Smart working – guide to updates

New protection for the vulnerable employees and extension of simplified working. These are the main new provisions in Law no. 52 of 19 May 2022 converting, with amendments, Decree no. 24/2022 (the so-called Reopening Decree). 

Despite the fact that the state of emergency ended on 31 March 2022, the legislature continues to use smart working as a fundamental anti-contagion measure, providing the following timeline for the coming months:

30 JuneParents of severely disabled children or those with BES (Special educational needs)Severely disabled or immunocompromised workers
31 JulyParents with children under the age of 14Workers deemed at risk of contagion by the company doctor
31 AugustImplementation without agreement for all private sector employeesSimplified communication

Below are details of the provisions in force

Simplification

As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, employers will be able, until 31 August, to use smart working even without individual agreements, adopting the same simplified communication methods applied to date: online transmission of just the names of the employees involved (giving start and end dates) accompanied by an e-mail with safety information as required by law.

Vulnerable employees

At greater risk

Extension until 31 July 2022 of the right to smart working for employees certified by the company doctor as running a greater risk of contagion due to age or immunosuppression, resulting from oncological pathologies or ongoing life-saving therapy or, in any case, comorbidity.

In line with this right, employers are obliged, again until 31 July, to guarantee these individuals exceptional health surveillance by the company doctor or, when the company is not obliged to have one, by INAIL occupational doctors.

The severely disabled and other categories 

Until 30 June, severely disabled employees or those with a certified condition (as a consequence of immunosuppression or oncological pathologies or ongoing relative life-saving therapies) will also normally work in smart working. It should be noted that these persons may also be assigned different tasks as long as the latter come under the same classification.

Also extended until 30 June is social security protection for employees suffering from severely incapacitating pathologies as detailed in Ministerial Decree of 4 February 2022 who are unable to use smart working.

The absence of such employees is, in fact, treated as hospitalisation with consequent recognition of relative sick pay:

  • paid by INPS if the person is covered by this institute;
  • paid by the employer if the above is not the case, with the latter having the right to an annual lump-sum reimbursement of 600 euros.

Parents

Employees have the right to smart working if they are parents of have at least:

  • one child under the age of 14, until 31 July 2022;
  • one severely disabled child or one with special educational needs (BES in Italian), until 30 June 2022.

Generally speaking, to be eligible in this case, smart working must be compatible with the characteristics of the job in question and there must be no non-working parent in the household.

In addition to the framework outlined above, again on the subject of smart working, it should be noted that:

  • on 7 December 2021, the National Protocol for smart working was adopted, which defines the guidelines for collective bargaining at any level, without prejudice to compliance with current legislation and existing agreements;
  • the application of the Protocol regarding measures to fight and contain the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace of 6 April 2021 has been confirmed, and it recommends maximum use of smart working. 

Thus, once again employers will be faced with different deadlines and additional burdens that complicate personnel management and organisation.  

Our firm is at the disposal of companies requiring assistance with the new legislation.

To find out how we can help your company, contact us: comunicazione@toffolettodeluca.it