Measures enacted in Italy to reduce the social and labor impact of Covid-19 in 8 bullets points
- Prohibition to dismiss for 60 days, whether individually or collectively.
- Salary integration fund for up to 9 weeks.
- Employers right to impose use of holidays and leaves of absence on employees.
- Employers right to measure body temperature of workers.
- Measures at the workplace: 1-meter distance, use of masks, shifts, smart-work, no meetings.
- Additional 15-days parental leaves and babysitter vouchers.
- Lump-sum 600 euros bonus for autonomous workers.
- Suspension of judicial proceedings through April 15.
- Law by Decree No. 18/2020, issued on March 17, 2020 (the “Decree”).
- Protocol executed on March 14, 2020 between the Italian Government, the Trade Unions and the Entrepreneurial Associations (the “Protocol”).
- Prime Minister Decree of March 11, 2020 (the “PM Decree”).
As a result of the outbreak of Coronavirus in Italy and the approval of 5 Presidential Decrees and 4 Laws by Decree, we have been overwhelmed by requests for clarification. This special edition of our newsletter provides practical guidance on how to handle the situation from an employment perspective.
- Prohibition to dismiss for 60 days, whether individually or collectivelyPursuant to the Decree, starting from March 17, 2020, collective redundancy procedures cannot be initiated for a period of 60 days, and pending procedures started after February 23, 2020 are suspended for the same period.For the same period, employers may not carry out individual terminations for objective reasons (i.e., dismissals related to the organization and management of the business) either.
- Salary integration fund for up to 9 weeksCassa Integrazione Guadagni or CIG is a form of salary integration corresponding to the Anglo-Saxon short-time allowance.The Decree introduced a so-called CIG in deroga (i.e., Derogation CIG) that can be granted outside of the normal scope and requirements provided under the relevant set of Italian rules.Pursuant to the Decree, Derogation CIG can be requested to the competent Region by companies that had to suspend or reduce working activity due to the Coronavirus emergency. Derogation CIG can be granted by the competent Region, subject to an agreement being reached by said Region with the most representative trade unions at the national level. Such agreement is not necessary for companies employing up to 5 employees. Derogation CIG may be granted for a period of up to 9 weeks.
In case the Derogation CIG is granted, employees will be entitled to a monthly amount of 80% of their salary, with the following monthly caps:
- Euro 939.89 for salaries up to 2,159.48
- Euro 1,199.72 for salaries over 2,159.48
- Employers right to impose use of holidays and leaves of absence on employeesPursuant to Italian law, employers cannot unilaterally require an employee to take a holiday/vacation, instead they must always consider the interests of the employee.However, during the emergency state connected to the spread of Covid-19, pursuant to the Protocol, the employer can force the employees to use ROL and PAR (i.e., paid leaves of absence), and, secondarily, accrued holidays/vacation time. Information and consultation with the trade unions is not mandatory, but it is recommended.
- Employers right to measure body temperature of workersIn order to ensure the safety and health of their employees, the Protocol provides the employers the right to measure the body temperature of employees at the entrance of the company premises.It is advisable not to record data concerning body temperature, but only prohibit access to those with a fever.Employees shall receive a privacy notice on the processing of their personal data pursuant to Article 13 of the GDPR. Any data shall be stored for no longer than the duration of the emergency state. The legal basis for the processing is the implementation of the anti-contagion measures pursuant to Article 1, no. 7, let. d) of the PM Decree.
- Measures at the workplace: 1-meter distance, use of masks, shifts, smart-work, no meetingsPursuant to the Protocol, the following precautionary measures shall be taken by employers to avoid contagion at the workplace:
- Interpersonal distance: employees shall keep a distance of at least 1 meter away from each other;
- Personal protective equipment: if the work organization requires working at less than one meter, employees shall be provided with masks and other protective devices (gloves, glasses, overalls, etc.);
- Smart-work: it in necessary to close all departments except for production and to allow the employees to work from home whenever possible;
- Shifts: it is recommended to stagger the entry and exit of employees and to ensure a rostering plan for employees working in production with the aim of reducing contact as much as possible;
- Meetings: in-person meetings are not allowed.
- Additional 15-days parental leaves and babysitter vouchersPursuant to the Decree, employees with families composed of 2 working parents, employed or self-employed, and children aged twelve or less, are entitled to:
- extra 15 days parental leave with the payment of 50% of the salary; or, alternatively,
- baby-sitting vouchers up to Euro 600.00.
- Lump-sum 600 euros bonus for autonomous workersAutonomous workers having an active VAT number on February 23, 2020, and workers with coordinated and continuous collaboration relationships on the same date, who are enrolled in the social security fund called “Gestione Separata” and who are not retired, are entitled to a lump-sum bonus of Euro 600.00, to be paid by the Italian Social Security Agency (“INPS”).
- Suspension of judicial proceedings through April 15Pursuant to the Decree, all judicial proceedings are suspended through April 15, 2020, except for those which are extremely urgent. All time limits related to the proceedings are suspended for the same period as well.