Luigi Burroni, Marcello Pedaci

Collective bargaining, atypical employment and welfare provisions: The case of temporary agency work in Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining; I3 - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty; P16 - Political Economy.

The article focuses on the relationship between collective bargaining and social security provisions in a sector of atypical employment, the Temporary Agency Work, in Italy. Analysing contents and impact of collective bargaining in this sector, we underline that collective bargaining has introduced very important social security provisions such as maternity leave, unemployment benefits, opportunities for the stabilisation of the employment relationship, «availability allowance» for periods in which agency workers are not working in user firms, supplementary pension schemes, etc. This confirms the important role played by collective bargaining in providing welfare measures to support workers. But at the same time, this case study underlines four main areas of concern. First, specific institutional conditions favored the rise of contractual welfare in the TAW sector and this «institutional embeddedness» means that it is very difficult to «export» such a system of social security provision to other segments of non-standard employment. Second, the difficulty in extending this form of welfare provision to other types of flexible jobs may introduce a stable segmentation in terms of protection among non-standard workers. Third, we show how the main features of the TAW sector together with the specific working conditions of TAW workers may have hindered a widespread use of such welfare provisions. Finally, the kind of benefits supported by collective bargaining are «integrative» and not substitutive of traditional welfare.

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