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Italy: Smart Working - agile, performing and increasing

05 February 2020
Federica Getilli


The number of the so called smart workers (workers who have flexibility in the choice of time and place of supply of services) is increasing in Italy: according to estimates released by the smart working Observatory of the School of Management of Milan Polytechnic in October 2019, these kind of workers are about 570,000, a 20% increase compared to 2018.  Forms of “Agile Working” have been widespread for some time in Europe as well (Great Britain, Netherlands, France, Germany …) and the European Parliament itself has stressed the social benefits of the “Agile Working”, declaring the importance of the balance between work and private life. A growing phenomenon then, being considered to be able to improve business performance.

What it is

Smart Working, otherwise known as agile work, has been governed in Italy by Law no. n. 81/2017, with the main goal of promoting the reconciling work and family life, in order to increase the company's competitiveness and the relationship of trust between worker and employer.

Using this organisational method, the work performance is supplied partly inside and partly outside the company’s premises (for example, at worker’s place), within the maximum daily and weekly working time limits established by law and by collective bargaining agreement, and according to individual agreements.

The performance is, basically, organised on time slots of availability, within the maximum working time limits.

The Smart Working Agreement

Formally, the agile working requires an individual agreement between worker and employer, in written form ad probationem.

Briefly, the agreement shall include terms concerning (i) execution of the work performance outside of company’s premises, (ii) forms of exercise of employer’s managerial power, (iii) workers' rest periods and (iv) tools used by worker and technical and organisational measures needed to ensure the disconnection of worker from technologic working equipment. 

The agreement on agile work may be a fixed-term or a permanent contract, with possibility of resignation by prior notice.

Ground rules

The worker performing with agile work method, has the right to a legal and economic treatment not lower than the one applied in accordance to collective bargaining agreement to workers who supply the same performance in the company.

The agreement shall also foresee the exercise of the employer’s power of control on the performance supplied by the worker, which shall be made in accordance with the rules governing remote controls. In addition, privacy (G.D.P.R.) rules shall be observed.

The Smart Worker has the right to benefit of the protection against accidents at work and professional diseases deriving from risks connected to work performance executed outside the company’s premises, and he is also required to cooperate to the implementation of the preventive measures provided by the employer.


For the Company, the main benefits of agile work can be summed up as follows: 

  • increasing in terms of competitiveness and productivity (estimated about 20%, exactly because of working conditions that allow the optimization and planning of working days and the reduction of absenteeism); 
  • improvement of employer branding (attracting the most talented and motivated workers); 
  • reduction of costs for the company (due to reduced physical rooms, equipment and various services, which may lead to a cost saving from 20% to 30%); 
  • in addition, smart workers may be entitled to tax and contributory advantages, already provided for all employed persons, eventually recognized in relation to productivity and efficiency improvements of paid employment. It is therefore possible to apply: (a) facilitated tax regimes of production awards and partial decontribution for companies which involve workers in work organisation equally; (b) the complete allowance and decontribution of company’s welfare measures.

In the light of the above, Smart Working appears to be a new organisational business culture, which can be implemented through internal sharing processes and is able to modernize the development of human resources in the company.

The organisation coming from it improves mutual trust and liability, both on worker’s (to whom proactivity and organizational and resolutive abilities are requested), and employer’s side (who will have to manage in a delegation and working for objectives view).

For further information, contact:

Federica Getilli, Associate

Bureau Plattner, Milan


t: +39 02 25060760

#Italy, #SmartWorking, #WLNadvocate, #BureauPlattner, #employment




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