13th month salary in Italy: what is it, when do you get it, and how is it calculated?
When is the tredicesima ‘13th month salary' paid and who can receive it? Everything you need to know.
6 min read
In Italy, 13th month salary is a right for many employees. It’s one of the main benefits provided by numerous companies in the form of an additional month’s pay at the end of the year. More than 30 million Italians receive this bonus every year.
But many workers don’t know how it’s calculated and when it’s paid, and more importantly, they’re not sure if they’re entitled to this bonus, even if they’ve already signed their employment contract.
In this straightforward guide, we’ll see how the "tredicesima" is calculated and who’s entitled to it.
What is the "tredicesima" year-end bonus, and when is it paid?
The tredicesima is an additional (or “13th”) month’s pay usually paid to workers around the Christmas holidays. The amount of the bonus is determined based on the employee’s working days, which are accrued as deferred remuneration.
In principle, the company or organization pays the bonus in a lump sum, adding it to the payslip for the month at the end of the year. However, some CCNLs (Contratti Collettivi Nazionali del Lavoro, National Collective Labour Agreements) specify that the amount be paid in installments in the same month that it’s accrued.
In some cases, the tredicesima is paid on a separate payslip, i.e. as an additional month’s wage that’s paid separately without calculating deductions.
How much is the tredicesima and who is eligible?
As mentioned above, the tredicesima bonus is accrued during the year and is granted to all categories of employees. ‘Employees’ here refers to both public and private workers, with fixed-term, open-ended, part-time, or full-time contracts.
The tredicesima bonus is also mandatory in the case of retirees and employees on maternity leave. The only time that the bonus is not paid is in the case of interns, independent professionals, self-employed and external staff or project workers.
A simple but effective calculation can be done to determine the amount of the tredicesima bonus for those eligible.
How to calculate the 13th month salary in Italy?
Now that we know when the 13th month salary is paid, it’s worth doing a few numbers to get an idea of how much you might receive in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.
Let’s start with a basic formula:
Tredicesima = Gross monthly salary x Number of months worked ÷ 12
With this simple equation, we can start doing some calculations.
Let’s say that Marco earns an average gross salary of €1,500. To calculate the average salary, we added up all gross amounts on his payslips and divided by the number of months worked.
Now, let’s imagine that when his year-end bonus arrives, Marco has accrued 6 months’ work in the company, earning an average gross monthly salary of €1,500. Using the formula above, our calculation would be:
Marco’s bonus = 1500 x 6 ÷ 12 = €750.
Based on this calculation, Marco will receive an additional €750 in his pay packet. Remember, though, that this bonus is subject to social security and tax deductions, with no tax allowances for employment or dependent family members, so it will be taxed more heavily.
Tredicesima: retirement and maternity leave
As we said earlier, the tredicesima bonus must also be paid in December to those who have retired and stopped working.
How is the tredicesima calculated during retirement? In exactly the same way as it’s calculated for an employee, i.e. by dividing the amount of the pension by 12 and multiplying it by the months that the pension was received.
So those who’ve received it for the entire year will receive a double pension payment in December, while those who’ve received a pension for fewer than 12 months can do the calculation shown above.
With maternity pay however, calculating the bonus is a little different. The simplest scenario is where the company supplements the maternity pay at 100%: in this case, days of absence are calculated as working days.
However, for CCNLs that don’t supplement maternity pay in full, the situation is a bit more complex.
Calculating the tredicesima bonus for CCNLs that don’t supplement maternity pay
Calculating the tredicesima bonus in the case of contracts that don’t fully supplement maternity pay involves two key steps.
First, you need to determine the amount that the company will withhold from the employee, since the INPS benefit is not subject to contributions. The formula for calculating the amount is:
Amount withheld = INPS tredicesima x 100 ÷ 100-contributions
Assuming that the total tredicesima bonus is €1,500 gross, the tredicesima paid by INPS during the employee’s absence is €160, and the employee’s contributions are 10%, the calculation is as follows:
Amount withheld = 160 x 100 ÷ 100 - 10 = €177.77
Now, let’s subtract this amount from our €1,500 gross from the total tredicesima bonus, which gives us: 1,500 - 177.77 = €1,322.23
Naturally, some cases may vary depending on the company’s specific CCNL. Note that periods of compulsory leave and early maternity, as in the case of pregnancy, are considered equal.
These are different from optional maternity or ‘parental leave’. In this case, the days of leave will build up seniority, but not accrue any holiday or bonus pay for the tredicesima.
Calculating horizontal and vertical part-time tredicesima bonuses
When you receive your end-of-year bonus, you might notice some small discrepancies from your earlier calculations. This may be because your contract changed during the calendar year, i.e. from a full-time to a part-time contract.
Sometimes, workers request this change for personal reasons. In these situations, the calculation of the tredicesima bonus is done a little differently, but still in line with the full-time CCNL.
Let’s imagine that the company has a full-time CCNL of 40 hours per week, and that your contract has become 50% part time (i.e. 20 hours/week). If you’ve worked a full year, like your salary your bonus will be more or less half of what you previously received.
On the other hand, if you’ve only been working for a few months, the calculation is done on an individual basis for each type of contract you’ve had. Let’s suppose that, on a full-time contract of 160 hours per month, Marco worked 5 months at 100%, 5 months at 50%, and 2 months on a 30% part-time contract, with a “full” tredicesima bonus pay of €1,500.
In this case, even if Marco receives a salary of €450 in December, he’ll still receive a tredicesima bonus of more than €1,000, given that he worked 100% and 50% on a 160-hour full-time contract for several months of the year.
To find out how much 13th month salary will be for a vertical part-time employee, we have to calculate the number of working days to see how many installments have been accrued. In this case (working at least 15 days per month), the accrued installment is calculated in full. Otherwise, the employee will not accrue the monthly amount.
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