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The economic crisis and the worsening of its consequences for employment have brought about relevant changes in the Italian system of income maintenance for those of working age. Reforms that had been postponed for decades have been introduced. Initially, under the Berlusconi government, gaps in protection have been addressed through the so-called emergency shock absorbers (ammortizzatori in deroga). Rather than structurally, this policy response addressed the problems in a pragmatic, but highly discretionary way, avoiding the establishment of social rights so as to keep public accounts under tight reins. The deterioration of the employment crisis, the Italian sovereign debt crisis and pressures from international organizations opened a window of opportunity for the Monti government to pass a labour market reform that introduced important structural innovations in the unemployment benefit system. The enduring employment crisis, the making of the Renzi government around a dense reform programme and the necessity to implement them to provide the government with legitimacy have created favourable conditions for further reforms in the income maintenance system, sketched out in the blueprint called Jobs Act. The article aims to highlight the problems left open by the Fornero reform, and to identify some possible solutions compatible with the overall frame of the Jobs Act. It also discusses the unsolved issue of a minimum income scheme.