Co-funded by the European Union

Italy and Spain: Unemployment benefits may coexist with a fixed-term job in agriculture

  • Restrictions to the movement of seasonal workers and the situation of unemployed workers pushed governments to ease the hiring of workers in agriculture, even if already receiving unemployment benefits. 

OECD Employment Outlook 2020 on workers’ security and Covid-19 crisis contained multiple examples of the economic and labour measures undertaken by OECD countries in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

For instance,  while in most OECD countries workers who receive unemployment benefits, or are under a short-time work scheme cannot receive other types of income, some countries have introduced a different regulation since “this may be a source of concern when a large share of the population is not working, and some sectors face labour shortages”. 

In Italy, workers receiving unemployment benefits (Nuova Assicurazione Sociale per l'Impiego – NASPI and L’indennità di disoccupazione mensile – DIS-COLL) shall inform the social security system of any change in status. However, in order to promote work in agricultural sector, and as an exception to the obligation of information mentioned above, workers receiving NASPI and DIS-COLL can conclude short-term contracts in agricultural sector for no longer than 30 days (renewable for further 30 days) under the limits of 2000EUR per year.  

In Spain, the Government approved temporary urgent measures  for employment in the agricultural sectorby Royal Decree-Law N. 13/2020, which was adopted on 7 April 2020 and updated on 27 May 2020. According to this law, workers receiving certain unemployment benefits may receive additional incomes for short-term work in agriculture. There is no income limit and the measure is in force until 30 September 2020. This is not valid for workers under the short time work scheme.