Extension of the simplified Smart Working procedure

Further extension of the simplified Smart Working procedure and exemption of the “meal voucher” recognized to the Smart-Worker

Prepared by Marzio Scaglioni and Leila Rguibi

Following the approval of the so-called “Milleproroghe Decree” (Decree-Law no. 183/2020) it has been further extended, until the end of the so-called emergency period and in any case, unless subsequent measures are taken, no later than 30th April 2021, the possibility  for all private employers to use the Smart Working in a simplified way, that is, regardless of the individual agreements provided for by the “ordinary” legislation on Smart Working (see Law no. 81/2017).

In fact, as is now known, our legislator has – since the beginning of the emergency period – recommended and promoted the almost generalized use of Smart Working, where the nature of the work activity allows it, in order to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 contagion.

Therefore, in order to allow an increasingly generalized use of Smart Working during the emergency period, whose deadline is currently set at 30th April 2021, private employers who wish to use this tool will be able to continue to do so even in the absence of the individual agreement with the worker which, apart from the simplified hypothesis here considered, would constitute an essential condition for carrying out work activities outside the company premises. 

However, all the information and communication obligations incumbent on the employer remain unchanged, i.e. the obligation to inform the workers concerned, albeit in a simplified manner, about the risks – in terms of health and safety – related to the Smart Working, as well as the obligation to communicate, through the website of the Ministry of Labour, the names of workers involved in the Smart Working.

With regard to the economic and regulatory treatment recognized to the Smart Workers, it also seems appropriate to point out that the Italian Tax Authority has finally ruled on one of the aspects on which companies and operators of the sector had questioned themselves even before the beginning of the emergency period: the tax and social security contributions treatment of meal vouchers recognized to the Smart Workers. 

In particular, with Response to Question no. 956-2631/2020, the Revenue Agency has definitively clarified that in the absence of provisions limiting the recognition, by the employer, of meal vouchers in favor of its employees, for these services it is applied the same regime of partial taxation – from both contributory and tax side – provided in reference to all other workers, regardless of the distribution of working time – which may or may not include the “lunch break” (i.e. in case of part-time), and the mode of employment – which can, in fact, also be carried out outside the company premises.

Therefore, the employer and the employee – even in Smart Working – will not be required to pay contributions and taxes on the value of meal vouchers received, provided that their value is less than € 4,00, in reference to paper ticket, and € 8,00 in reference to electronic ones.

Let’s Talk

For a deeper discussion, please contact:

Marzio Scaglioni

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti