Redundancy fund for heat, INPS rules. Protection also for agriculture and small businesses

Redundancy fund for heat, INPS rules.  Protection also for agriculture and small businesses

The unions are calling on the government to take urgent action to stop the heat-work-death spiral. Unfortunately the chronicles of tragic events, such as last year these days, thicken. And given that climate change is in all likelihood here to stay, new tools for prevention and rapid intervention are being asked. The president of Confindustria, Charles Bonomito SkyTg24 opens to a replica of the protocol made with Covid (but the unions fear it will not be timely) and to a relaunch of emergency smart working (also an idea of ​​Minister Calderone, with the doubt that it is not effective for professions that are truly at risk because they are not easily transferable "remotely").

Waiting for the developments, the INPS clarifies in a message what is the state of the art with regard to the possibility given to companies to apply for layoffs and suspend their activities precisely in correspondence with the heat waves. A case that is increasingly common. From an extraction of Inps data relating to June 2017-2023 it clearly emerges how cigo applications with reason for "high temperatures" – which fall within the broader cauldron of “weather events” – have grown in recent times: in 2022 there was a peak in applications with 4,784 businesses (June-September), almost double the 2,428 in 2021. In 2017 and 2019, there were around 1,650 travellers, only 484 in 2018. This year's data is still incomplete, because for June there is time to apply until the end of the month, but many are betting on new growth.

Meanwhile, the rules.

The perceived temperature

In the message signed on 20 July by general manager Vincenzo Caridi, the institute explains that "in the event of suspension or reduction of work activity as a result of high temperatures, recourse to wage integration treatment with the reason "weather events" can be invoked by the employer where the aforementioned temperatures are above 35° Celsius". But he adds that even when the thermometer is below 35 degrees it can trigger the cigo, because the so-called “perceived” temperature is considered”, which is higher than the real one. “This situation, for example, occurs on days when there is a high humidity rate which contributes significantly to determining a "perceived" temperature higher than the real one. Therefore, the evaluation of the temperature detected in the weather bulletins must also take into account the degree of humidity, given that, based on the combination of the two values ​​(temperature and humidity rate), it is possible to believe that the perceived temperature is higher than that actually detected”, says INPS. "It means adding 10-12 degrees more to the official ones if we are talking about asphalt workers or brick kiln workers", Alessandro Genovesi, general secretary of Fillea CGIL explained to La Repubblica.

The type of work

Obviously, in fact, the type of processing and the method "constitute an important element for a positive assessment of the integrability of the causal", recalls the INPS again. How and what you work at can influence the perceived temperature. "Even temperatures below 35 degrees may, therefore, be suitable for entitlement to wage integration treatment, if the related activities are carried out in places that cannot be protected from the sun or if they involve the use of materials or in the presence of processes that cannot withstand the strong heat". In essence, concludes the Institute, "the assessment must not refer only to the thermal gradient but also to the type of activity carried out and the conditions in which the workers find themselves operating".

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The INPS invites you to use "the documentation or publications on data relating to heat indexes by the various meteorological and climate departments or civil protection" to support the questions. And he recalls that the same must be applied to indoor work, "when they cannot benefit from ventilation or cooling systems due to unforeseeable circumstances not attributable to the employer, as well as in the context of work carried out in agriculture".

Another case in which the cig can be requested is when "on the recommendation of the company's safety manager", the company "orders the suspension/reduction of activities as there are risks or dangers for the safety and health of the workers".

Protection even for the little ones

In addition to agriculture, lastly, an important clarification regarding companies covered by the wage integration fund (Fis) and bilateral solidarity funds: even for them there is the protection of the fund for "weather events". "It should, however, be highlighted that, for the purposes of a positive assessment of the request for access to treatment for the reasons referred to, it is necessary to take into account both the type of work performed and the methods for carrying it out".

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