Irregular work, who controls? Inspectors INPS and INAIL: “Decimated by politics and slowed down by bureaucracy. So we select the complaints and abandon many workers”

Irregular work, who controls? Inspectors INPS and INAIL: “Decimated by politics and slowed down by bureaucracy. So we select the complaints and abandon many workers”
Irregular work, who controls? Inspectors INPS and INAIL: “Decimated by politics and slowed down by bureaucracy. So we select the complaints and abandon many workers”

“They are slowly annihilating us.” It is the final consideration of one Inspector Inail who has decided to tell what happens to the supervision of the world of work. A service that was a flagship of the public administration, with officials who were worth as much gold as they weighed, given the sums recovered by thetax evasion. A system which, however, is no longer the same. Not after Jobs Act of the Renzi government. Five years later, there are regions where there is only one INAIL inspector and provinces where there is not even an INPS inspector. “As inspectors and inspections continue to decline, bureaucracy increases, making us less timely and less effective,” summarizes one of them. Faced with phenomena such as those recounted by the de on the seasonal work – social security evasion, undeclared work, health risks – it is obvious to ask ourselves about the state of the inspection activity. But the answer is a cry of alarm. Why Italy continues to lower the number of inspectors per worker, and in some areas of the country it is now “impossible to follow up on many legitimate complaints from workers”. With many greetings also to the deterrent effect of the supervisory activity, so much so that the inspectors confess the suspicion that we are persevering with a “precise political choice“.

“The most recent example that comes to mind is that of the province of Rieti, which has recently remained without inspectors, so much so that the‘INPS sends those from Viterbo to avoid a complete abandonment of the territory “. The one told by an INPS inspector who prefers to remain anonymous is a hemorrhage. And he warns: “The Institute calculates that over the next three years we will lose another 300 inspectors, between retirements and 100 “. The ongoing process begins to accelerate in 2015 with the reform wanted by Matteo Renzi and made operational since legislative decree 149 of the same year. Which on the one hand establishes the single agency, a National Labor Inspectorate (Inl) to whom to entrust the entire inspection function, and on the other block any hiring for the inspection bodies of the National Institute of Social Security (INPS) and the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (Inail). Is called role to exhaustion and it means that if an inspector retires, no one replaces him. To justify it, at least in intentions, was the choice to bring all the inspectors to the new INL, focusing on the figure of the single inspector who would have mastered every subject: labor, social security and insurance, until then divided between the various bodies. A choice that goes against the trend also with respect to other OECD countries, as economists recently recalled Tito Boeri e Edward Di Porto its

The result? A general one decrease of companies inspected. But if over the years and despite their role to exhaustion the INPS inspectors have increased the effectiveness of their activities, that of the INL colleagues has not improved. “By aggregating the data of the 2020 report of the same National Labor Inspectorate we see that the average of the money recovered by an INPS inspector on the irregularities found is 670 thousand euros, that of an INL labor inspector of soli 60mila”, Reports the INPS official. In short, a ratio of one to ten. “Yes, but it’s not just a question of numbers,” he explains. “The colleagues of the Inspectorate are prepared people, but the the subjects we deal with are too vast for one of us to master them all, and in fact we collaborate ”. And then: “The results of INPS are the result of a complex system of interactions between databases that require specific preparation“. A wealth of skills that cost time and investments and it will not be easy to transfer: “Also because we have colleagues left alone in the area, who will retire without having passed the baton”. A problem also for the recent promises of the Minister of Labor Andrea Orlando, which he announced in May 2100 new inspectors Inl to be added to the current 1433. Personnel to be trained, including by Inail and Inps. And it is precisely the pension institution that has estimated in ten years the time needed to train one of its inspectors.

