PUBLISHED BY Arlati Ghislandi
TAG: ,
New priorities in agile work (“smart working”)

Budget Law introduced an obligation of granting priority, in the application of “smart working” agreements, to mothers – for up to 3 years following the end of mandatory maternity leave – and for parents of severely disabled children.


Budget Law introduced, effective on January 1st, 2019, art. 18, section 3-bis of Law no. 81/2017, pursuant to which the employer who intends to sign agreements with employees for the performance of “agile work” must in any case grant priority to:

-        the employee mother for up to the third year following the end of maternity leave (and, by analogy, to the employee father up to the third year following the end of paternity leave);

-        the employee parent (mother or father) of a severely disabled child (art. 3, section 3, Law no. 104/1992).


In said circumstances, priority must be considered applicable also to adoptive and foster parents.


Clearly enough, said priority will certainly affect the employer’s organizational and production-related needs, resulting in possible issues (consider, e.g., situations where the employer would be forced to redefine a pre-existing smart working agreement with a different employee following new regulations).


Furthermore, given the unrefined and ambiguous wording of the regulation, its application may be significantly extended, causing the harshening of a measure that, by nature,  is aimed to compose, with flexibility and mutual benefit, the employee’s personal life needs with the employer’s organizational and production-related needs.


Following the introduction of these new limits, the employer should therefore accept the eventual request received from an employee in possession of the aforementioned requisites.


Besides, since “agile work” is regulated via individual agreements, it is likely that collective bargaining will soon negotiate on the matter, building upon these new regulations and further specifying the field of application for “priority clauses”.