The behavior of the employer to manage the Coronavirus emergency
What should the company do to manage the Coronavirus emergency?
The company shall provide workers with appropriate protective equipment to avoid contagion: for example, gloves and protective masks, antibacterial disinfectant dispensers. In addition, it must ensure that workplaces are thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant products suitable for the purpose.
In addition, the worker must follow the common preventive measures, such as the care of personal hygiene and the work environment and the attention in keeping away from people with flu symptoms.
For activities that can be outsourced, the company can, in areas at risk, automatically activate the agile working mode (so-called smart-working) to its employees, even in the absence of an individual agreement. The important thing is to follow the prescriptions delivered by the legislator, provided by articles 18 to 23 of Law no. 81 of 22 May 2017. (Article 2 of the D.P.C.M. 25 February 2020)
In particular, the agile working method is suitable, on a provisional basis, until 15 March 2020, for employers with registered or operational headquarters in the Regions of Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and Liguria, and for workers residing or domiciled there who work outside these territories, to all employment relationships, in compliance with the principles dictated by the aforementioned provisions, even in the absence of individual agreements provided for therein.
In these cases, the individual agreement is replaced by a self-certification that the agile work refers to a person belonging to one of the risk areas. In the telematic procedure (obligatory through the website cliclavoro.gov.it) the following information must be provided:
- Subscription date – coinciding with the start date of the smart-working period;
- Agreement file: a PDF/A file containing a self-declaration of the company in which there is a reference to the mentioned DPCM and the personal information (including the fiscal code) of the workers involved in the communication;
- All other information: the ordinary rules apply.
(information provided by the Ministry of Labour)
Transfers and Detachments
All the trips and secondments foreseen in the municipalities indicated by the D.P.C.M. 23 February 2020 must be canceled, at least until the end of the Coronavirus emergency. If the worker was already in the area indicated by the Decree, most likely, he will have been blocked and quarantined by the health authorities. In this case, he will be considered ill and his absence will have to be treated from a legal and contractual point of view (waiting for indications from INPS). If, on the other hand, he has already returned but has, in any case, worked in these areas, after January 31, 2020, he must be sent to the Prevention Department of the competent health authority for the territory, in order to communicate this circumstance and for the possible adoption, by the competent health authority, of any necessary measure, including the fiduciary homestay with active surveillance. (D.P.C.M. 23 February 2020)
If the company is unable to continue its activity because it is located in one of the municipalities subject to restrictions, or if its employees are obliged to stay in these municipalities and not be able to go to work, the Ministry of Labour may grant the ordinary redundancy fund (Cigo), as it is an event of force majeure, sudden and unforeseeable, not attributable to the employer, therefore an event that falls within the cases of law to request the social shock absorber. The Ministry is studying further forms of protection, which provide for the extension of the social shock absorbers, the strengthening of the wage supplementation fund and the introduction of the redundancy fund in derogation for companies with less than 6 employees. (INPS – a page dedicated to CIGO)
If the worker is obliged by the Prevention Department of the health care company, to measures of fiduciary homestay with active surveillance, as provided for by the D.P.C.M. 23 February 2020, he must be considered ill and as such his absence must be treated from a legal and contractual point of view (waiting for indications from INPS).
If the worker highlights the need to place himself in voluntary quarantine because he has stayed in one of the municipalities indicated in the Decree-Law n. 6/2020, or has had relations with people infected by coronavirus and is waiting for the response from the Department of Prevention of the health company, we believe that he should be considered on holiday/permitted, waiting for the response from the health company. If the response is positive, the absence should be remodeled into illness.
Fixed time as a replacement
If there are workers who, for health reasons, have been subjected to quarantine, the company may proceed to hire other workers to replace them, pursuant to article 19, paragraph 1, letter a) of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015.
I remind you that for replacement reasons the additional (1.40%) and increased (0.50%) contribution will not be paid. Moreover, the replacement worker shall not be counted in the maximum number of temporary workers, as provided for by article 23, paragraph 2, letter e) of Legislative Decree no. 81/2015.
Unjustified absence of the worker from the workplace
Where there is no prerequisite for the worker (temporary stay in one of the “attentive” municipalities or relations with infected persons), certified by the Prevention Department of the health company, the company may call the worker to provide the work also through the initiation of disciplinary proceedings.
De Carlo Arianna – email@example.com
Head of Payroll Department