Correspondent in Rome
Prime Minister Mario Draghi had advanced it days ago: The Covid-19 Digital Certificate will be mandatory in Italy, both for workers in the public administration and in the private sector, as of October 15. After five days of unjustified absence due to lack of a health certificate, the person can be “suspended” from work and salary. It is a decision that is intended to force the vaccine to become even more widespread in practice, because many workers still oppose it. For electoral reasons, winking to those sectors against the vaccine, the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, had opposed the health certificate. In the end he has had to give in to Draghi’s determination.
Measure will be officially adopted this afternoon in the Council of Ministers. But the mandatory nature of the health certificate in all workplaces has already been confirmed, in the course of a meeting prior to the Council of Ministers. To fix the last details, Mario Draghi held a meeting with the heads of delegation of the political forces that make up the government of national unity, that is, all the parties with the exception of the Brothers of Italy, the only one in the opposition. Later Draghi met with the presidents of the regions.
A tough battle between government and unions has remained on the free or paid for Covid tests for the workers. The union leaders met yesterday with Mario Draghi and requested that the payment of these tests not fall on the workers. “You can’t pay to go to work,” the unionists said. But Draghi was also adamant: “Tests can’t be free,” he said. The reason for this refusal by Draghi is not only an economic issue, but also a practical one, to motivate all workers to get vaccinated and thus obtain the health certificate. Thus, until December 31, for workers who have a medical justification to avoid the vaccine, the Covid tests will be free, but the rest will have to pay 15 euros.
Another tough meeting has taken place between the Ministers of Culture, Dario Franceschini, and the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza. The first had requested that now that the health certificate is required in theaters, cinemas and museums, it could return to its normal capacity. This is what the whole world of culture requests. However, Minister Speranza opposed and has had the support of Mario Draghi. In any case, the government’s commitment has been reached to reconsider the problem of the capacity of cinemas and theaters in October.
There will be harsh penalties for those who do not comply with the regulations. The worker who shows up without a health certificate, will not be admitted, it will be considered as an unexcused absence. The financial penalty will range between 400 and 1,000 euros, fine that can be increased in case of falsification of the document.
After five days of unexcused absence, the government decree establishes that «The employment relationship is suspended and no salary is owed nor other fees or emoluments ”. The suspension of the employment relationship will not be classified as a disciplinary sanction, because that could have other negative consequences for your work trajectory.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism