Employment news in Italy after the state of emergency
With the end of the state of emergency on March 31, 2022, some restrictions contained in the emergency legislation have also ended and there is a gradual return to the pre-COVID system.
Here is a summary of the main changes to labor law.
On March 24, 2022, Legislative Decree No. 24 (also known as the “new Covid decree” or “restart decree”) was published. The decree contains “urgent provisions to deal with the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, after the end of the state of emergency”.
Art. 10 of Legislative Decree no. 24/2022 provides for the extension of “simplified” or “emergency” remote work (already provided for in art. 90, paragraphs 3 and 4, Legislative Decree no. 34/2020) until June 30, 2022. Therefore, until this date, the use of remote work will be allowed, even without individual agreements:
- with a simple telematic communication (obligatory) from the employer, through a simplified procedure (already used), using the forms and the IT application of the Italian Ministry of Labour;
- although it is not necessary to attach an agreement with the employee for such communication;
- the employer must provide the employee with a notice (available on the website of the National Institute of Insurance against accidents at work) on the policies relating to health and safety.
Thus, from July 1, 2022, to use remote work, an individual agreement with the employee will rather be required, in compliance with the provisions of Articles 18-24 of Law No. 81/2017 and the “National Protocol on remote work”. » of December 7, 2021. In addition, the employer will be required to provide the employee with annual information on health and safety at work.
Monitoring the health of employees at risk
The new COVID decree provides for the extension until June 30, 2022 (art. 10, c. 2, appendix B, decree-law no. 24 of March 24, 2022) of measures relating to the health surveillance of the most exposed employees to the risk of contagion (in accordance with Article 83, cc.1, 2 and 3, of Legislative Decree no. 34 of May 19, 2020, converted with modifications into Law no. 77 of July 17, 2020).
Vaccination requirements for specific categories of employees
The vaccination obligations (art. 4-sexies) for access to the workplaces of the following types of employees remain in place:
- until December 31, 2022, for employees exercising health professions and for employees of accommodation, social and socio-sanitary assistance establishments;
- until June 15, 2022, for teaching and educational staff in schools, the defense sector, public security and relief, local police, bodies of the National Cybersecurity Agency, penitentiary institutes , universities, establishments of higher artistic and musical education and technical colleges institutes and the Forestry Corps of regions with special status.
Basic/reinforced COVID certification (“Green Pass”) and employees under and over 50
Decree-Law No. 24 of March 24, 2022 provides for the return to the “Basic Green Pass” system (i.e. COVID-19 certification for vaccination, recovery, rapid antigen or molecular test with a negative result) for access to workplaces, as well as for workers over 50 years of age. Thus, from March 25, 2022 to April 30, 2022, employees over the age of 50 will be authorized to access workplaces only with the Basic Green Pass and will no longer need a “reinforced” Green Pass (this is i.e. COVID-19 certification for vaccination). or recovery).
Nevertheless, the vaccination obligation for employees over 50 remains in force until June 15, 2022 (art. 4-quater of Legislative Decree 44/2021).
As for employees under 50, they will be required to be in possession of the Basic Green Pass until April 30, 2022 to access a workplace.
Also in this case, the emergency rules have been extended until the end of the state of emergency.
From May 1, 2022 (unless later modified), the Green Pass will no longer be compulsory for access to workplaces, except for employees of hospitals and healthcare establishments where the vaccination and Green Pass obligation will continue until ‘at the end of the year.
“Sostegni Ter” decree and temporary workers
The law converting the “Sostegni Ter” decree (law-decree no. 4 of January 27, 2022 transformed into law no. 25 of March 28, 2022) introduced several new provisions, including the possibility, until December 31, 2022, for personnel hiring agencies to resort to temporary workers for periods of more than two years, even if they are not continuous.
Thus, the possibility of activating fixed-term contracts exceeding 24 months (even if they are not continuous) has been extended until December 31, 2022 for the provision of temporary employees within the user company.
In these cases, there is no longer any risk that the personnel leasing company will bring an action against the user company for the establishment of an employment relationship of indefinite duration.
These employees can therefore be sent both on permanent and fixed-term contracts to user companies without the obligation to specify a reason justifying the fixed-term contract. However, the percentage limits between temporary workers and company employees must be respected.