Pursuant to the Decree (available, in Italian, here), From October 15th to December 31st 2021 (end of the state of COVID-19 emergency in Italy) all workers in Italy shall have the COVID-19 “Green Pass” to access any workplace, unless they are exempted from the vaccination campaign on the basis of a specific medical certificate. The Green Pass is a QR code generated by the Health Minister confirming alternatively: (i) the COVID-19 vaccination; (ii) a negative COVID-19 test result (both molecular and rapid antigen test included in the European List, available here, are valid); or (iii) recovery from COVID-19. Employers have not any obligation to pay COVID-19 test to unvaccinated employees, unless an individual or collective agreement so provides.
In this context, employers shall:
- by October 15th 2021: (i) adopt an internal policy defining procedures to check Green Pass of workers entering their premises, indicating when/where and by whom the Green Pass will be verified; (ii) formally appoint the persons in charge of such checks (e.g. receptionist, office manager, etc.);
- from October 15th to December 31st 2021: check Green Pass compliance of all workers (whether they are employees or self-employed, paid or unpaid, and including third-party workers). The checks shall be carried out: (i) preferably at the time of access to workplaces, but also random checks are allowed; (ii) through the government app “VerificaC19”, in compliance with the internal policy implemented.
Workers without Green Pass cannot access the workplace and (unless the employer allows them to work from home) their absence from work shall be unjustified, with no right to receive any compensation.
The unjustified absence will last until the worker does not show the Green Pass and, in any case, until December 31st 2021. For the period of unjustified absence, dismissal or disciplinary proceedings are not allowed.
Workers are not required to show the Green Pass to work from home. However, as clarified by the Italian Government in its FAQs (available, in Italian, here), the remote working (the so-called “smart working”) regime cannot be used by the worker to elude the Green Pass requirements.
The Decree, with a quite unclear wording which will be probably improved when it will be converted into law, states that, on top of the above, employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs, employing less than 15 employees) without Green can be: i) suspended after five days of unjustified absence for maximum 20 days and, in any event, until December 31st 2021; and substituted with fixed-term workers.
Companies that do not comply with the above obligations are subject to an administrative sanction from 400 to 1,000 euros (which may be doubled in case of reiteration of the breach).
Workers entering the workplace without Green Pass are subject to an administrative sanction from 600 to 1,500 euros, and could be disciplinary sanctioned.
Authored by Vittorio Moresco, Francesca Lauro and Elena Pellicano .