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Labour Law Reforms in Eastern and Western Europe

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Edited By Tomas Davulis

Recent years in Europe have been marked by efforts to introduce changes in labour law in order to boost employment, reduce labour costs and increase flexibility of national labour markets. The increased international competition has led to major labour law reforms in some European countries but the majority of national developments still indicate a rather limited reformist approach. Evolutionary rather than revolutionary efforts were initiated to balance the wage-setting mechanisms and to soften the dismissal law protection to create room for flexibility, to increase employment by promoting atypical forms of employment, to accommodate legal regulations to technological advances and the new types of economy. Accompanying social security measures intended to improve the efficiency of active labour market policies.

The current selection of academic contributions intends to provide an overview of recent developments in the legal regulation of labour markets in Eastern and Western European countries. The authors’ contributions could not cover all the aspects of the current state of recent reformist efforts on the labour markets. However, by picturing separate developments in different European countries, it intends to assist in identifying regional similarities. Furthermore, it provides opportunities for exchange of ideas, experiences and practices for shaping labour law both at European and national level.

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The Recent Reform of the Social Security System in Italy (Silvia Spattini)

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The Recent Reform of the Social Security System in Italy

Silvia SPATTINI*

Abstract

The recent reform of the Social Security system in Italy occurred with a reforms’ strategy – concerning a broad range of fields and topics – launched in 2014 by the government in office in order to deal with the persisting effects of the economic crisis which started in 2008. The so-called Jobs Act, inspired by the EU principles of flexicurity, introduced more flexibility in the Italian legal system by reducing restrictions of the employment protection legislation (regulations concerning hiring and firing). At the same time, in order to balance the increased flexibility with a higher level of security, on one hand the government approved two Legislative Decrees concerning reform of the unemployment benefit system and short-time working arrangements. These pieces of legislation extended the field of application of the unemployment benefits and compensations linked to short-time work arrangements and introduced new support measures. On the other hand, the Legislative Decrees concerning public employment services and active labour market policies aimed at increasing employment security. The reorganization of the social safety nets had the goal of striving for greater equity of the system through the rationalization and universalization of the benefits. The implemented reforms and the innovations introduced went undoubtedly in that direction, even if it is not possible to say that the goal of universalizing social security benefits has been fully realized. But, together with measures aiming at income...

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