Following the spread in Italy of Coronavirus “COVID-19”, companies, employees, professionals and Institutions are talking about the so called “Smart Working” provided by Law no. 81/2017.
Smart Working is a particular way of working, agreed between employer and employee, and can be organized by phases, cycles and objectives, characterized by the following elements:
— Absence of a fixed workstation (work is performed partly inside the company premises and partly outside);
— Absence of place or working time constraints (within the maximum duration of daily and weekly working hours);
— Use of technological tools for the performance of the work (e.g. laptops, tablets and smartphones).
Such an individual agreement can be either for a fixed period (on giving a minimum of 30 days’ notice) or an indefinite one and regulates a whole series of duties and obligations incumbent on both parties, such as:
— Performance of the work, also with reference to the employers’ directives and working tools;
— Identify the employee’s rests time and the tools to ensure the employee’s disconnection;
— May provide the employee’s right to the permanent training;
— Regulate the exercise of the employer’s power of control;
— Identify behaviors subject to disciplinary procedures.
Furthermore, the employer must ensure the employee’s health and safety, therefore, in addition to the mandatory insurance obligations, the employer shall provide, to the employee and to the employees’ representative for safety purposes, at least once a year, a written notice identifying the general and specific risks related to the performance of the work outside the company’s premises.
Furthermore, with reference to the above-mentioned technological tools for the performance of the work granted to the employee on Smart Working, the employer must provide a specific policy informing the employee about utilization and controls, in compliance with the GDPR and art. 4, Law no. 300/1970 regulating the employer’s monitoring powers.
The purpose of smart working, as expressly provided by the Legislator, is to increase competitiveness and facilitate work/life balance.
However, Smart Working today also represents one of the most effective instruments in managing this delicate situation, being able, on the one hand, to limit the interruption of business and, on the other hand, to restrict, or at least reduce, employees movements, as imposed or recommended, depending on the territory, by the Authorities.
In fact, the Government has intervened swiftly and concisely by passing the Prime Ministerial Decree of February 25, 2020 (OJ General Series no. 47), which aims at facilitating the use of Smart Working by employers with headquarters in Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, Liguria and Veneto, or who employ personnel who, while working outside the above mentioned regions, are resident or domiciled within them.
Such Employers are entitled to:
— Activate Smart Working immediately, even in the absence of an individual agreement with the employee;
— Provide the written notice identifying the general and specific risks related to the performance of the work outside the company’s premises electronically, even using the documentation made available on the INAIL website.
These measures are in force, unless extended, until March 15, 2020.
February 26, 2020