FEATURES » "Lavoratori atipici" - the jungle of temporary workers

"Lavoratori atipici" - the jungle of temporary workers


The jungle of Temporary work

Controversy rages following a comment of the Prime Minister Mario Monti about how boring a permanent job position can be. Even though the intention of the prime minister was to encourage young people to embrace a new job market, in a country where 30% of the younger generation is unemployed, his words couldn’t just be passed unnoticed. Unemployment and the instability due to temporary work are in fact at the moment major problems for Italy.

According to Istat, the Italian national institute of statistics, temporary employment has increased by 7.6% (+166,000 units) in the last year. This increase affects about two thirds of the under 35. The so called “lavoratori atipici”, literally translated as atypical workers, are 2,749 million.

However, the data do not consider the number of people formally working as self-employed but effectively responding to all the duties of employees. They can for example have just one employer and the company sets the place and time for work.

The world of “flexibility” is much more varied. There is, in fact, a dense underground situation, if we only consider the so-called "false partite IVA", (false self-employed people) and other kinds of contracts scam. Therefore it is impossible to estimate the real number of “lavoratori atipici”.

The Italian job market is a jungle of people being deprived of their rights to lower the labour costs. As a matter of fact all these people who don’t have a “proper contract” work with no other guarantees, no subsidies and insurance for accidents and illnesses. In other words, they have the same duty of employed people but not the same rights.

They are “false self-employed people”, project workers for a project which doesn’t exist or overqualified interns. Most of the time they are young people trying to step into a profession or already affirmed professionals such as architects, engineers, journalists, research assistants, archaeologists, lawyers but this situation also includes shop assistants, hostesses, waiters and many others.

They might have to change their job every 3 months or work 7 months out of 12. They obviously can’t pay for a mortgage or have a family unless their parents are supporting them. They earn on an average 1000 euro per month without maternity cover, illness and holydays. there is no minimum charge, no protection, no rights.

These workers are more convenient for the companies that can in this way pay less taxes and, because there is no contract, they can stop the collaboration at any time.


Giulia Lombardo

»Back to: FEATURES