Smart working, the employer can call the worker back (but only out of necessity)


With the restarting of activities in the various sectors, many companies are returning to normal, maintaining for, in some cases, smart working. The agile work, which many experienced during the lockdown, in fact today, in the recovery phase, a measure of prevention of the risk of contagion, strongly recommended by the safety protocols and the Inail technical documents because it allows to decrease the presence inside workplaces and allows those who need to physically go to the site to do so with greater security. If the Inail’s protocols and recommendations were not enough, the labor inspectors are called, at this time, to also check that smart working is used in all cases where possible. Agile work, in this phase, does not exclude the presence in the workplace in absolute terms, especially in the moments when it is deemed necessary. Indeed, by its nature smart working, which in this differs from telework, is characterized by being a way of working that takes place partly outside and partly outside the company premises.

Both the DL Cura Italia and the DL Rilancio have expanded the audience those who can claim a right or a priority in accessing agile work during the emergency period: in addition to working mothers in the three years following maternity leave and workers with disabled children, workers with serious and proven pathologies with reduced working capacity. On the other hand, workers with severe disabilities and immunosuppressed workers (or with family members in these situations), and employees with children under the age of 14, have a real right to access agile work, provided that the other parent is not on layoffs or unoccupied. Also in this case, the right to carry out one’s activity in smart working does not exclude the possibility that the employer may request presence in the company at particular times and for specific needs. Obviously, considering the situation, the request for physical presence will have to be limited to particular occasions, of proven and unavoidable necessity.

“Simplified” smart working in the emergency was a kind of mass test and many companies have already confirmed that they will not go back, as Twitter and Facebook did. A reaction appreciated also by many workers. It will be a season of new agile work agreements, which will allow to implement a real smart working designed on the needs of companies and different tasks, with perhaps an alternation between remote work and physical presence. The original spirit of smart working, an innovative managerial tool, which implies the transition from an evaluation of work based on time and presence to one focused on results, must also be recovered. It basically means working for objectives, correctly assigned and controlled. We therefore need an adequate managerial culture, but we also need well thought out regulatory instruments.

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