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Italy: workplace safety, employability and hybrid working at heart of renewed social dialogue
Planet Labor, 7 October 2021, n°12724 - www.planetlabor.com

The post-pandemic recovery has prompted Mario Draghi’s government, Italian businesses and trade unions to commence discussions over a variety of matters. The most urgent of all is workplace health and safety, since Italy has recorded a record number of individuals falling victim to work-related accidents (680 deaths since January 2021). On Monday 27 September, Italian premier Draghi met with the unions on this subject, and the government may very soon introduce harsher penalties, to be applied more quickly, against companies found to be at fault. It will also work on preventing such accidents. The meeting also marked the start of consultations between the government and the social partners on the reforms planned in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza). Meanwhile, at the general assembly of the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria), which was held on 23 September, the president of the employer organisation Carlo Bonomi issued a call to trade unions for “a new season of agreements” with a view to striking a “pact for growth in Italy”. Bonomi proposed that the unions work together on certain issues to propose solutions to the political sphere, citing three examples: workplace safety, creating joint committees at each company; active policies, devising joint tools for training and the reclassification of employees; and smart working, jointly considering the future of hybrid working, with the simplification of rules on remote working – linked to the health emergency – set to end on 31 December 2021. The major trade union centrals CISL and UIL showed greater openness to this proposal than the CGIL, the largest Italian trade union.