Italy: Latest working life developments – Q3 2016
A new legal framework for call centres, the issue of work-related fatalities, contract renewals – especially in the large retail and textile sectors – and pension reforms are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Italy in the third quarter of 2016.
New legal framework for call centres
Trade unions and employer organisations belonging to the Italian General Confederation of Companies, Professional Activities, and Self-employment (Confcommercio) recently concluded a draft agreement aimed at regulating a specific form of economically dependent self-employment relationships within the call centre industry – 'contracts of coordinated and ongoing collaboration' (abbreviated as 'co.co.co.’)
The agreement represents the first collectively agreed regulation governing such contracts in compliance with the Jobs Act – Labour Contracts Code (more commonly known as the JACode).
There were 562 work-related deaths between January and July 2016, according to data from the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (Inail). This is fewer than the 643 fatalities over the same period in 2015, but there were some alarming cases. These include:
- an electrician working for the Rome transport company (ATAC) who was electrocuted;
- a worker in a Piacenza-based logistics hub, who was hit by an articulated lorry while taking part in a demonstration in front of the company premises;
- a worker at Ilva, a large metalworking company, who was crushed by a roller.
Major contract renewals
Among the most relevant contract renewals in the last three years is the national collective bargaining agreement covering employees of companies in retailing and services. This was concluded by the Italian Confederation of Businesses in the Trade, Tourism, and Service Sectors (Confesercenti) and the following trade unions:
- Italian Federation of Workers in the Trade, Tourism and Service Sectors (FILCAMS), affiliated to the Italian General Confederation of Workers (CGIL);
- Italian Federation of Trade Unions of Workers in the Tourism, Trade Service and Similar Sectors (FISASCAT), affiliated to the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions (CISL);
- Italian Union of Workers in the Tourism, Trade and Service Sector (UILTuCS), affiliated to the Union of Italian Workers (UIL).
The renewal will be valid from 1 July 2016 until 31 December 2017.
Discussions on pensions system reform
On 28 September, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and CGIL, CISL and UIL signed a memorandum of understanding on pensions (PDF). The memorandum provides for:
- income support measures for medium-low pension payments through the so-called ‘14th monthly payment’;
- protection schemes for workers who started their career before the age of 19.
In the protection scheme, a specific measure is included to avoid any penalty for early retirement before the age of 62. Starting in 2017, retirement can be brought forward by 12 or 18 months while, from 2019, the goal will be to abolish the requirements linked to life expectancy.
The most debated issue is the introduction of the ‘advance pension payment’ (anticipo pensionistico, APE) for a period of three years and seven months. APE is targeted at people who were born between 1952 and 1954; it will be provided by a lending institution and the National Institute of Social Security (INPS). The people affected are expected, at the same time, to take out a life insurance policy.
The negotiating parties have committed themselves to continuing discussions on these issues; they have also agreed to include the first measures in the 2017 Stability Law.