State aid: Commission approves €878 million Italian scheme to incentivize integration of unemployed workers in labour market in context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €878 million Italian scheme to incentivize employers to integrate unemployed workers in the labour market in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme aims at reducing the labour costs borne by private employers in relation to newly recruited workers, which were previously unemployed. The aid will consist in an exemption from the payment of employers’ social security contribution, for a maximum period of 6 months, for new open-ended employment contracts signed between 1 July 2021 and 31 October 2021. Beneficiaries can receive aid up to €3,000 per hired worker. To be eligible, employers must not have dismissed employees in the 6 months preceding the recruitment. The Commission found that the scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €1.8 million per company and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 October 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.63721 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.