Undeclared and precarious work between “flexicurity” and "social pollution". an heterodox approach

Risultato della ricerca: Conference contribution


The paper critically addresses the origins of flexicurity and argues that it lacks an archetypical definition,especially in the formulation of the EU Commission.Hence, the paper, basing on a multidisciplinary literature, considers flexicurity as any balance betweenflexibility and security and, therefore, proposes ordering any set of contracts, providing the same balance andwith the same regulatory framework, in “communities”. It is assumed, therefore, that communities can differeither in terms of a “protective” trade-off, where the differential is not a surrogate measure of security, or interms of an economic trade-off, where it is met by the provision of social insurance or security.One of these sets is called community 0 and it corresponds to undeclared work, not only illegal, but alsocompletely devoid of security and fully flexible.After identifying from ILO, EU and constitutional sources the foundation of the “incompressibility” of rightswhich guarantee decent work, the paper likens decent work to a public good of general interest, in the sameway as laws generally recognize the natural environment.On the basis of this comparative axiom, the paper proposes considering the dispersion of security producedby undeclared work as “un-decent” work and, therefore, as a form of “pollution”.Because an environment can be little or very polluted, the paper proposes considering as social pollution anyform, even legal, of security leakage - such as that induced by the precarious and atypical jobs. Any form ofemployment is, therefore, considered in an nth community and every community is ordered from the least secureto the most secure, using as tertium comparationis standard employment, which is itself a point of balancebetween flexibility and security, and it is therefore a community of flexicurity.In this way, each community expresses a degree of social participation in environmental pollution: from themaximum produced by undeclared work to the minimum produced by labour standard.The adopted economic approach allows defining this pollution as a negative externality and, therefore, referto its contrast in terms of internalization. Among the techniques of internalization, the preferred one is thePigovian tax, because it can overcome the difficulties associated with the identification of taxable income inthe undeclared work and in the informal sector. It has been observed, in fact, that the insurance mechanismcreates a regressive effect on the competitiveness of labour standards, making it less competitive in favour ofprecarious and atypical work and, thus, triggering a vicious cycle that increases social pollution.In this way, it is believed that on one hand you lose your interest in hiding most of the black job. On the otherhand, a mechanism would be enforced that forces polluters to contribute to the financing of the securityneeded to address the pollution created. Because of the adopted ordering of communities, this positive effectwould also impact on precarious forms of employment and atypical work in proportion to the security dispersed
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteLabour Law Research Network inaugural Conference, Pompeu Fabra University, 13-55 giugno 2013, Barcelona
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015


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