The management of a company in Italy should adopt all the necessary precautionary measures to contain the risks associated with the pandemic, and in particular comply with the rules concerning the continuation or suspension of the activity, and health and safety at the workplace.
In particular, as far as health and safety rules are concerned, in addition to any other measures applicable to the business concerned, employers must comply with the provisions of the Shared Protocol on the containment of the COVID-19 risk in the workplace/”Protocollo condiviso di regolamentazione delle misure per il contrasto e il contenimento della diffusione del virus COVID – 19 negli ambienti di lavoro“, of 24 April 2020 (the “Protocol“). Specific protocols also exist for building sites and the transport sector.
Among the prevention and protection measures to protect workers’ health included in the Protocol, employers must update the Risk Assessment Document (so-called “DVR”) to reflect the peculiarities of their organisation and the type of activity, in close collaboration with the company’s physician and the Prevention and Safety Officer.
In this respect, the executive directors must:
(a) implement specific prevention and protection measures that may have already been adopted by the person assuming the role of employer (usually the CEO) and/or by the other health and safety officers;
(b) instruct the employer and/or the other health and safety officers to implement all the adjustments/updates required by the emergency legislation and available best practise, for a period of time at least equal to the state of emergency declared by the Council of Ministers on 31 January 2020 (i.e. until 31 July 2020).
The management should also closely monitor the company’s performance and its possible evolution, with particular reference to the COVID 19 emergency, by preparing an updated assets and liabilities statement and financial plan, assessing the adequacy of the company’s net worth and evaluating the expected cash flows, at least on a quarterly basis.
Particular attention must be paid to identifying and applying for remedies that can allow the company to manage and overcome the current crisis. This concerns in particular the possibility to use the government support measures to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business activities (e.g. the use of social shock absorbers, ordinary or extraordinary/subsidised financing and, in general, any deferral of tax and social security payments).
The company’s management should further adopt all the necessary measures to safeguard the company’s goodwill, also by taking practical actions towards customers and suppliers (e.g., information on the state of suspension/continuation of the activity, management of pending orders, the status of payments, etc.).