European Elections 2024: Management of Election Leave in Italy

Given the information highlighted below, it is important that we are informed of the days of participation at the polling station and any indication of compensatory rest. In the absence of this, additional portions of the salary will be provided.

Legal Provisions

Article 119 of Presidential Decree No. 361/1957 states that during all electoral consultations governed by the laws of the Republic or the Regions (including referendums), all employees called to perform electoral duties—including candidate and list representatives, party or political group representatives, and referendum promoters (who participate voluntarily)—are entitled to take leave from work for the duration necessary to perform these operations. This means that the employer cannot, under any circumstances, prevent their employee from fulfilling this duty.
Article 1 of Law No. 69/1992 further stipulates that workers performing functions at polling stations: "are entitled to payment of specific additional portions of salary, in addition to the regular monthly salary, or compensatory rest, for holidays or non-working days included in the electoral operations period."
If electoral operations cover only part of a day, the absence is legitimate for the entire workday, which must then be fully paid. The unit of measure is the “days of absence” from work, not an hourly parameter (see Cassation rulings No. 8400 of June 12, 2002, and No. 11830 of September 19, 2001).
The law does not specify how to choose between compensatory rest and additional payment. If the employee, in agreement with the employer, decides to take compensatory rest, it should be taken immediately after the completion of polling station duties.

Employee Obligations

Before the electoral operations, an employee appointed as a polling station president, secretary, scrutineer, or list/group representative must inform their employer of their participation at the polling stations so the employer can plan for their absence. This communication can be verbal or, although not legally required, in writing (either a call certificate or a specific written communication prepared by the employee).
After voting and the related counting, the employee must provide their employer with a certificate indicating the days (and hours) spent at the polling station. This certificate must be signed by the polling station president and bear the stamp of the electoral section where the employee served.

Economic Implications

For an employee working 40 hours a week over 6 days, and all employees covered by the Terziary CCNL (formerly commerce):

  • If an employee in the commerce sector works 6 days a week (Monday to Saturday) for 40 hours and rests on Sunday, they are entitled to an additional portion of pay (1/26 of the monthly salary) or compensatory rest for the Sunday spent at the polls.
  • If they perform electoral duties on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (if counting extends past midnight on Sunday), only Sunday is compensated (additional pay or compensatory rest), as Saturday and Monday are working days and paid regularly.

For an employee working 40 hours a week over 5 days (Monday to Friday) performing electoral duties on Saturday (if applicable), Sunday, and Monday:

  • They are entitled to compensation (additional pay or compensatory rest) only for Sunday, as Saturday is contractually a "zero-hour working day" (see Confcommercio notice No. 19 of March 28, 2006, prot. 732).

For an employee working 40 hours a week over 5 days (Monday to Friday) performing electoral duties on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday:

  • They are entitled to compensation (additional pay or compensatory rest) for Saturday and Sunday.


Tax Treatment

The normal salary paid by the employer during the period of participation at polling stations fully counts as employment income and is taxed according to ordinary methods, applying the rate in effect for the income bracket in the year of payment. This amount also contributes to the calculation of severance pay (TFR). The employer can deduct from their income an additional portion of salary equal to the expense incurred for the salary paid to the employee

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