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Italian minimum wage: three problems and how to solve them

Italian minimum wage: three problems and how to solve them

It will not be easy here with us to implement the European directive Minimum wage standards, if and when it comes into effect. The first difficulty relates to our salary structure, which has become extremely complex and opaque due to deferred salary clauses (particularly severance pay, thirteenth and fourteenth monthly salaries), almost unknown north of the Alps. The second arises from distrust of Trade Union Confederations Senior, who fear that a lowest wages The doors may be opened by legislation or management to escape the collective agreements of the marginal firms, which may be strongly inclined to take the new minimum standards as a parameter. The third arises from the extreme differences in the cost of living between regions of the country.

To solve the first question, the main way is to overcome the limitations of voices deferred pay, clearly states that there is no general obligation to divide the annual salary into more than 12 months, nor to pay a portion of the salary at the end of the employment relationship. Indeed, in hindsight, the abolition of these two forms of deferred remuneration (envisioned respectively through corporate collective bargaining, for this aspect that is still in force today, and through Law 297/1981) would already be allowed: if the total amount of wages complies with the minimum general standard, then the agreement canceling deferred clauses cannot be considered an exception worse than the current regulations. But few people know this, and a couple of lines of clarification on this point in the law would give way to any hesitation.

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The second question is more difficult and difficult to solve. In Italy I collective agreements Citizens stipulated by major trade unions, appointed by judges as a standard for “fair reward” Also for companies and workers who belong to the sector but are not registered in the stipulated unions, they actually cover a very large part of the productive fabric: according to the current estimate, about nine-tenths of the labor force. If the standard of an absolute minimum hourly wage is introduced, it is clear that it will not be higher than the minimum required by the collective agreement of the poorer sector; Hence the risks that result in other sectors “plane landing” From the companies mentioned at the beginning.

The problem can be solved by dusting off the legislative mandate contained in Jobs Law (Law 183/2014), which remained unfulfilled, and which provided for the creation of one Standard Minimum, also applies to continuous independent co-operation, valid where there is not already a collective agreement signed by the major continental confederations. Thus, serious collective agreements, where they exist, will not suffer from “downward competition” global minimum wagehe is; But all workers who do not have a collective agreement – starting with co.co.co. And the new characters in gig economy They sprout like mushrooms – they will finally have minimal protection.

Finally, there is the problem of how far lowest wages, Which may be very low in the north or very high in the south. To solve it, it will be sufficient to establish a standard (eg: 6.5 euros) multiplied by a coefficient between 0.8 and 1.2, in relation to the regional cost of living. A very easy solution on a technical level, but very difficult on a political and cultural level.

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