Ministry of Labour: extension of deadlines for remote working

17 August 2023

The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, in its communication of 4 July 2023, explained that Italian Law no. 85 of 3 July 2023, in converting with amendments Italian Decree-Law no. 48 of 4 May 2023, extended the rights of certain categories of workers to work remotely.

Reference legislation

Remote working (or smart working), as regulated by Italian Law no. 81 of 22 May 2017, is a different way performing the employment relationship characterised by the absence of place and time constraints.

Italian Decree-Law no. 48 of 4 May 2023, the so-called Employment Decree, later converted into Italian Law no. 85 of 3 July 2023, extended, until 30 September 2023, the rights of vulnerable workers in the public and private sectors to work remotely.  

The right to remote working was also extended to 31 December 2023 to:

  • employees in the private sector who have at least one child, under the age of 14, provided that smart working is compatible with the nature of the service and that there is no other parent in the household who is a beneficiary of income support, in the event of suspension or cessation of work and that there is no non-working parent;
  • employees who, on the basis of assessments by the occupational doctors, are more exposed to the risk of contagion by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, because of their age or risks deriving from immunodepression, from oncological pathologies or from undergoing life-saving treatment or, in any case, from co-morbidities that may give rise to greater risk as ascertained by the occupational doctor. Once again, the right is related to the compatibility of remote working and the specific characteristics of the work carried out.

For the above-mentioned categories, remote working until the extended dates is permitted even in the absence of the formalisation of the individual agreement entered into with the employer, which remains mandatory for all other workers, as provided for by Article 19 of Italian Law no. 81/2017. The agreement must cover certain specific elements, such as:

  1. the duration of the agreement;
  2. alternating work periods on and off company premises;
  3. any locations excluded from remote working;
  4. how the employer may exercise its managerial power, the conduct that may give rise to disciplinary liability and, in general, aspects relating to the performance of work remotely;
  5. the working tools, rest times and technical-organisational measures necessary to ensure the employee’s disconnection;
  6. the forms and methods of monitoring work performance outside company premises, in compliance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Workers’ Charter (Italian Law No. 300 of 20 May 1970) and the legislation on the protection of personal data;
  7. any training required to perform the service remotely, as well as how trade union rights may be exercised.

Under Article 23 of Italian Law no. 81/2017, moreover, the employer must electronically notify the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the names of the workers and the date of commencement and termination of the remote working, in accordance with the procedures identified by the same Ministry in Italian Decree no. 149 of 22 August 2022.

The electronic communication must be made through the application available, via Public Digital Identity System (Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale, ‘SPID’) and Electronic Identity Card (Carta d’Identità Elettronica, ‘CIE’) authentication, on the Servizi Lavoro – Cliclavoro portal, and remains mandatory also for workers subject to the extensions detailed above.

The communication must be provided within five days after the start of remote working or, in the case of an extension, from the last day communicated before the extension of the period. In the event of failure or late notification, an administrative sanction ranging from EUR 100 to EUR 500 per individual worker is provided for, as regulated by Article 19, third paragraph, of Italian Legislative Decree no. 276 of 10 September 2003.

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