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Snacks: Digestible Weekly Labour News – Issue 320 May 2021

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WEEKLY ITALIAN LABOUR UPDATES

"Training of employees due to reorganization of the business or investing in new technologies can be financed through the New Skills Fund (Fondo Nuove Competenze). Said measure implies the execution of a collective company agreement."

Social security contribution requirements remain obligatory in event of waiver of notice period
The requirement to pay social security contributions to the INPS remains obligatory if, further to dismissal of a worker, the parties involved entered into a settlement agreement to waive their notice period and relevant indemnity in lieu of said notice. The obligation to pay social security contributions on remuneration for the notice period is triggered automatically by law following notification of dismissal and is deemed a public obligation, and as such cannot be terminated at the discretion of the parties to the employment contract. Therefore, a proposal by the parties to change the reason for dismissal to termination by mutual agreement, and thereby waive the indemnity in lieu of notice, cannot be enforced against the INPS, meaning the requirement for the employer to pay social security contributions for said period remains obligatory.
Supreme Court 13/05/2021 no. 12932

Requirement for vaccination of healthcare workers constitutional
The requirement in Law Decree 44/2021 for healthcare workers to be vaccinated is not unconstitutional. The health and safety of both vulnerable individuals and of the broader community have priority over the freedom of individual healthcare workers to refuse vaccination for reasons of personal preference. The provision of such a requirement for vaccination, as introduced by the legislator, is the expression of the need to balance the freedom of individuals with the right to health of the entire community. The legality of the suspension on paid leave of a group of healthcare assistants who had refused to be vaccinated was upheld on this basis.
Court of Belluno 06/05/2021

Vaccination status of employees available only to company physicians
The Data Protection Authority has confirmed once again that the only persons authorised to know and manage the vaccination status of employees in the workplace are the company physicians. Only they can manage applications for vaccination, organise the vaccination calendar and administer the vaccine process itself. The employer shall not have access to any information on the vaccination status of their employees, even if the latter have given their express consent to transfer said data to them. Accordingly, any vaccination plan an employer submits to their local health agency can only indicate the number of vaccines to be administered in their company, with no reference to any further data that might enable one to determine which specific employees signed up for vaccination.
Privacy Authority, Measure no. 198/2021

Right to disconnection and on-call time while smart working: new statutory provisions
Law no. 61 of 13/05/2021 (art. 2, para. 1-ter) sets out that smart working employees are entitled to disconnect from all digital and other communication platforms and tools with a view to safeguarding their health and personal time. The provision specifies that disconnecting for the previously reasons must be exercised “in compliance with any agreements between the parties”. The provision is also without prejudice to “any agreed periods of on-call time”. Finally, exercising the right to disconnect cannot affect the remuneration and/or contractual rights of smart working employees. Under this provision, the need for companies allowing smart working for clear and consistent regulations on the right/duty to disconnect and of on-call time requirements becomes all the more urgent with a view to balancing company needs with the protection of workers’ health and personal time.
Law 13/05/2021 n. 61

Short notice shift changes legal if balanced with extended rest time
Shift changes notified to employees at short notice (6 hours or less) are legal if associated with extended rest time for said workers. The inconvenience of short notice shift changes, which restrict employee ability to manage their personal time, must be balanced with extended rest times additional to any time set out in existing collective agreements.
Supreme Court 23/04/2021 no. 10868

Salary raises for new higher qualifications to be absorbed by individual superminimum
If a worker has their salary raised for achieving a new higher qualification, said raise is absorbed by the individual superminimum. The principle of absorption by the superminimum (meaning the element of remuneration that is in excess of minimum contractual amounts) of a salary increase for a higher qualification applies generally, except in the event that the parties agreed – whether in writing or taken in fact to be as such – to specifically not apply said absorption.
Supreme Court (ord.) 21/04/2021 no. 10561

No preferential taxation for smart working expatriates in Italy
If an employee moved abroad to work for a foreign company but retained their status as an Italian resident for tax purposes and then returned to Italy for reasons connected to Covid-19 pandemic while continuing to smart work for the same company, the more generous taxation rate under art. 51, para. 8-bis of the Italian Income Tax Act will not apply as the principle of territoriality prevails. According to this principle, regardless of the fact said smart work was undertaken for a foreign company, the income from said employment is taxed according to the relevant Italian regulations for the entire time spent in the country, where the employee is resident for tax purposes.
Revenue Agency, Resolution 345/2021

National workplace vaccination campaign for under 60s launched
Workplace vaccination programmes can start with the launch of a national vaccination campaign for people under 60. An order of priority for vaccination in the workplace has been set based on three levels of risk for in different industries based on collected data, including Covid-19 occupational accident reports. In addition to the healthcare sector, the first level tier also includes the transport, food and beverage, and hospitality and entertainment (including restaurant) sectors. No required minimum number of employees vaccinated has as yet been set.
INAIL technical-operating document, Ministries of Labour and Health 15/05/2021

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