The effects of labour policies in the Piedmont Region of Italy on equity in the labour market: reflections on women in Labour
Gerwel, Heinrich John
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The study concentrates on a particular type of state intervention in social policy. It considers whether policy reforms and subsequent provision of information with regards to the issue of parental leave and part-time work arrangements, makes an impact on gender equity in the labour market (Del Boca, 2002; Naldini & Saraceno, 2008). Giddens' theory of structuration is the conceptual framework from which this study approaches these questions. It is thus held that agents (in this instance, women) are constrained by structures (labour policy framework and institutionalised labour practices) to achieve specific social goals. And further: that the apparent lack of power on the part of agents requires intervention on the part of the state apparatus to correct the failure (or inability) of the labour market to deliver the social justice as aspired to in the cited European Employment Strategy, as well as fostering economic efficiency (Barr, 1992). I further contend that not only are agents constrained by structural properties, but that institutional reform (in the form of labour policy reform) is constrained by the human action1 of the management of firms and enterprises as economic agents within the policy framework.