« السابقةمتابعة »
A new bill was introduced February 19, 1883, based, like the preceding ones, upon the principles of transfer of the burden of proof, and also accepting the principle of joint responsibility of the owners and managers as indorsed by the parliamentary commission of 1881, to which it added the responsibility of the engineers and architects who direct the work. In other particulars the bill differed materially from the earlier bills. It was broader in scope in that it included railroads. The bill provided that if the employer participated in the cost of insurance of his employees against industrial accidents, at least up to one-third of the premiums, the amount of the insurance must be deducted from the amount of indemnity granted by the court. This provision was to act as a stimulus for encouraging such insurance, with the employer's participation in the cost. It is evident that in introducing this clause the Government had in view its plan for the establishment of the national fund for insurance of workmen against accidents, which was accomplished in the same year by the law of July 8, 1883.
This second government bill was referred to a parliamentary commission, which reported it back April 8, 1884. Again the parliamentary commission refused to accept the reforms contained in the government proposal, insisting that they were at variance with the fundamental principles of civil law. Instead of the joint responsibility of engineers, managers, employers, and owners for accidents it proposed a new bill containing specific regulations for the prevention of accidents in each industry and civil liability only in case of noncompliance with such regulations, only such persons being liable who were guilty of such noncompliance. It also introduced other limitations, such as the exclusion of the railroads. This modified bill according to the report brought in by the commission was to protect the rights and interests of workers without injuring any other rights and without prejudicing the industrial progress of the country.
The original bill of 1883, as well as the amended bill of the parliamentary commission, came up for an extended discussion in the Chamber of Deputies and was adopted by the Chamber June 15, 1885. In passing this bill the Chamber included many important amendments, in which the influence of the German insurance system could be seen. The purpose of these amendments was to stimulate further the insurance of employees by the employers, though a voluntary system was thought preferable and better adapted to Italian conditions than the compulsory system established in Germany, and for the purposes of such voluntary insurance the National Insurance Fund already existed.
The bill as passed by the Chamber of Deputies finally came up for discussion in the Senate, when a report was made by a senate commission on April 2, 1886. The majority of the senate commis
sion disagreed entirely with the fundamental principle of the bill and presented a counter project, which made the owners, employers, etc., responsible for the accident only when these persons had not conformed to all requirements as to prevention of accidents. The bill and the counter proposition were thoroughly discussed, but led to no practical results.
These discussions in the Senate closed the first period of the history of workmen's insurance against accidents in Italy—a period based upon the strengthening of the civil responsibility of the individual employer (employers' liability), with leanings during the last two years of the period toward a system of voluntary insurance.
A new period was ushered in by the new minister of commerce and agriculture, requesting Prof. Carlo F. Ferraris to prepare a report covering the entire subject of insurance of workmen against accidents. The selection was significant, as Professor Ferraris was known as a believer in the system of obligatory insurance. In his report to the commission() Professor Ferraris proposed a system based upon obligatory insurance, totally at the expense of the employers, covering all cases of accidents, including those caused by the negligence of the victim himself, and he combined with this system of obligatory insurance preventative measures, so as to reduce the frequency of accidents. Notwithstanding a very violent opposition, the proposal of Doctor Ferraris was accepted by the consultative commission with certain slight modifications which involved a slight contribution of the workmen to the cost of insurance and in the beginning a limitation of the group of industries to be covered by the law. In this latter limitation the commission was quite persistent in including under the law only mines and quarries, the manufacture of explosives, and the construction of buildings.
Upon these principles a government bill was introduced in the Chamber of Deputies February 8, 1890, applicable (1) to workmen of all establishments in dangerous industries, namely, mines, quarries, construction, and the manufacture of explosives; (2) in establishments employing over ten workers and making use of mechanical power, shipyards, arsenals, mineral and metal working, mechanical construction, and textile industries. The same conditions were made applicable to government establishments as to private plants. Only those private establishments were excepted from the obligation of insurance which had special funds for giving the workmen compensation in case of accidents and such state establishments as are provided for by special legislation. Of the insurance premium, nine-tenths were to be paid by the employer and one-tenth by the
a Carlo Ferraris, L'assicurazione obligatoria e la responsabilità dei padroni ed imprenditori per gli infortuni sul lavoro. Rome, 1890.
employee. The employer must advance the employee's share, but may deduct it from his wages. The bill permitted insurance either with the national insurance institution, organized in 1883, or with any private authorized insurance company. Several provisions of the bilt were intended to prevent industrial accidents. With the exception of cases of criminal responsibility of the employee the insurance system was intended to be a substitute for the old liability under the civil code, and the employees were absolved from this liability.
The parliamentary commission charged with the study of this bill presented a report on June 7, 1890, (a) which, for the first time in the experience of parliamentary commissions of the Italian Chamber, was favorable to the principle of compulsory accident insurance and the other essential features of the law, except that it suggested the exclusion of all cases leading to temporary disability of less than three weeks duration and the payment of indemnities beginning with the fourth week of disability. The minor accidents, in the opinion of the commission, were better taken care of by the voluntary associations of the workmen.
This bill and the report of the commission did not come up for discussion on the floor.
