Is the new model of employment relations possible in Italy?

An Italian company has implemented a new experimental work organization model for its employees. Neither telecommuting nor hybrid work, MYWAY Work goes beyond the traditional idea of ​​a low employment contract. But is Italy ready?

The news in recent days has worried a young entrepreneur, Bassel Bakdounes, owner of Velvet Media-a Castelfranco Veneto (TV) -based company, which specializes in social media marketing, who has more than 140 employees – who announced that he was introducing his own company. , on an experimental basis, a new model of work organization, called by itself MYWAY Work.

The new form of employment contract

This organizational model provides that workers – after their managers share specific goals to achieve over time – are completely free to organize the methods of doing their work and therefore to establish where , how, when and how much to work.
That is, according to this system, workers can decide for themselves whether to work from home, the office or anywhere, at what time of day available, but when to benefit from leave and work permits.
So it’s not a question of a plan that can be extended to Smart work (though not so much in the skewed sense as we know, in times of emergency), nor of Remote work or hybrid work, but of a first concrete attempt to go. beyond the traditional idea of ​​a low employment contract.

In fact, in the current contractual structure, it is given that the worker commits to making his activities available, for a given period of time (fixed by law and collective bargaining), in favor of a contractor, and that the latter is responsible for organizing the service and the obligation to pay wages (calculated based on working hours).
With this new model, on the other hand, a different contractual approach will begin to be introduced and enforced, in which the employee’s obligation is linked only to the outcome of his activity, thus ignoring the methods of its implementation. (and therefore also the area and duration of service).

The legal vacuum

However, as claimed by the creator of MYWAY Work himself, this experiment was performed in a situation with sufficient regulatory vacuum. With the current Italian legislation, it is not possible to set new employment contracts, which would effectively transfer this new concept and regulation of equivalent obligations.
In fact, laws regarding working hours, holidays and permits (based on the traditional model of employment contract), are considered mandatory rules and therefore cannot be waived, despite the agreement of the parties to the contract.

The possible solution

So, while waiting for the intervention of the Italian legislator – further desired by many parties – that may leave room for the evolution of the employment contract model in the direction identified above, the only possible solution now is to be legitimate. the organizational models envisioned by Velvet Media. is to resort to the stipulation of union agreements (even at the company level) in accordance with art. 8 of Law 148/2011 (referred to as “proximity agreements”).
Essentially, this law provides that in order to achieve specific objectives – such as increasing employment, the quality of employment contracts, the adoption of forms of labor participation, increasing competitiveness and wages – , it is possible to introduce specific arrangements. This, even by lowering the law and national collective labor agreements, for the regulation of matters relating to the organization of work and production and among them, in particular, those relating to the tasks and working hours of workers. .
However, the conclusion of such a company agreement would expect a real cultural revolution, also (and above all) on the part of trade unions, which is likely before the time comes.

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