ITALY - CROSS-SECTORAL / LOCAL GOVERNMENT/ CENTRAL GOVERNMENT / HEALTH / TELECOMS / GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT (GBVH) / DOMESTIC VIOLENCE / OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH (OSH) / SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS-SURVIVORS / PSYCHOSOCIAL RISKS / RISK ASSESSMENT / SECURITY / PROTECTION / REMEDIES AND COMPENSATION
Sector - CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
Theme - GBVH
A committee established in the Prison Administration Department in 2008 aims to address gender inequalities and GBVH, with representation from unions and the administration. Guidelines were drawn up to tackle GBVH, which were disseminated to all Italian prisons. One of the innovatory elements of the guidelines is the establishment of trusted consultants who provide confidential advice and support for workers suffering all forms of violence and harassment. Trusted consultants are being appointed in each Italian Provveditorato (the prisons located in each prison region or in several smaller regions), playing a critical role in raising awareness and implementation of the guidelines in each region.
Sector - CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
Theme - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE / SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS-SURVIVORS
National agreements on domestic violence in the public sector were instrumental in setting a model for agreements in other sectors, and exist by virtue of Art. 24 of Legislative Decree no. 80/2015. Leave can be taken flexibly and a worker is entitled to move to part-time work and to revert back to full-time work. These provisions, including leave for victims of violence, were included for the first time in national agreements in the public sector (2016-2018). They include National Collective Agreement for education and research (Article 18), National Collective Agreement for central government central functions Triennio (Article 36); National Collective Agreement for local authorities (Article 34) and the National Collective Agreement in health (Article 39). Unions in Italy believe that the provisions on domestic violence on C190 and R206 will help to further strengthen bargaining on this issue, and help fulfil the union strategy to ensure that every collective agreement at every level includes clauses on violence and harassment, including on domestic violence, in line with C190.
Sector - TELECOMS
Theme - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE / SECURITY / SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS-SURVIVORS
The 2020 CBA between the national and territorial trade unions (SLC CGIL, FISTEL CISL and UILCOM UIL) and Vodafone Italy is an example of a new generation of CBAs that integrates domestic violence into smart working and agreed protocols on remote working. Domestic violence is included as a special case (along with workers with a disability, single parents with dependent children, parents with a child with a disability and new parents) where measures may be implemented to enable employees to work reduced hours and have additional leave. The agreement increased paid domestic violence leave from 10 days (as provided for under the Vodafone Italy policy) to 15 days to cover medical and psychological advice and counselling, and security support in reporting to the police and assistance in contacting domestic violence organisations; and help is given to change the victim’s company telephone number and email.
Sector - CROSS-SECTORAL
Theme - OSH / PSYCHOSOCIAL RISKS / RISK ASSESSMENT / SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS-SURVIVORS
Including violence and harassment in OSH laws is currently being discussed in Italy by the tripartite national advisory committee on occupational safety and health, which unions believe should include an explicit obligation on employers to include violence and harassment, including TPVH, in risk assessments. Some progress has been achieved in the public sector, through under the Joint Consultative Committees (Comitai Unici di Granazia (CUGs) (under Directive No. 2 of 26/06/2019 and the Protocol of 18/11/2020), where employers are obliged to implement all appropriate initiatives for the prevention of violence or harassment in the workplace, for example, through joint actions and agreements, as well as victim support and information and awareness raising. Better coordination of OSH and gender equality functions is one way to ensure this integration, for example, training for OSH safety representative has been organised jointly by CISL’s women department and safety and health department and training handbooks produced by CISL address psychosocial risks and violence and harassment.