The next bill was introduced in the Senate by the minister of agriculture, April 13, 1891.(a) This was practically the same as the previous bill, as amended by the parliamentary commission. An important change was in the period during which no indemnities are to be paid, which was reduced from three weeks to two. This bill went to a senate commission, which brought in a substitute February 19, 1892, differing in many essential points from the ministerial bill.().
The most important points of difference were as follows: First, the senate commission proposed to except the accidents due to gross negligence of the victim from the action of the law, claiming that by compensating such accidents the law would stimulate carelessness on the part of the employees. Second, it proposed to include persons in a supervisory capacity, provided they did not receive over 6 lire ($1.16) per day. Third, it embodied in the law a scale of compensation, which the preceding two bills left to the discretion of administrative authorities. Finally, greater attention was paid to the subject of prevention of accidents.
a Bulletin du Comité Permanent du Congrès International des Accidents du Travail, tome 2, 1891, pp. 298–303.
6 Bulletin du Comité Permanent du Congrès International des Accidents du Travail, tome 3, 1892, pp. 4–21.
The bill was the subject of prolonged discussions, but practically no voice was heard in opposition to the principle of compulsory insurance, thus indicating a pronounced change in the public attitude on this question as a result of a decade of agitation.
The bill as finally passed by the Senate March 3, 1892, differed from the text as proposed from the senate commission in form more than in substance, (a) for most of the views of the commission were accepted by the Senate unchanged. The bill as passed by the Senate was introduced in the Chamber of Deputies March 26, 1892, but the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies blocked further progress of the bill.
A new bill introduced in the Chamber of Deputies by the minister of agriculture, industry, and commerce December 1, 1892, approached closely the bill suggested by the senate commission in its report of February 19, 1892. In some respects it presented an advance over all previous legislative proposals. Thus it proposed to include employees in the manufacture of gas, electric power, and in telephone service, in addition to employees in mines, quarries, factories, arsenals, and shipyards and establishments for manufacture of explosives. It ordered the payment of indemnities for temporary disability, beginning with the sixth day instead of the eleventh. (6)
On the other hand, the bill tried to limit the application of the law as to the cause of the accidents. It gave the insurance institutions the right of action against the employers in case the accident was due to their criminal intent, gross negligence, or noncompliance with the regulations concerning accident prevention and against the injured if the accident is due to his criminal intent or gross negligence. This was evidently based upon the idea that the obligatory insurance should cover only such accidents as are not due to anyone's fault or negligence, i. e., are due to what has been called trade risk.
Another new feature of the bill was the compulsion for all establishments, whether of State, Province, or community, to be insured in the national insurance institution. The bill was referred to a parliamentary commission and reported back May 5, 1893, with a few amendments, but the proposal of this commission never came up for discussion.
The bill introduced by the minister of agriculture, industry, and commerce June 13, 1895, did not differ materially from the preceding bill. It discarded the qualification of grave negligence, but
a Bulletin du Comité Permanent du Congrès International des Accidents du Travail, tome 3, 1892, pp. 222–232.
& Bulletin du Comité Permanent du Congrès International des Accidents du Travail, tome 5, 1894, pp. 2–27; also T. Boediker, Die Arbeiterversicherung in den europaeischen Staaten, 1895, pp. 295–308.
preserved that of accidents due to disobedience of laws or regulations, which is so close to the conception of grave negligence that the change was more one of words than of conditions. Like its predecessors, it provided, first, for accident prevention through safety devices and regulations, and, secondly, for a system of accident insurance, with voluntary selection of the insurance institution, for all establishments employing not less than 5 persons.(a)
The report of the parliamentary commission, brought in December 4, 1895, included several important amendments, namely, the permission to employers to organize employers' mutual associations for insurance of their employees against accidents, the obligation to convert the indemnities granted in case of permanent total disability into life annuities, and also a proposition to create a superior council of labor. When the report came up for discussion, O) an amendment was adopted providing that in case of gross negligence on the part of the employer, as established by judgment of court, the indemnity should be double, the responsible employer paying the excess. With these amendments the bill was adopted in the Chamber of Deputies on May 27, 1896, and introduced in the Senate the following day, May 28, 1896.
The Senate commission reported on this bill on July 10, 1896, and recommended striking out the compromise affected regarding gross negligence of the employer. It reverted to the older formula of the bill of 1892 in making the employer civilly responsible in case of criminal intent or neglect to comply with the safety regulations. When the report came up for discussion a violent opposition developed to the very basis of the compulsory insurance system. The bill was sent back to the central commission on December 4, 1896, with instructions to reexamine the bill and bring in a new project more in harmony with the suggestions made. In less than two weeks the central commission brought in a substitute radically different from the bills discussed in both chambers for about seven or eight years, in that they proposed to substitute personal obligation to pay compensation instead of obligatory insurance.
In view of the radical differences in the attitudes of the two chambers, the Government, on December 18, 1896, recalled the bill, promising at the same time to introduce a new bill in the near future, after a thorough reconsideration of the problem.
The next step taken by the cabinet was to request the Consiglio della Previdenza to prepare an exhaustive report on this question, which had already been studied by that institution in 1889. Prof.
a Bulletin du Comité Permanent des Accidents du Travail et des Assurances Sociales, tome 6, 1895, pp. 433-444.
Bulletin du Comité Permanent du Congrès International des Accidents du Travail, tome 7, 1896, pp. 505-508.