On April 6, 2021, the Italian government, trade unions, and various employers' associations agreed upon and adopted a national protocol permitting employers to facilitate workplace vaccinations. The terms of the protocol govern vaccination for all company workers, regardless of whether the worker is an employee or engaged under a different type of contract. Additional guidelines have been issued by the Italian Authority for Accidents at Work ("INAIL"), and more are expected at the regional level. Employers' associations are free to promote the workplace vaccination programs. As alternatives to providing the vaccines themselves, employers may contract with private health facilities or, in certain cases, utilize INAIL health facilities for vaccine administration.
According to the protocol, in order to proceed with workplace vaccinations, an employer must, among other things:
- Guarantee compliance with health and safety regulations in connection with both the space utilized and the technical and human resources personnel present;
- Obtain voluntary consent from workers while abiding by applicable data protection legislation and avoiding discrimination;
- Submit a vaccination plan to the relevant health authorities (Azienda Sanitaria di riferimento); and
- Ensure the company physician (if applicable) or duly trained health care professionals are involved in all stages of the vaccination program, from the collection of the workers' consent to the vaccination itself to vaccine registrations in accordance with regional health directives.
Expenses are generally to be split between businesses and public authorities (in principle, no cost for employers utilizing INAIL health facilities). While the regional health authority shall supply the vaccine free of charge, companies are responsible for the implementation and administration costs of the vaccination programs.