As for the numbers ofInail things are no better. “In Molise we have only one colleague, currently on sick leave and close to retirement, ”says an Inail inspector, who is also a guarantee of anonymity. “Touch to send them toAbruzzo, which has just four, as per the recent investigations on the cases of Covid, in order to reconstruct causes and circumstances so that the payment of the amount due to the victims or their relatives is timely “. She says she is worried, and continues: “On this delicate part of our business, the road to transfer the competences to the colleagues of the National Inspectorate is bumpy and still to go”. And if for INPS the inspectors fell from 1232 in 2016 to 1004 in April this year, Inail have passed from 350 five years ago to the current 246. “In Calabria there are four, three in all Sardinia, only one in Basilicata“. Numbers that once again translate into the collapse of the inspection activity, as also confirmed by the Court of Auditors for the year 2019, certifying that Inail itself attributes the decrease “to the reorganization and coordination processes resulting from the creation of the single agency of the National Labor Inspectorate”. Put simply, to the bureaucratic tangle conceived in 2015.

After “role to exhaustion”, bureaucracy it is in fact the other key concept. Because not only are controls on companies and workers diminishing, but authorizing them is increasingly complicated. “With the reform and the consequent loss of autonomy of INPS and Inail in favor of the National Inspectorate, an assignment today requires numerous steps”, explains Inspector Inail. In fact, one has replaced the agility and streamlined procedures of INPS and Inail command chain too long. “In front of incongruous statements collected during an inspection we could decide to return the next day to check. A phone call was enough. There were three of us who knew it and sometimes it was enough to say it to get it more truthful statements”, Explains the INPS inspector. Today everything has changed and for the worse. “An inspection must first be evaluated by territorial office Inl, then from that regional who decides whether to bring it in regional planning commission, where once a month the local leaders of Inps, Inail and Inl meet to discuss it, but only after the examination of a pre-commission who monitors the precedents and verifies the opportunity for new controls on companies already inspected “, tries to summarize the Inail official. And his colleague INPS adds: “So it is practically impossible to return to the same company. And when it happens it has already been too long“. Also for this reason the inspectors speak of “damage on the deterrent effect“, That is the perception of companies of risking being” caught “because the inspectors are present in the area and are able to move promptly. “On the other hand, checks are increasing, which result in nothing, and with all these steps and authorizations, the people who are aware of the inspections have gone from two, three at most to one fortnight and above: the statistical probability of leaks it rises considerably “.

What all this means for workers, and in particular for the weakest among them, explains another INPS inspector. After almost thirty years of activity, he admits: “More bureaucracy and less personal most of the time means not following up on their complaints, turning away from those who do not see their contributions credited”. And with regret he acknowledges that “a certain cynicism has taken hold, forced as we are to select inspections on the basis of profitability for the institution, the ease of demonstrating the reasons of the worker and therefore of recovering the escaped person ”. In short, to choose who to help and who to abandon. “The agricultural hiring, for example, with workers who pay three or four euros an hour employed by foreign nominees who regularly disappear and then reappear to take on as many exploited, it is a phenomenon that we are no longer able to pursue, and so we leave it alone. “, Says the official, who on question confirms:” Yes, for the state it is a failure“.

There are many who support the need to re-establish the autonomy of INPS and Inail in their supervisory activities, starting with the cancellation of the role until exhaustion and giving them the possibility of recruiting new inspectors. Two days ago theBasic trade union union of the public service has dedicated the garrison in front of the Ministry of Labor to these objectives. Yet, despite the evidence, the issue struggles to establish itself, such as the repeal proposal filed in the Chamber by the former Undersecretary of Labor of the first Conte government, the cinquestelle Claudio Cominardi. Which agrees with the inspectors of Inps and Inail when they raise the suspicion that it is “one targeted disarticulation of a service that worked well, to bring it back to a single agency under the political control of the Ministry of Labor ”. And what all this means is stated by the INPS inspector: “In the years of Renzi’s and Paolo Gentiloni, when minister of labor was the former president of LegaCoop, Giuliano Poletti, the cooperatives could not be touched because the government had decided not to pay attention to them ”.

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