European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Italy

19 December 2017

Italy: governance reform of social agencies pending

December 2017/Jan Cremers

Although the Italian government had planned a reform of the social security governance system as part of the 2018 budget proposals, the amendments have been withdrawn from the final draft bills. The trade union movement wanted to use the reform to strengthen the legal competences of the social security institutes.

After the conclusion of the labour market reform, which was initiated as the ‘Jobs Act’, the question was whether the government would come up with further steps towards a deregulated labour market. The Jobs Act reform consisted of three elements: (1) it diminished dismissal protection for open-ended contracts by introducing a contract type with lower protections to be applied to all new hires on open-ended contracts; (2) it improved unemployment benefits, in particular by making these more accessible to employees with unstable or ‘atypical’ work careers; (3) it aimed at restructuring public employment.

During the preparations of the 2018 budget, a reform of the social security governance system was announced. The system consists of into three separate institutions: the large pensions and social security fund INPS, the occupational health and safety institute INAIL and the national health service SSN. However, the planned reforms of the governance systems of the pensions and social security INPS and the workplace accidents agency INAIL have been skipped from the 2018 budget bill proposals. The amendments were already approved by the labour committee of the Lower House, but the government decided to put the amendments on ice for ‘procedural reasons’.

The trade union section of CGIL in the INPS speaks of a missed opportunity. According to the union, the planned reform could have resolved some of the INPS-problems related to the legal functioning of the institute. Instead, the focus is now completely on a functional reform that leads to a fragmentation of the competences and a weakening of the institute in legal matters. The union section in the INPS had made several proposals that should have led to a legal reform; what is left is an organisational restructuring.   

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