Socially Useful Works (LSU) is used to define activities which create projects and provide services for the community through the use of specific categories of individuals.
The subsidy corresponding to workers is named the welfare subsidy for Community Activities (ASU).
The pool of community workers who carry out activities, for which the costs are borne solely by the Social Employment and Training Fund (FSOF) and the former Employment Fund (FO) managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, is frozen in what is defined by Article 2 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 81 or 28 February 2000. This namely refers to the catchment area of those workers who carried out 12 months of community activities in the two-year period 1998-1999 (the so-called transitional period), which is therefore being exhausted.
The INPS is legally obliged to pay the ASU and ANF (Family Allowance) to the workers indicated above.
It is the responsibility of the individual regions/participating institutes to identify individual workers that are entitled to continue community activities.
In particular, community activity projects were introduced to support unemployed people without social security benefits and were divided into public utility works (aimed at creating jobs in new employment areas) and socially useful work (aimed at professional qualification in innovative sectors and the implementation of unique projects).
Socially useful work projects were promoted by:
- public authorities;
- economic public institutes;
- companies with a majority public shareholding;
- social cooperatives.
In no case does the carrying out of socially useful work lead to the establishment of an employment relationship, nor does it lead to removal from redundancy lists.
The following were used for these work projects:
- workers seeking their first job;
- unemployed individuals registered with the job-seekers’ lists for at least two years;
- those registered with the redundancy lists who do not receive benefits.
The procedures allowing the use of community workers were repealed by the decree of 2000, but the possibility of directly employing workers in receipt of social security benefits by public authorities is maintained (Article 7 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 468 of 01 December 1997), i.e. without the obligation to prepare a specific project that is limited to the period of time for which the workers are in receipt of the benefit.
The ASU allowance is paid by INPS on the instructions of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies that, from year to year, stipulate a special agreement with the regions, after having identified the number of community workers still working in the region’s catchment area.
Workers must be engaged for 20 hours of work per week and for no more than 8 hours per day. In the case of a higher commitment, a supplementary allowance is due, to be borne by the user.
The amount for 2021 is € 595,93 per month.
It is the exclusive responsibility of the regions/participating institutes to identify workers to be compensated, as well as their permanence in the national pool. INPS receives the information required for payment through Italia Lavoro SpA (Ministry of Labour and Social Policies’ technical agency).
For the periods of engagement in community work, and for what is paid by the ASU allowance, the imputed contribution that is only used for the purpose of meeting the insurance requirement for the right to pensions other than the ANF shall be granted, where due.
Individuals who are already engaged in community activities and who, by May 2000, did not meet the necessary requirements for continuing with their activities with costs borne by the FSOF, were able to continue their activities on the basis of a specific decision by the participating body, with costs instead borne by the body itself or by the regions (community work that is self-funded and affiliated with INPS).
For the self-funded LSU, the same benefits and the same incompatibility scheme as for community workers who are funded by the FSOF are envisaged.