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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IT-2020-14/1172 Updated – measures in Italy

Agreement on health and safety at the workplace for public employees relating to the COVID-19 emergency

Protocollo di accordo per la prevenzione e la sicurezza dei dipendenti pubblici

Country Italy , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 03 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes in work organisation
Author Lisa Dorigatti (University of Milan) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 September 2020 (updated 30 July 2021)

Background information

The agreement was signed on 3 April 2020 by the Minister for the Public Administration and by the most representative trade union organisations in the public administration CGIL, CISL and UIL.

It set common and shared guidelines to facilitate in all the public administrations the application of the measures necessary to contain the spread of the infection as a way to secure both the workplaces for the public employees, as well as the access to the public. Furthermore it promoted the adoption of the smart work for those services where it is applicable to guarantee the continuity of services’ provision and the income levels of the public employees involved.

Content of measure

The agreement set the following measures:

  • Where applicable, the smart working is promoted as the form of work organisation in all the public administrations, compatibly with the need to provide essential services in presence (as in the case of the healthcare)
  • A reduction in the number of both the personnel through shifts and of the customers in the offices, to prevent the risk of assemblage. All the services in presence are provided upon reservation.
  • The provision of a clear protocol for sanitising and cleaning the workplaces, as well as the rules to apply in case of positivity to COVID-19 of an employee or a citizen/user attending a public office.
  • The definition of new rules concerning the organisation of work for public employees who cannot work remotely and are not authorised to work from the office. Individual training, the use of all the days of leave and holiday at disposal are promoted as a way to ensure the same salary levels.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

29 July 2021

The measure is still in place.

Use of measure

The measures apply to all the public administrations in the country, at both central and local level. It furthermore set general rules for the access to the public services applicable to all the citizens.


  • Health and safety

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Local / regional government
Public employment service
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


On the employer's side, the agreement was negotiated and signed by the Ministry of the Public Administration which embodied the public employer for the whole public personnel involved in the measure.

On the union side, the most representative trade unions in the public sector negotiated and signed the agreement, involving both the union confederations (CGIL, CISL and UIL) as well as the sectoral categories of these confederations organising in the Public Sector (FP-CGIL, FP-CISL, FPL-UIL, UIL PA) and in the Education sector (which is separated) (FLC-CGIL, FSUR-CISL, FIR-CISL, CISL Università, UIL SCUOLA RUA). Several minor and not representative trade unions in the public sector have not been involved.

Unions' involvement is requested by institutional setting. According to the legislative framework the trade unions in the public sector have the right to be informed, consulted and to negotiate in all the matters concerning the organisation of work, along with the terms and conditions of employment. Furthermore, in compliance with the legislative setting, only the representative trade unions have been involved.

Views and reactions

The trade unions are supportive to this measure. The agreement satisfy the requests of the trade unions. It should be added that it was signed in the middle of the pandemic lockdown when no further alternatives were actually at disposal to re-organise the public services and the public employment.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      O - Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security O84 Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
      P - Education P85 Education
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
      Q87 Residential care activities
      Q88 Social work activities without accommodation

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Agreement on health and safety at the workplace for public employees relating to the COVID-19 emergency, measure IT-2020-14/1172 (measures in Italy), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.