Sector - HEALTH
Theme - OSH / RISK ASSESSMENT
In 2022 CGIL issued practical guidance for health workers “Stop attacks on health personnel. Let us take care of those who care for us” (stop aggressioni al personale sanitario. Prendiamoci cura di chi ci cura). It sets out what a worker must do where there is a risk of aggression and behaviours that should be implemented in a situation of potential risk. These cover: how to maintain a conduct that promotes de-escalation of the aggressive behaviour, and how to respond and reduce the potential for injury when there is aggressive conduct such as being grabbed by the wrist, hair or neck or if there is biting. It also gives practice guidance on what to expect of employers and include in negotiations. These range from requiring the health organisation to identify the risk factors that impact on staff safety and to commit to implementing violence prevention interventions. These include actions such as monitoring episodes of violence and of events that lead to acts of violence or threats against health workers; promoting organisational wellbeing and psychosocial health of health workers and psychological support for workers and teams affected by TPVH; address and analyse risk factors and measures to reduce these risks; and monitoring and implementation of prevention and protection measures to monitor the implementation of prevention and protection measures to guarantee safety levels in the workplace also by promoting video surveillance tools. The guidance also addresses measures to promote the dissemination of good safety practices, including teamwork; holding training courses for healthcare personnel aimed at preventing and managing conflict situations and improving the quality of communication with users; concluding operational protocols with the police forces; setting up a dedicated register of accidents; formally reporting the incident of violence to the judicial authorities; compensating days of absence due to illness or injury of the assaulted personnel; ensuring that interventions for the promotion of safety and the prevention of violent behaviour are defined within the corporate risk management programme plan; and raising public awareness by explaining that aggression against health personnel is not the solution to citizens' health problems.
Sector - LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Theme - OSH / SECURITY / RISK ASSESSMENT / PROTECTION
CBAs in Italian municipalities have addressed rising levels of TPVH, particularly against staff working with vulnerable clients, the first of which was signed in Genoa in 2020. A Memorandum of Understanding on combating TPVH, including GBVH, was signed by unions and the government on 18 November 2020, on the basis of Law 113/2020 on Provisions on safety for health and social work professions in the exercise of their functions. This has helped to strengthen negotiations in local authority social services, leading to collective agreements that set out a framework for the prevention of risks of TPV. With research dating back to 2018, revealing that nine out of ten social workers had been victims of violence and aggression, and that few workers experiencing TPVH reported the problem as many saw it as part of the job. With only 26% reported the violence to law enforcement and only 8% to the local administration or the hospital, it indicates a worrying trend of lack of security and protection for staff. The first agreement was signed in the municipality of Genoa and this model has since been replicated across Italy. The Genoa agreement aims to address the risks of TPVH to protect the safety and health workers and covers the assessment of risks, introduction of prevention initiatives with national agencies and local crime enforcement authorities, and implementation of actions that can be taken before and after the aggression. Amongst these are concrete measures to ensure that staff do not work alone and in isolation, practical tools are given to ensure a worker can escape from a situation where there is aggression, and the design of work areas and workstations in open-plan and well-lit areas has help to avoid potential aggression. Protection measures cover online, video-based, or in-person aggression. Staff have received training on the criminal and judicial aspects of TPVH, whistleblowing, how to identify potential aggression and how to encourage a culture of reporting. Overall, this has been a successful initiative that is grounded in social dialogue between local authorities and trade unions, and it is hoped in the future will be extended to all municipalities in Italy.
Sector - CROSS-SECTORAL
Theme - REMEDIES AND COMPENSATION / SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS-SURVIVORS
In Italy, the UIL confederation provides innovative services through a network of “listening centres” (Centri di Ascolto UIL Mobbing e Stalking), established across cities and towns in Italy to provide support to victims of violence and harassment. The services are provided to anyone regardless of union affiliation and whether they are working or not. The listening centres provide confidential legal and psychological support, and a safe space to victims to report and seek help. A process is followed involving an interview, assessment and a plan with supports. Throughout this process communications aim to build trust and a non-judgemental and welcoming approach. This is important as many victims are unaware of their rights and there is a lot of shame and silence about the issue. Efforts are made to seek evidence of harassment in order for the centres to report cases. The listening centres work closely with support services for victims in the community. Data shows that 66% of victims seeking help from the centres are women and 44% are men, with the largest number of cases in the 41 to 60 year age groups. During the pandemic, cases of domestic violence increased significantly and there was a small increase in femicides, which have been at a consistently high level since data was first collected in 2017. Although women are now entitled to paid leave, UIL has requested that the government simplify the process to make it more accessible to victims of domestic violence.