Littler Global Guide - Italy - Q4 2021

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COVID-19: Green Pass Mandatory in Workplaces

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler

Effective October 15, 2021, Law Decree No. 127/2021 established that – until December 31, 2021 – a “Green Pass” will be required in order to access the workplace. The Green Pass is a certification issued by the health authorities certifying that the holder either completed the vaccination cycle, fully recovered from the virus, or received a negative result from a rapid diagnostic test.

The employer is responsible for carrying out checks on employees. These checks must be carried out in strict compliance with data protection legislation, which means that no data from the Green Pass can be retained. Employers who fail to comply may be fined. Employees who fail to produce a valid Green Pass cannot be allowed to enter the workplace and will be considered absent without leave until a Green Pass is presented. During this time, the employee will not receive any pay. Failure to abide by these rules can subject the employee to disciplinary sanctions and/or fines. Employees who have been excepted from the vaccination requirement are not required to present a Green Pass.

COVID-19: Salary Support Measures and Dismissal Ban Extension

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler

Law Decree No. 146/2021 of October 21, 2021, extended two social salary measures – "Cassa integrazione straordinaria" and "Cassa integrazione ordinaria" – until December 31, 2021. While both are extraordinary redundancy funds for salary payment support, the latter is for companies active in the textile, clothing, leather and fur industry and in the manufacture of leather and similar products. Employers who benefit from such support measures are subject to the ban on individual dismissal for objective reasons and collective dismissal, for the duration of the support.

COVID-19: Extension of Emergency Measures

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler

Decree Law No. 221/2021 of December 24, 2021, extended the state of national emergency until March 31, 2022, and extended until the same date various emergency measures, including concerning smart-working and parental leave. Smart-working is one of the two forms of remote working envisaged by Italian law and is hybrid in nature as the employee works partly outside company premises and partly inside. Ordinary smart-working requires a written agreement with the employee, but in the pandemic context - extended until March 31, 2022 - the employer is allowed to activate it even in the absence of an agreement. In addition, the employer, who must provide annual information on the general and specific risks related to smart-working, may do this also via online channels.

Concerning parental leave, an employee who is the parent of a cohabiting child under 14 years of age may, alternatively with the other parent, abstain from work during the following periods: (i) for the total or partial duration of the suspension of teaching or educational activities in attendance of their child; (ii) for the duration of the child's COVID-19 infection or quarantine. The same benefit is granted to parents of children with a certified severe disability. For such periods, parents are entitled to receive, instead of remuneration, an allowance equal to 50% of their normal remuneration. Parents of children aged between 14 and 16 are entitled to the same time off work without pay or allowance.

National Framework for Smart-Working

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Carlo Majer, Partner, and Caterina Colombano, Associate – Littler

On December 7, 2021, the Ministry of Labor and the social parties signed the national framework on smart-working, which sets out the guidelines to be followed in subsequent collective, company, and individual bargaining on the subject. The framework outlines the essential terms that are required for an enforceable smart-working agreement, and provides that in the event of a justified reason, either party may terminate the agreement before its expiration in the case of a fixed-term agreement, or without notice in the case of an agreement of indefinite duration.

Additionally, the framework sets forth various provisions, including the prohibition of overtime work on smart-working days, unless otherwise provided for in collective agreements, and the possibility for the employer to provide IT equipment for the performance of work, establishing minimum security criteria and requirements to be implemented and possible forms of compensation for expenses. Finally, the framework provides a public incentive to companies that regulate smart-working through a company agreement.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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