reduced rate, highlighting an approach that aims to balance the severity of the penalties with the possibility of regularization for employers who comply to the regulations.

This strategy reflects the authorities' commitment to firmly combating illegal work, while promoting the culture of legality and transparency in the employment sector.