The remote worker's safety abroad

15 September 2023

The employer must ensure the employees' health and safety even when performing their performance from abroad.

The legislation regulating remote working, Law No. 81/2017, does not prevent remote performance by employees outside Italy.

The performance of work abroad does not exclude, though, the employer's obligation to guarantee employee protection from the point of view of safety at work.

Even when remote working is performed outside Italy, the standard insurance protection guaranteed by INAIL applies. Moreover, the employer’s duty to safeguard employees’ health at work, as provided by the law – first and foremost, the protection afforded by article 2087 of the Civil Code – also remains for those employees who carry out remote work.

Therefore, even the accidents that occur to employees working remotely will, in general, be protected if they are caused by a risk related to the work performance, with the only limitation of the elective risk (i.e., that caused by voluntary conduct of the worker such as to influence the relationship between the event and the damage).

Without prejudice to the above, in the case of activities from abroad, the provisions on health and safety in the agreement signed between the parties are of greater importance. Specifically, it will be here that the employer will have to specify the employee's obligation to cooperate, as well as the provisions contained in the health and safety information that the employer is obliged to deliver to the employee and any other indications related to guaranteeing his safety in the performance of his duties. At the same time, this document may also define workplaces consistent with the terms of the agreement and the company's health and safety policies for services performed remotely, perhaps excluding the possibility of working from one or more foreign countries.