di Marcello Mento
Geneva, June 3 - The International Labour Organization on Monday sounded the alarm about the number of Italians working on temporary contracts or with forms of employment that guarantee little job security. The United Nations agency also called on Premier Enrico Letta's government to work harder to encourage firms to give workers regular, permanent contracts. "Precarious employment (either involuntary fixed contracts or involuntary part-time), has also become widespread," read the Snapshot of Italy in the ILO's World of Work Report 2013. "Since 2007, the number of precarious workers increased by 5.7 percentage points, reaching almost 32% of those employed in 2012... "It will be important to monitor and evaluate the recent proposal of reducing by one-third the time period in-between two consecutive fixed-term contracts. As precarious employment continues to rise, greater efforts may be merited to incentivise the conversion of fixed term contracts to permanent ones". The report said temporary employment had become more widespread in Italy following labour-market reforms introduced last year by ex-premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat administration that, among other things, made it easier for firms in financial trouble to dismiss staff.