Legal framework for remote working to be written

smart working

by Stefano Trifirò

As has been effectively said, the future (and present) of the world of work is a hybrid of the real world and the virtual world. The lockdowns were a tremendous opportunity for companies to experiment with new forms of work such as remote work. In reality, it was a mix of factors that escape any typed legal framework, and that have profoundly innovated the ways of working.

The Prime Ministerial Decree of 4 March 2020 established that agile work could also be applied to fixed-term employment. The impact has been overwhelming for companies and employees, but also for self-employed workers who have had to adapt to new unforeseen situations, where – if the pandemic had not existed – would have taken years to open up to the new world.

The actual work performance in the remote working regime during the pandemic, presupposed an organisation method based on flexibility, autonomy in the choice of place and time even in the face of greater employee responsibility. These are all unknown factors for the traditional employment relationship. However, remote working should not be left to the improvisation of an emergency moment, but rather linked to a political, legislative and social project that takes into account the best path for an optimal balance between the work and private life of the employee and productivity of the company.

Probably an individual agreement turns out to be the most effective way to adapt agile work to the needs of the parties. In fact, with individual agreements, it is possible to establish the ways of carrying out the work remotely by identifying the concrete needs of workers and companies on a case-by-case basis. As part of the sustainability policies of the PNRR, the United Nations development plan and the 2021 budget law, remote working has been inserted as a tool to achieve sustainable objectives to which small, medium or large companies will be particularly attentive. This being in order not to lose the opportunities offered by the investments envisaged by the PNRR.

Of course, sustainability must become an integral part of the company philosophy and it could contribute to the enhancement of women’s work. For example, through a specific training that  prevents working from home turning into an overload of work at the expense of women. The use of remote work places the individual at the centre of the work organisation, who is no longer in the context of office, but delocalised. The European Parliament is examining the possibility of introducing rules that take into account the tasks carried out under the remote working regime, connected with performance indicators tailored to the individual. Consequently, also a salary adapted to this new form of work which strengthens the fiduciary element inherent in the work performance.

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