New extension of the right to smart working for parents and the “fragile”

Last Updated on December 19, 2023

On 15 December, Law No. 191 converting Decree Law 145/2023 (so-called Decreto Anticipi), further extended the right to smart working in the private sector for two categories of workers.

The provision entitled ‘Extension of the remote working deadline for working parents with children under the age of 14’ in fact extends validity of the provision (Art. 90, paragraph 1, Decree Law 34/2020) from the end of 2023 to 31 March 2024. This recognises the right to smart working for parents of children under the age of 14 and for workers who, based on the company doctor’s assessment as part of the exceptional health supervision, are at a greater risk of Covid-19 contagion due to age or vulnerability resulting from immunodepression, oncological diseases or co-morbidities. The obligation for companies to have so-called vulnerable workers examined by the company doctor (i.e. exceptional health surveillance) was introduced during the pandemic and in reality ceased on 31 July 2022, without any further explicit extension being introduced. This could generate some application problems for the provision in question.

For both the above categories of workers, the right in question is, however, recognised provided that the smart working mode is compatible with the employee’s duties. For parents, moreover, the right is excluded if the other is a beneficiary of social shock absorbers or does not work.

Also postponed until 31 March 2024 is the possibility for the workers concerned to perform the work using IT tools at their disposal, if these are not provided by their employer. On the other hand, the right to smart working of the so-called “super vulnerablepublic and private employees, i.e. those affected by serious chronic pathologies with poor clinical control and of particular seriousness (specifically identified in the Ministerial Decree of 4 February 2022), also through the assignment to a different task included in the same category or area of classification and without any reduction in pay, expires on 31 December 2023 (unless further regulatory measures are taken).

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