Italy Scraps Employment Voucher System to Avoid Referendum Showdown

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Italy has abolished voucher payments for workers, which were highly popular with employers, to avoid a bruising referendum championed by the country's main union, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday. Payment by vouchers was introduced in 2008 as an experiment for seasonal farm labourers. The flexible and unregulated form of payment was aimed at encouraging bosses to stop hiring workers on an illegal, ad hoc basis, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Its use has spread rapidly across many sectors, with 1.7 million people -- about 8 percent of all working Italians -- receiving some or all payment in vouchers in 2015, angering the CGIL union, which has promoted a referendum on the issue that was due to be held on May 28. Read more.(Subscription required.)