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Press release

The organization of work in Italy: times, places, degree of autonomy

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The Labour Force survey, according to the EU Regulation, includes in the standard questionnaire an ad hoc module, which every year focuses on a specific aspect of work or some characteristics of the interviewees.

In 2019 the ad hoc module collected information on the organization and working hours of employees to assess to which extent workers can manage a certain autonomy according to their preferences and needs.

The subject includes not only the possibility of combining work time with other spheres of life or suspending work for a few hours/days, but should include the degree of organizational autonomy, the forms of measuring work and the places in which it is carried out, as well as the penetration of work in leisure time. Each one of these aspects has to do, at least potentially, with professional recognition and the balancing of work and personal/family life.

More than seven out of 10 employed people (16.6 million) do not have the opportunity to decide when to start and/or end their working day. For employees, working time is defined by the employer, while the constraints faced by self-employed workers are related to customer needs or law regulations.

On the other hand, 16.4% of the employed have full autonomy in working time, and 12.0% declared to be autonomous but with some restriction. Male workers aged 50 and over, and those with high educational qualifications – traditionally the strongest groups in the labour market – have hour flexibility to a greater extent: more often than other can decide daily working time, and they can more easily access to leave and holidays, even at short notice. More constraining are the working conditions of foreigners, young people, women and people with low educational backgrounds.

Reference period: Year 2019

Date of Issue: 03 November 2020