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Italy – Background checks

Italy has some of the most productive workforces, making it the third-largest European Union (EU) economy. Doing business in Italy ensures access to a rich workforce with special knowledge and expertise in automation, machinery, fashion and design, nutrition, and culinary sectors. 

The national government is committed to welcoming new investors, entrepreneurs, and global companies to expand their operations in Italy. Whereas a general threat of financial losses and legal liabilities looms over when forging new business partnerships or hiring new employees. Responsible hiring practices like background checks can minimize such risks in Italy. 

Conducting an employment background check helps employers find the most qualified and capable candidates for the job positions. But, entrepreneurs and global companies need to be careful while conducting employment verification processes as wrongful gathering, handling, and processing of employee data may lead to penalization per Italy’s background check law.  

Background verification in Italy involves many different processes. Employers can learn the benefits and legality of background screening in Italy, a few notable industries and situations suitable for background checks in Italy, and the process involved with it, below. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background verification is verifying current or potential employees’ personal and professional details. A background check verifies a candidate’s academic qualifications, work experience, criminal records, and financial records. 

Companies can ensure that they are hiring talented and trustworthy professionals. They can also verify whether the hired candidate can handle the job responsibilities. Employee screening for individuals already working in the organization can filter out unsuitable employees. 

Further, company background checks in Italy are also extended to suppliers, vendors, and independent contractors. 

The standard process for background searches in Italy involves employers informing the candidate, gaining their consent, gathering the documents, and performing the verification process.

Benefits of Background Checks in Italy

It is always better to verify claims before starting work with them, be it vendors, suppliers, or employees. Here is a compilation of the benefits of conducting an employment background check in Italy.   

  • Optimum use of time and resources
  • Repeated hiring for the same job role drains a company’s time and resources. 
  • Vacant positions may affect the workplace’s productivity. 
  • Employment background checks positively confirm interview assessments, and employers can avoid repeated hiring for the same job.
  • Maintaining the standard of job applications
  • Few job applications have falsified data regarding their academic qualifications and work experiences. Even if they pass the hiring assessments without verification, there is always a possibility they don’t possess the minimum technical qualifications or work experience.
  • However, when candidates are informed of the background checks beforehand, the applications have fewer discrepancies.
  • Avoid risk liabilities
  • Hiring the wrong people for executive-level and decision-making positions may lead to financial liabilities or IPR losses. 
  • Pre-employment background screening is crucial to ensure that the company makes the right hiring decision.
  • Practicing responsible hiring processes
  • In some situations, a criminal background check is crucial to avoid legal liabilities to employers due to employee actions in the future.
  • A criminal background check also upholds the safety and integrity of the workplace. 

Yes, background checks are legal in Italy. However, employers are prohibited from verifying data irrelevant to the job position. 

Italy is part of the EU, and employers must conduct employment background checks per the mandatory General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 

The Codice in materia di protezione dei dati personali or the Code implements GDPR in Italy. The Data Protection Authority is responsible for monitoring activities related to the GDPR. 

Usually, employers delegate in-house HR teams to conduct an employee screening in Italy. Background checks through third-party are permitted only when employers explicitly mention it. 

In other words, employers cannot contract third-party to conduct background checks in Italy on their behalf.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Italy

Employers face certain limitations on which type of data they can verify during a background check in Italy. Here is what companies need to know about different data types while performing employment background checks in Italy. 

  • Criminal record
  • Employers can conduct criminal background checks for certain positions like security guards, bank positions, etc. 
  • Employees or candidates can request their criminal records from the authorities. 
  • Candidates must procure the Good Conduct Certificate or Police Clearance Certificate from the Italian Police’s Public Prosecutor’s Office.
  • Credit report
  • Employers are not permitted to check a candidate’s financial records or credit reports as part of a background check in Italy.
  • Employment history
  • Employers can check a candidate’s work history as part of an employment background check in Italy. 
  • Companies can also contact the references the candidate mentions in their application.
  • Education history
  • Companies can verify an applicant’s academic qualifications as mentioned in their application. 
  • Employers can check physical documents or connect with the candidate’s school or college.
  • Social life
  • An HR background check in Italy can give an employer an insight into the candidate’s social life. 
  • They can browse the applicant’s publicly available information on social media platforms. 
  • It can help companies understand candidates’ social views, behavior traits, etc. 
  • However, practices like creating fake accounts to become part of the candidate’s network are highly discouraged while performing background checks. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Italy

