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There is a date to be circulated in red in the calendar. 15 October. With the exception of other ideas, the state of emergency decided by the government on the coronavirus emergency will end. It is not just a psychological or political issue. Returning to the ordinary means leaving the logic of exceptionality even for certain important issues. As smart work, which involved between 6 and 8 million Italians. The efforts jumped, for the employer in fact only the possibility of ratifying an election introduced by Covid, but in the middle of next month we return to the ordinary law, number 81
A downturn in the CEO has not yet been found, but the direction has already been mapped. And Labor Minister Nunzia Catalfo, although he will not go into details, will illustrate it on Thursday at the table with trade unions and business organizations. The consideration for the government’s intervention is that smart work has exploded in numbers (from 570 thousand in 2019 to 6-8 million today), but above all it has caused a series of questions to explode three years ago, when it was made the law, they were still latent and they were latent until it became a mass phenomenon. The questions are called the right to connection, working hours, breaks, meal tickets. Now these issues need a more detailed framework, possibly tailored to the type of work being done. This is a very sensitive step because these issues affect workers’ rights and their daily lives. And at the same time, they affect the needs of employers because smart work also has the other side of the coin: it is not only a tool to facilitate the union of privacy (family and non-family) work, but also includes risks of becoming a kind of black hole, which makes it impossible for the employer to control the work performed.
What the government thinks, albeit with different nuances between M5 and Pd, is that relying entirely on occasional negotiations between the employer and the employee can generate dysfunctions and problems for the other. So think grillini, which pushes to postpone everything to the national collective agreement, and then to the company, to also bring the unions to the field and to broaden the discussion table to come to concession and management of smart works for the benefit of the worker. They also believe so, but at the same time they do not want to disturb the legal system 81. A balance point that emerges during these hours is to change the 2017 law with targeted interventions. The first is the most important and it is to insert in the law a reference to national collective bargaining and to corporate bargaining. This must be the context in order to mature the new rules for timetables, disconnection and food stamps. Such an arrangement involves all parties in the field and would make it possible to adapt smart work to the specifics of the work that takes place. The second intervention should concern rules affecting women workers. The aim is to avoid the ghetto effect and in this respect the intervention management aims to bring spouses to smart work, in line with what has been done for leave and smart work during the pandemic, with measures related to both parents and not to a single figure.
If the contracts are the framework, the government still strives not to be alien to this dynamic. It will not delegate everything to employers and unions. It will give some indications and some of them can be very binding. Like the quotas. Another hypothesis, but there is. In practice, the government would specify a percentage of workers who can be put into smart work. The public is already happening because until 31 December, flexible work is allowed for a proportion corresponding to 50% of the audience who can work outside the office. And this share will increase to 60% from next year and become structural. A similar path could also be chosen for the private sector.
Even before the quota, however, it is necessary to decide within the government when to intervene. And time is an important factor. As of October 16, the individual agreement will return and the Democratic Party does not want to terminate it. Even in the event of a sudden intervention, probably through an amendment to be included in a provision being examined by Parliament, in order to make the negotiation process a priority or an alternative, it will be necessary to wait a while. What exactly is needed to transfer the new rules for smart work to contracts. In many cases, this time can also be very short, as some companies already today modulate flexible work with agreements that affect the size of the company contract. In any case, the manner of the individual agreement will remain in the field, it will not be annulled. But the goal is to make it more and more, so that it is actually replaced by the negotiating system.
The audience also moves. It starts already from a work started by Minister Fabiana Dadone, that of the shares of 50% and 60 percent. But new guidelines are coming soon and there will also be a reference to collective bargaining to create an accompanying framework. However, the basic principle will not be undermined: the autonomy of the administrations over Pola will remain, the organizational plans for agile work that will be in the hands from next year. It will be the managers who will decide who will be able to do smart work, rotations, but also to avoid unfortunate phenomena such as isolation of workers. The Ministry will follow this process with guidelines, which will also include an address on sensitive issues such as data. The Minister makes it a question also, if not above all, cultural: “True smart working, agile and flexible – she says to Huffpost – It will be an important tool for changing the cultural strategy of part of the public sector, especially management, and will help us move from the logic to fulfill to the results. It will be a very useful way to rinse off the few PA slacks, because when you have goals every day or every week, you can not relax. We are confident that, when fully operational, it will generate an increase in productivity, just as it did in the private sector, in favor of better services for citizens and businesses ”.
Initial estimates of the impact of this change in public outlook are already circulating. Today, the PA has 3.2 million employees: one million in schools, about 600,000 in health care, 150,000 ministers and others connected to local authorities. Between 1.5 and 2 million worked at home under the lock. When the quota system is fully operational, this will reach around 600-700 thousand, in practice at least one in five state-owned companies will work smart.