What does the green pass in Italy mean?
Italy will be making the EU’s Green Pass mandatory for all private, public, and self-employed workers to access their place of work, as of the 15th of October.
This is in order to stop the spreading of COVID-19 as the country moves towards economic recovery and will have far-reaching effects on the workers and businesses of Italy, with penalties in place.
What is the Green Pass in Italy?
The green pass (introduced by the anti-Covid decree of 22 April 2021, then modified by the decree of 18 May) is a certificate (digital or printed) that is issued for the following cases:
- Anti-Covid vaccination (valid for one year from the date of the last vaccine administration).
- Recovery from Covid in the last 6 months.
- Negative outcome to an antigenic or molecular swab.
From July 1st, the national certificate is also valid as the “Digital Covid Certificate”, the counterpart of the European Union which allows travel between the 27 EU member states, plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Following the approval of the decree 127/2021, the obligation of the green pass has been extended to the entire world of work, both public and private, starting from 15 October 2021 and until 31 December 2021 and includes workers outside the company or administration and who accesses the structures for “training”.
What are the sanctions?
The decree 127/2021 provides for penalties ranging from 600 to 1.500,00 euros both for those who do not show the certificate and for those who fail to carry out the necessary checks. It is the employers who must verify that employees have a valid green pass, also through “random checks”. The prohibition on firing is expressly provided.
Who checks and enforces the rule?
The checks of the green pass are up to the employers to make – especially using random checks. The government stresses that those companies that will carry out random checks on employees will not incur the sanctions if an inspection by the authorities finds the presence of workers without a green pass, “provided that the checks have been carried out in compliance with adequate models organizational as required by decree law 127 of 2021 “.
Suspension and exemptions
In the public sector, those who do not have the vaccination certificate are considered “unjustified absentee” and after the fifth day of absence the employment relationship is suspended. In the private sector, on the other hand, the worker is absent without the right to remuneration until the pass is presented. No disciplinary consequences and no dismissals, in both cases.
The Green Pass requirement do not apply to workers that are unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine – they must, however, provide a medical certificate stating their exemption.
In the case of individuals involved in the justice system – lawyers, magistrates, witnesses, etc. – access to the public courts will not require a Green Pass, but they must have a Green Pass in order to access other public places, such as a law firm.
Those who always work in smart working (working from home) will not need to have a green pass, which is used to access the workplace.
In any case smart working cannot be used for the purpose of evading the obligation of a green pass.
What about the ban on dismissal?
Until December 31, 2021 the ban will be still in force for employers of specific sector (for example commerce sector) who benefit for the tax relief provided by the “Sostegni” Decree.
Italy is still under a ‘state of emergency’ and the green pass is valid until the 31st of December 2021.
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