COVID-19: health protection of employees and visitors and protection of personal data. A necessary balancing of interests

Prepared by Andrea Lensi, Francesca Tironi, Giulia Spalazzi, Tommaso Sala, Alessandro Ferrari and Maria Ludovica Priori


The health emergency related to the spread of COVID-19 has determined the need for companies to identify appropriate measures in order to prevent the diffusion of the virus within the workplaces. All this, with the twofold goal of protecting the health of those who, for various reasons, have access to company sites, and to ensure business continuity.

In this context, the risk is double: either adopting incisive measures that could lead to a disproportionate invasion of the personal sphere of the individual or, on the contrary, implementing soft solutions which are inadequate to preserve the health and safety of workers.

In view of the above, it emerged the need to offer a joint and reasoned reading of labour law covering workplace health and safety legislation and data protection applicable law. In fact, if on the one hand, pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 81/2008, the employer is committed to ensure the safety of its employees and staff from any biological risks; on the other hand, the same subject, as data controller, is bound to comply with the principles defined by the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of personal data.

In fact, it seems possible to identify interim solutions suitable to fully satisfy the needs expressed by the companies only by exploiting the principal instruments made available by the two abovementioned regulations.

In this framework, the keystone is performing a balance test of the interests at stake, taking into due consideration the obligations the laws places on the company/employer and, on the other hand, the reasonable purposes of the latter and the respect of the principles of accountability and minimization of personal data. The latter being not an impossible task, which however is hardly intended as a priority, during a period like this.

Let’s Talk

Per una discussione più approfondita ti preghiamo di contattare:

Andrea Lensi

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti


Francesca Tironi

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti

Associate Partner

Giulia Spalazzi

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti

Senior Manager

Tommaso Sala

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti