In response to the economic crisis, since the second half of 2008 the Italian government has introduced special measures to extend the coverage of income protection schemes to many segments of enterprises and workforces previously excluded, in order to maintain employment and to protect human capital during the recession. These measures are known as shock absorbers’ system in derogation from the law in force on the ordinary and extraordinary Wage Guarantee Fund, mobility and unemployment schemes. Substantial funds, charged to general taxation, have been made available on an annual basis by the Ministry of Labour to support the enlarged social shock absorbers’ system. The resources settled by the national government were proportionally distributed among the Regions, which decided upon the allocation, designing their own training policies and employment services. The Regions, which are responsible for the management of the actions, were also asked to give a financial contribution through the activation of ESF resources.
In accordance with EU (ESF) requirements, income support measures have been closely linked with training and employment policies, ensuring a proper balance between passive policies (the payment of benefits) and active ones (vocational training and employment and reemployment projects). In order to lay down management rules of the new schemes and to clearly define the target beneficiaries, a general agreement has been signed by the Piedmont regional administration, social partners (representatives of the main trade unions and employers’ organisations) and the National Institute for Social Security (INPS), responsible for the payment of the benefits. The main measure put in place was the so called ‘CIG in derogation’ Cassa Integrazione Guadagni in Deroga (CIGD), which is a monthly compensation for the wages of workers temporarily laid off due to the crisis by firms (mainly small firms) excluded from the ordinary social shock absorbers, or who can no longer apply for standard benefits, because they have exhausted all their treatments.
Several social and institutional actors are involved in the system. After specific negotiations with trade unions, firms apply for CIGD to the regional administration, which examines and approves the demands and authorises INPS to pay the benefits to each laid off worker, according to the monthly application forms sent by the employers, stating the number of non-working hours and providing all other useful data. In order to administer this new system, Piedmont Region and INPS shared and activated a set of common procedures. In spite of a rather difficult start and the constantly increasing number of hours authorised for suspension, the implementation of special shock absorbers could be judged positively, reaching definitely high standards of efficiency. The synergic system developed by the Piedmont Region and INPS has played a key role as a fundamental tool limiting unemployment during the economic crisis and ensuring wage support for workers.
|Award category:||smart public service delivery|
|Sector:||Public health and social welfare/affairs|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Social shock absorbers, derogation from ordinary law, compensation for the wages of laid off workers, shared management procedures|
|Short English description:||After specific negotiations with trade unions, firms apply for CIGD to the regional administration, which examines and approves the demands and authorises INPS to pay the benefits to each laid off worker, according to the monthly application forms sent by the employers, stating the number of non-working hours and providing all other useful data.|
|Organisation:||INPS Direzione regionale Piemonte|
|Level of government:||regional level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||>15|
|EU membership:||EU member|