Recent legislation changes have put in place new measures for dealing with the spread of COVID-19 and offer support for employees with children in distance learning or quarantine. In particular, the law contains provisions on agile work, leave for parents with children in distance learning or quarantine, and babysitting bonuses.
All measures will stay in place until the 30th of June 2021.
Agile Work or COVID-19 Leave
Article 2 of Legislative Decree 30/2021 provides for the right of an employee who is the parent of a child under 16 years age, alternatively with the other parent, to carry out agile work for a period corresponding either in whole or part to:
- The duration of the suspension of classroom-based teaching or educational activities.
- The duration of the child’s COVID-19 infection.
- The duration of the child’s quarantine as arranged by the local health authorities.
This benefit is recognized for parents of children of all ages with disabilities, with specific learning disabilities, or with special educational needs, in the cases outlined above, or where the children attend day care centers that must close.
The employee carrying out agile work is granted the right to disconnect from IT equipment and platforms, in compliance with any agreements signed by both parties and without prejudice to any agreed availability periods.
If agile work cannot be carried out, the employee parent of a cohabiting child under 14 years of age may refrain from work for a period corresponding to the duration of the suspension of educational activities, the duration of the child’s COVID-19 infection, or the duration of the child’s quarantine.
This benefit is granted to parents of children with certified severe disabilities, regardless of the age of the child, for the duration of the child’s COVID-19 infection or the duration of the child’s quarantine, or if classroom-based teaching or educational activities have been suspended or day care centers ordered to close.
For any periods of abstention, an indemnity equal to 50% of salary is recognized instead of salary.
Any periods of parental leave taken by parents from 1st January 2021 until the date of the issuance of Legislative Decree 30/2021, during periods of the suspension of classroom-based teaching or educational activities, the duration of the child’s COVID-19 infection, or the time of the child’s quarantine, can be converted into the leave referred to above with the right to indemnity as described, and are neither calculated nor compensated as parental leave.
If the children are aged between 14 and 16, one of the parents has the right to abstain from work without the payment of salary or indemnities or recognition of notional contributions, protected by the ban on dismissals and right to maintain their post.
Employees enrolled in the INPS separate management scheme, the self-employed, working in public security, defense, rescue personnel, and local police employed for needs relating to the COVID-19 emergency, public and accredited private healthcare personnel can avail of health bonuses for the purchase of baby-sitting services up to a maximum total limit of €100 per week. It is provided through the Family Booklet scheme, for cohabiting children under the age of 14 and in the cases mentioned above.
The bonus is also granted to the self-employed not registered with INPS, subject to communication by the respective social security funds of the number of beneficiaries. For the days in which a parent carries out agile work, takes leave, does not carry out any working activity, or is suspended from work, the other parent cannot benefit from either abstention or the bonus unless they are also a parent of other children under the age of 14 with other partners who are not benefiting from any of the measures described.
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