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Obligation to green pass at the workplace

Labor law

Obligation to green pass at the workplace

Legislative Decree 127/2021 of 15.09.2021 obliges all Italian workers to enter the workplace only with a so-called green pass (certificate that one has been vaccinated or has recovered). This applies to all rooms in which work is carried out, companies, shops but also offices of freelancers. The obligation applies to work in covered spaces as well as in the open air and it applies to all employees, regardless of the type of contract that binds them to the company (employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors). The only exception is for workers who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons.

Employers are obliged to verify the possession of a valid green pass. The worker who does not have one is considered to be absent without excuse. He or she will not face any disciplinary consequences, but will not be paid for the period of absence.

The introduction of Legislative Decree 139/2021 also introduced the obligation for workers to inform the employer in good time whether they are in possession of a green pass, insofar as the employer claims special requirements for programming work in the organisation for this purpose. This applies, for example, in the case of shift work or tasks within the scope of occupational safety, which the employer must schedule in advance in order to ensure the continuity of operations.

The legislator's wording (workers are "required" to notify) leads to the conclusion that a failure to notify also constitutes a contractual default that the employer can pursue through disciplinary action. Furthermore, a failure to notify would also constitute a breach of the employee's duty of care and loyalty under the employment contract, which can also potentially cause serious harm to the establishment.