The use of audiovisual equipment and other equipment exclusively for remote control purposes the activity of workers is prohibited by Article 4 of Law n. 300/1970 (Workers’ Statute), as amended.

First of Legislative Decree. N. 151/2015, Article 4 granted to the employer to install new equipment from which they could derive a remote monitoring of the work of the employees only for organizational, production or security, but not without prior agreement with the representatives union business or, failing that, an authorization of the competent Territorial Directorate of Labor.

So, before the reform, Article 4 allowed the carrying out of monitoring and verification activities with the help of surveillance tools, but these tools, if not authorized, could not be used for disciplinary complaints about inadequate execution of work tasks .

We have examined the subject with the labor law attorney Francesco Antonio La Badessa.

“The video surveillance, it is not subject to prior agreement with union representatives or authorized by the competent Labor Inspectorate, can not be placed in the workplace. It can be used outdoors as corporate assets protection measure to prevent or document civil and criminal offenses against property, the organization or, more generally, the legal situation of the company but not professional misconduct of employees. In case of unauthorized surveillance, however, the cameras can be positioned within the workplace but defaults or illegal – the subject of recovery – made by staff can be used as valid evidence in court as long as the recovery is accidental, that is, the fact in dispute of default or offense has occurred accidentally in the camera shooting range, “says the lawyer. That explains, “With the legislative decree no. 151/2015, all other devices (different from the cameras), from which derives the possible remote monitoring of workers, can be legitimately employed by the employer for organizational and production requirements, as well as for safety at work and the protection the company’s assets, without the obligation of the agreement with the unions or the Inspectorate approval. This is because the legislator, excluding the bond of preventive bargaining today’s ordinary working tools, such as PCs, GPS, mobile phone, tablet,

So, the installation of video surveillance by the employer to control employees is legal?

“The direct remote control is never allowed. In the substance it is allowed to direct in the case in which the positioning of the video surveillance systems is subject to negotiation and subsequent union agreement or authorization by the Inspectorate. but if the purpose is only to check if a worker produces or not, the permissions are never granted.

In other words, the failure of the worker, accidentally or randomly recorded by the camera for the protection of property or safety of workers or production plants, can be used for disciplinary purposes, to be registered only for purposes of the conduct of employees but no control . “

The question, understand, regards authorizations.

“Yup. Let me give an example. A company can use all the cameras and bugs of this world, through which it turns out maybe a two-time employees. The problem arises on the usability of this evidence in court, because if the control instruments have not been authorized pursuant to art. 4 (old and new text), those tests can not be validly used in a number of labor process, in which the possible redundancy must instead be supported by other direct or indirect evidence such as: testimonies, documentary evidence, etc. “.