by Andrea Savoia and Marilena Cartabia. The new State Balance Sheet Law, published on the official Journal on 2018 New Year’s Eve, entered into force on January 1, 2019. Several provisions of article 1 affect the employers. The main ones are as follows: Bonus for companies hiring young talents: companies are granted a reduction on social security contribution (with an exception for insurance premiums and contributions due to the INAIL) within a limit of 8.000 € in case of open-ended hiring or conversion of fixed-term contracts in open-ended ones during the 2019. The bonus will be granted to private employers hiring employees with the following requirements: 1) Master’s degree with 110/110 with honors, with a weighted average of 108/110, obtained before turning 30 years old, obtained between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, within the legal length of the course of studies, at a State University or Non-state University legally recognized ii) PhD obtained between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, before turning 34 years old, at State University or Non-state University legally recognized . The bonus is not granted to those employers who, in the previous 12 months, have proceeded with individual dismissals for objective reasons or collective dismissal within the business unit where the new employee shall be employed. Smart working: female employees (up to 3 years after the birth of their child) or employees with disabled children shall be granted priority to access to smart working agreements. Tax credit Education 4.0: confirmed for the 2019 the tax credit for training expenses of subordinate employees employed in the technology sectors listed by the National Industry Plan 4.0 Measures Against irregular work: increased by 20% the sanctions applied in case of 1) hiring of employees without previous mandatory communication related to the commencement of the working relationship ii) violation of the provision on agency work, service contracts and secondment; iii) violation of the provisions on the maximum duration of working hours, daily rest, weekly rest, iv) other cases that shall be listed by an upcoming ministerial decree. Increased by 10% the administrative and criminal sanctions applied in case of violation of the provisions on safety in the workplace. Sanctions will be doubled if, in the prior 3-years’ period, the employer was already sanctioned (with administrative or criminal sanctions) for the same kind of wrongful acts. Disabled workers: the INAIL shall refund the employer – within a maximum of 12 months – the 60% of the remuneration paid to the disabled worker who is no longer temporarily unable to work but, at the same time, needs an ad hoc reintegration plan to start working again. The reintegration plan shall be proposed by the employer and approved by the INAIL. Review of the INAIL rates: the INAIL rates shall be reviewed, in order to ensure a reduction on the insurance premium due for the insurance. Maternity and paternity leaves: for calendar year 2019, working fathers are entitled to 5 days of mandatory paid leave, that shall be enjoyed within 5 months as of the child’s birth (or, in case of national/international adoption/custody, from the moment the minor enters into the family or arrives to Italy); moreover, the father is entitled to one additional day of optional leave; such leave is meant to replace one of the days of mandatory maternity leave not enjoyed from the mother. Furthermore, a new provision on the mandatory maternity leave has been introduced: the female employee can choose to enjoy the maternity leave after the birth of the child, within 5 months from the birth, as long as the specialist doctor of the National Health Service (or the specialist doctor of an Health Service having a convention with the State) and the competent doctor certify that such choice does not affect the pregnant worker and the unborn child.