Italy

Italy: Employment law update

Five reasons why companies should draft smart working agreements and policies now

Italy Publication November 2020

  1. Under Italian law, smart working or flexible working agreements with employees, including agreements allowing employees to work from home, should always be in writing. Verbal agreements are allowed as an exception to this general law due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but only until the end of 2020. There is no time to waste in getting smart working agreements drafted and duly signed.
  2. The statutory law that introduced smart working in Italy was designed not only to give employees more freedom to carry out their duties outside the company’s workplace, but also to improve and innovate employment performance and assessment. With smart working, the employee’s achievement of agreed objectives (and not working time) becomes the reference for the measurement of both performance and assessment. In order to fully benefit from this radical change of perspective, having written smart working agreements is essential.
  3. A company’s smart working policy should give certainty regarding key issues, including: eligibility requirements to access smart working, the start and duration of the smart working mode, possible limitations to external work, the rights and duties of employees who are engaged in smart working, and, finally, the management and monitoring power of the employer.
  4. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for some categories of employees, the smart working mode is not only an option but an actual entitlement granted by Italian statutory law. It is important to know these categories in advance and have them set out in the company smart working policy.
  5. Working outside the company’s premises and using IT tools can trigger a series of risks and issues regarding health and safety, confidentiality and data protection. A carefully drafted smart working policy and individual smart working agreement can mitigate or prevent these risks.

For more information on smart working or other employment law matters in Italy, contact us at Norton Rose Fulbright Studio Legale – Employment team.



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