Statement by the Minister of Labour of the Republic of San Marino, Iro Belluzzi, to the 105th International Labour Conference

Statement | 09 June 2016
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder with Labour Minister Iro Belluzzi
Director General,

I am honoured to be here today. This year’s theme is quite stimulating and our small century-old Republic is certainly among the first States in the world in terms of labour quality and respect for the dignity and professional skills of workers.

Among the results already achieved and still to be achieved, in the coming months the overall reform of the labour market will be submitted for voting. In particular, the entire legislation existing in this field will be included in a single text and, where necessary, the content and terminology will be updated. At the same time, the safeguards will be enhanced, with particular reference to temporary workers and autonomous workers not effectively self-employed, who, during the recent global crisis, have been the main victims of the evasion of rules by employers in order to reduce labour costs and safeguards. Some solutions in terms of economic and probationary-judicial protection are envisaged, with a view to facilitating the transformation of autonomous work into dependent work, when this is effectively so. Moreover, as opposed to other national cases, we have decided not to reduce in any way the modalities, terms and safeguards with reference to termination of working relationships and firing, both individual and collective.

We believe that a stable labour market with adequate safeguards, including with regard to termination of working relationships and firing, can be a guarantee for workers and a certainty for

their families, as well as, more generally, a stimulus to national collective well-being. A more stable job is certainly an element of protection and security for the weakest workers’ groups of the population, i.e. women, people over 50s, young people and very young people.

In addition, a law provision will be soon introduced into our legal system in order to improve, unify and increase the effectiveness of inspections aimed at monitoring compliance with labour legislation, with particular reference to security in the workplace and other measures protecting workers. We are confident that also this aspect will be fundamental to guarantee as much as possible liberty, dignity and quality of labour. In practice, the aim of the new provisions on inspections is to entrust a single body with verification powers and tasks, by avoiding duplication of competence and functions among different offices, which, due to excessive bureaucracy, could lead to distortions, errors or lack of protection.

One of the country’s short term objectives is also to reform social safety nets to make them sustainable and adequate for those benefiting from wage supplementation fund and unemployment support measures. Because of the limited resources and the need not to add too much burden on workers and businesses in terms of labour cost, we feel the duty to attentively verify whether, where and how to grant due amounts as social safety nets, by favouring the weakest population groups. This should be done also by verifying the effective economic, financial and family situation of workers through the proof of means, for example using an equivalent economic situation indicator.

Finally, on 9 May 2016, the Parliament of the Republic of San Marino approved the draft law “FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND UNION ACTIVITY IN WORKPLACES, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND RIGHT TO STRIKE”. The title and the spirit of this working session—aimed at promoting decent work for all—is an occasion to welcome our Most Serene Republic’s legislative innovation. With the introduction of this new law, i.e. No. 59, drawn up also with the support of the experts of this important Organisation, whom we thank most sincerely, we have aligned our country with ILO Conventions, ratified over the years, and we have clarified in absolute terms that any worker is free to establish trade unions, either registered or not. Through this law, the workers’ safeguards are enhanced against anti-union behaviour, by extending to workers and their representatives the powers to start judicial proceedings. We have also reiterated and enhanced the provision according

to which collective labour contracts of the Republic of San Marino signed by the most representative trade unions have erga omnes effect, in order to avoid that bargaining without limits and minimum controls may result in reduced safeguards for workers, irrespective of the size of the business. It goes without saying that, besides erga omnes collective agreements, social partners are left completely free to negotiate more favourable sectoral or firm-level contractual conditions compared to those provided for in contracts having a general application.   

Greatest attention is therefore paid to labour policies, which, according to us, must be today among the priorities of governments, as a strategic point of the entire political, economic and social system of every country they relate to. The Republic of San Marino fully supports the central role played by ILO, by virtue of its mandate as a tripartite Organisation including the three social components—government, workers and employers. Moreover, my country relaunches the tripartite system to embark upon a common process, by focusing government policies on labour, workers, most vulnerable people and businesses with new productive and sustainable investments, which may, at the same time, indissolubly increase employment and strengthen demand for consumption. Indeed, only through a considerable social dialogue will it be possible to overcome the crisis together.

Much has been done and much still remains to be done to reach the objectives indicated by this noble Conference and to address difficult times, such as that just experienced, which is probably not over yet. In this regard, we are at the forefront and we will continue to act to overcome these moments when social justice may seem an impossible aim to reach, particularly for those countries encountering more difficulties in transposing the indications provided, with great efforts, by the International Labour Organisation in a global context characterised by complex problems and demanding challenges for all. In this regard, the aim is to achieve, one day, at a global level, the noblest objective, i.e. equal rights for all workers and labour quality for a balanced and sustainable development, with full affirmation of social justice and the refusal, not only theoretically, of any form of disparity and discrimination.