A Decree-Law approved by the Council of Ministers on September 16th 2021 (not yet published) makes the Green Pass mandatory for public and private workers from October 15th until December 31st 2021 (state of emergency expiry date). The measure on the extension of mandatory Green Pass in all workplaces, said Prime Minister Mario Draghi, is “aimed at continuing to open the country”.
The mandatory Green Pass will take effect in all workplaces: factories, offices, professional offices. Exception to the new rules only applies to individuals with certification showing their inability to vaccinate – coming from a physician – based on guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.
Public sector: public administration employees not having a Green Pass cannot access the workplace, therefore they will be reported for unjustified absence with the immediate suspension of salary and the suspension of the working relationship starting from the 5th day. The Decree specifies, however, that there will be no disciplinary consequences and the right to job retention is maintained.
The mandatory Green Pass is also effective from October 15th in judicial courts. Ordinary, administrative, accounting, military judges and public prosecutors other than members of tax commissions will not be able to access offices without a green certification. The provisions also apply to honorary judges, while they do not apply to lawyers, consultants, experts and other auxiliaries of the judge, witnesses and parties.
Private sector: employees in a company or private business not having a Green Pass are not allowed to access the workplace. The will be considered absent without pay until the Green Pass is presented. The suspension of salary starts from the 1st of an unjustified absence. From the 5th day of absence, the employment relationship is also suspended and is only reactivated once the Green Pass is obtained. There are no disciplinary consequences and job retention rights are maintained. For companies with fewer than 15 employees, the suspension from work takes effect from the 5th day (of non-presentation of the green certificate) and is valid for a maximum of 10 days (not beyond the deadline of December 31, 2021) to allow for the replacement of the worker. The Decree specifies, however, that there will be no disciplinary consequences (i.e. no provision for dismissal) and the employee will be entitled to job preservation.
Remote Working: the Decree does not give people not having Green Passes automatic right for remote working. If an employee was already working from remote the decision is on the individual employer.
Checks: Public and private employers are required to check for compliance with green pass obligations. A decree of the President of the Council of Ministers is awaited, which will clarify the details on the control activity. It will be possible to perform these checks through the Verify-19 app (as presently made in restaurants) or through platforms similar to those used in schools. By October 15th employers will define the operating procedures for the organization of checks (including sample checks) and will identify the persons in charge of controls (preferably at the time of access to work) and the contestation of violations.
Violations: Fines between 600 and 1,500 euros are provided for workers caught in the workplace without a Green Pass (without prejudice to the disciplinary consequences provided for in the various jurisdictions). As far as employers are concerned, a fine between 400 and 1,000 euros is provided for employers who do not verify compliance with the above rules and do not put in place the correct verification procedures.
Covid-19 tests: free tests for workers who are not vaccinated will be only for individuals who cannot get vaccinated due to health reasons. Fixed prices for rapid tests have been extended from September 30th to December 31st, 2021 (15 euros instead of 22 euros for adults and 8 euros from 12 to 18 years old). There are no specific measures for workers needing tests in the absence of a Green Pass to enter the workplace.