The Working Poor in the European Union


  • Marco Tufo Università di Siena



Working poor, In-work-poverty, European Union, Minimum wage, Minimum income


The economic and financial crisis has resulted in a significant increase in the EU working poor. Nevertheless, the EU and its Member States have hardly coped directly with this phenomenon, adopting instead “traditional” social policies, aiming at increasing employment or combating poverty in general. However, in-work poverty is a complex issue, stemming from a variety of factors and requiring to be addressed specifically. The present paper offers an overview of in-work poverty in the EU from a labour and social security law point of view. Firstly, the concept of in-work poverty is delimited. Secondly, poor workers are identified according to the contractual typology. Thirdly, other in-work poverty factors are searched to understand if in-work poverty is exclusively linked to the labour market. Then, some examples of national working poor’s measures are analysed, as well as the EU policies in this regard. Finally, it is assessed if the EU actions are effective in order to solve the working poor problem and to coordinate the national anti-in-work poverty strategies chosen by the Member States.




How to Cite

Tufo, M. (2019). The Working Poor in the European Union. Italian Labour Law E-Journal, 12(1), 99–122.