Italy’s Industry 4.0 Plan: An Analysis from a Labour Law Perspective

Francesco Seghezzi, Michele Tiraboschi


Purpose. Examining the major challenges posed by Industry 4.0 to workers and employers (e.g. the crisis of subordination, the new roles of skills, the risk of technological unemployment, new decentralized and participatory forms of collective bargaining), this paper sets out to identify actions and perspectives to manage current changes, focusing on workers rather than on those technologies that will be used to work in the years to come.
Design/methodology/approach. Industry 4.0 will be examined adopting a labour law perspective. In the authors’ opinion, this approach might help raise awareness that labour law is not only tasked with providing protection and favouring production, but it has other important functions in historical and political terms.
Findings. Labour law is not doomed to be set aside following the demise of Fordism, but it will innovate over time to enable and balance the new productive model underlying Industry 4.0.
Research limitations/implications. The research contributes to the debate on the new functions of labour law in the Industry 4.0 era.
Originality/value. The originality of the paper lies in its approach, which considers labour law in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Paper type. Issues paper.