The National Labour Inspectorate (Ispettorato Nazionale del Lavoro, ‘INL’), in note No 2572 of 14 April 2023, provided operational guidelines for the issuance of authorisations for video surveillance systems and instruments which enable remote control of workers within the meaning of Article 4 of the Workers’ Charter (Italian Law No 300/1970). As set out in the operational note, the guidelines are based on application experience and operational problems that have emerged over time, including in the light of the technological evolution of the instruments that can be adopted, while also taking into account the guidelines of the Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali).
The INL has, among other things, specified that:
- the installation of an audio-visual system or other instruments which may enable remote control of workers must necessarily and as a priority be preceded by a collective agreement with the workplace unions (Rappresentanza Sindacale Aziendale/Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria, ‘RSA/RSU’). The authorisation procedure, in fact, appears to be only contingent and subsequent to failure to agree with the unions and is conditional on proving the absence of the RSA/RSU;
- the installation of such instruments cannot be justified by any consent, even informed consent, of the individual workers concerned. In this case, installation would not only be unlawful but also criminally sanctioned;
- undertakings with several production units located within the competence of the same INL area office may submit only one authorisation application;
- companies located in several provinces, as an alternative to concluding individual agreements with the RSA/RSU, may conclude a single agreement with the trade unions that are comparatively more representative at national level;
- Article 4 of Italian Law No 300/1970 applies to companies where there are workers: (i) in the case of establishing a new company that at the time of the application has no workers but plans to employ staff as soon as the business activity starts, it may submit the authorisation application indicating the number of workers that there will be when the activity starts; (ii) in the event that a company already in operation with a plant legitimately installed and functioning but without workers, intends to employ personnel, it may submit an application but must – at the same time – certify the decommissioning of the plant, which will be put into operation only after the authorisation measure, if any.
The note also clarifies how geolocalisation systems can be used. The INL, expressly referring to the conclusions that the Italian Data Protection Authority has over time provided on the subject, refers to the Authority’s requirements for the configuration of these systems. The systems, in fact, must:
- exclude continuous monitoring of the worker;
- allow authorised persons to view the location only when strictly necessary in relation to the purposes pursued;
- allow the device to be deactivated during breaks and outside working hours;
- process by pseudonymising personal data;
- provide for the storage of collected data only when necessary and with retention times proportionate to the purposes pursued.
The INL also clarifies that the procedure imposed by Article 4 of Law No 300/1970 also applies to the types of work to which the protections given to subordinate employment relationships are extended by law. This includes collaborations that take the form of predominantly personal, continuous services organised through an employer (etero organizzate), even if organised through platforms, including digital ones.