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Italy's TIM to close offices on Fridays under new work from home policy

The Tim logo is seen at its headquarters

MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia (TIM) will keep its offices across Italy closed on Fridays as part of a deal with unions to expand home working, cut energy costs and improve work-life balance for thousands of staff.

The former phone monopoly, one of the country's largest private employers, said it would increase the weekly days of home working that staff can take to three from two for around 75% of it current 42,000 domestic employees.

The scheme will start next February and initially run for a year.The plan "will enable employees to better plan their activities outside of work...and to achieve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions", TIM said, adding it expects its staff will reduce commuting by 60% in big cities like Rome and Milan. The agreement, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, does not include staff working on the maintenance of the group's network infrastructure. TIM will continue paying its staff daily meal vouchers on home working days. The agreement does not envisage any contribution for workers' home energy bills.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Keith Weir)