The comprehensive labour market reform approved by the Parliament in June 2012 is built on four main pillars: i) some relaxation and streamlining of employment protection rules for workers with permanent contracts, including the liberalisation of dismissal restrictions and simplification of procedures for dispute resolution; ii) the creation of an easier route for the insertion of youth in the labour market, including via apprenticeship programmes and the introduction of tax incentives for companies investing in training programmes; iii) the reduction of incentives for employers to make use of atypical labour contracts; for example, the cooling-off period between two fixed-term contracts has been extended, the fiscal incentives for some types of non-permanent contracts have been reduced and tests to reclassify independent contractors as employees have been introduced; and iv) a step towards a more universal unemployment benefit system, including an extension of the pool of workers eligible for standard unemployment benefits, which will imply a moderate increase in the level of the unemployment benefits.

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