Employers or contracted third-party service providers may need the following information for background screening in Italy:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Last known address
  • School name, school’s city
  • Academic majors, transcripts, degree copy, and release form
  • Company profile (for suppliers, vendors)
  • Professional licenses, certificates
  • Professional references (cannot mandate current employer details)
  • Criminal record certificate, credit rating score, and medical records, all limited to specific job roles

Further, Italy’s background check law imposes the following restrictions on employers:

  • The laws for background checks in Italy prohibit employers from performing medical checks. However, it has certain exceptions if the job position requires it. 
  • Employers are not permitted to conduct drug screenings except for some job positions which pose safety hazards to others.  
  • Article 8 of the Worker’s Statutes prohibits employers from carrying out verification processes for data irrelevant to the job position. For example, employers cannot investigate data like relationship status, religious views, political opinions, etc. 
  • The Police Clearance Certificate or the Good Conduct Certificate consists of two certificates. Employees can produce certificates to verify their criminal background check in Italy completely.
  • Certificato Del Casellario Giudiziale or the Police Clearance Certificate: It reports any crimes, convictions, or sentences in the civil or administration department. 
  • Certificato Dei Carichi Pendenti or a Pending Proceeding or Outstanding Proceedings Certificate: It displays if there are any ongoing proceedings. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Italy

There are no specific templates or outlines created for background checks in Italy. However, employers and companies can follow these steps to conduct background verification. 

Step 1: Informing the candidate & asking for consent

  • Employers can inform the candidate that they will conduct a background check on them. 
  • Usually, employers mention that they will conduct a background verification in the job posting or during the interview process. 
  • It is always a good practice for companies to maintain transparency and share with the employee what aspects they will verify. 
  • Employers must seek prior consent before contacting applicants’ existing work references. 

Step 2: Collect information

  • Employers can ask the candidate for the required documents in the verification process. 
  • For example, employers can request academic qualification certificates, and so on. 
  • Criminal and medical checks are generally prohibited and only allowed for specific job positions. At the same time, credit checks are not permitted in all scenarios. Therefore, employers can start collecting information after verifying what type of data they can check. 
  • So, after figuring out what the background check entails, provided it is relevant to the job positions, employers can request the documents from the candidate. 

Step 3: Verification

  • Once the employers have collected all the information and documents, they can verify them. 
  • Companies can analyze the candidates’ social media profiles. They can also verify the documents and crosscheck the documents and employment history. 
  • Employers can filter out prospects if they find discrepancies in the information.

Industries and Situations That are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Italy

Employers can verify criminal records for certain positions like security guards or banking, healthcare professionals, etc. Academic qualifications and work experience are relevant for almost all job positions.

Even if background checks in Italy are not mandatory, employers are encouraged to perform them to align with responsible hiring processes. 

Moreover, these verifications are not just for employees. If companies are going to interact with local vendors and suppliers from Italy, they can also verify to find out whether they are genuine. It will reduce the risk of financial losses in the future. 

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Even though it is legal to conduct employment background checks in Italy, specific provisions under Italy’s background check laws restrict the employers. 

Handling all the legalities and processes involved in conducting background checks in Italy can be strenuous. Therefore most companies outsource employee background screening in Italy to reputed third-party service providers.  

We have collaborated with trusted partners to perform background checks globally.  

Multiplier is a PEO-EOR firm that helps companies draft legal documents, distribute employee benefits, and manage payroll in more than 150+ countries, including Italy.

So, employers looking to hire globally can partner with solutions like these to manage and hire employees. This way, companies can avoid errors due to misunderstanding local regulations, financial losses, and legal risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Employers in Italy must balance their interest in asset protection and combat fraud against employees’ right to privacy in the workplace.  

This recent judgment from the Italian Supreme Court held the employer liable for invading employee privacy using CCTV at the workplace and remains the popular opinion in Italy.

It may take up to 7-15 business days. Depending on how extensive the background check is, the time can vary.

No, only the employees can request their criminal records from the Italian Police. The Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is a part of the Italian Police, is the authority responsible for issuing the Police Clearance Certificate.

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