The Jobs Act for Self-Employed Workers
Law No. 81 of 22 May 2017, provides that “Measures for the protection of non-entrepreneurial self-employment and measures to facilitate flexible articulation in times and places of subordinate employment”.
The new changes introduced in the field of self-employment are many and are important. In particular, innovations in the field of pension benefits, jus variants of the client, and the introduction of smart work, or agile work. Thus, we come to the provisions of L. 81/2017 on social security benefits. The “Jobs Act for Self-Employed Workers” has introduced, or strengthened, important social security institutions for the protection of self-employed workers, extending de facto many of the tutelages typical of subordinate work. The main new features can be summarized as follows:
- from 1 January 2017, parental leave accompanied by economic compensation was introduced, with a limit of six months within three years of the birth;
- in the event of injury, illness and pregnancy, it does not result in the termination of the employment relationship, but suspension for a period not exceeding 150 days per calendar year;
- in case of maternity it is possible, with the agreement of the parties, to replace the worker with a trusted worker;
- there is an incentive of 600 euros monthly, for six months, for mothers (a novelty even for subordinate workers) to partially cover the cost of the nursery or babysitters;
- there is provision for a separate stand for self-employment in the offices of employment centres.
In the case of jus variants, the contractual clauses conferring on the buyer the right to unilaterally change the terms of the contract or to withdraw from the contract without prior notice shall be deemed to have no effect. And this, again, approaches a lot to the tutelages typical of the subordinate employment relationship (think of ruling 2103 cod. Civ.) the self-employment performance that is characterized by the same dynamics of contractual strength.
But we come to the second chapter of L. 81/2017 which finally introduces the most important normative novelty: smart work. With this term, the legislator has identified a subordinate job performance characterized by particular flexibility on times, and on the workplace (or even by the absence of a fixed station) coordinated with the help of computer tools, but without establishing a new contractual type. This flexibility, however, meets precise regulatory limits to avoid abuses and distortions of the institution as summarized as follows.
First of all, the agile work agreement (remember that it is not a contractual type of work) must be in writing for the purpose of administrative regularity and proof. The agreement must govern the arrangements for implementation, the times and the technical and organizational measures that will characterize the work performance outside the company. It will also be necessary to indicate the surveillance tools and the disciplinary power the employer intends to use. As far as the smart worker’s economic treatment is concerned, this can not be inferior to collective bargaining for workers with similar jobs.
Lastly, although a strict predetermination of work time is not provided for by the legislation, it cannot exceed the daily and weekly time limits laid down by law and collective bargaining.