Migrants protesting for better wages in the province of Foggia, southern Italy| Photo: ANSA/FRANCO CAUTILLO
Migrants protesting for better wages in the province of Foggia, southern Italy| Photo: ANSA/FRANCO CAUTILLO

Employers in Italy who hire irregular migrants will now face a fine of 1,398 euros. This sanction is part of a new decree signed by several key ministers.

The decree was signed by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, together with Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio. It is meant to help implement the EU Directive 2009/52, which calls for "minimum standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals."

The EU directive requires that the fines on employers who violate the ban on illegal hiring include "at least the average costs of return." The directive gives the interior ministry the task of establishing "the criteria to determine and update the average cost of return upon which to tailor the additional sanction."

The regulation published on Monday in the Italian Official Journal establishes the criteria for determining the average cost of return. Using these criteria, officials calculated that the average costs per repatriation were 1,398 euros in 2018. 

Where funds from the sanctions will go 

The revenues from the sanctions will go to the state budget - 60 percent will go into a repatriation fund and 40 percent to the social fund for employment and training, to provide social integration programmes for migrants and unaccompanied minors. 

The average cost of return will be updated by January 30 every year. The new sanction will go into effect starting on March 2. 
 

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