Dr De Stefano is a researcher with a grant from Universita' Commerciale 'L. Bocconi', Milan, and he will be a visiting academic at UCL from February through May 2012.
Dr De Stefano will carry on research on temporary forms of employment and on the employment contract as a flexibility tool for firms.
In a previous publication (http://www.ilo.org/labadmin/what/pubs/WCMS_116294/lang--en/index.htm), Dr De Stefano argued that recourse to temporary forms of employment in Italy may be motivated also by the fact that temporary workers might be induced to implicitly waive some of their statutory or contractual rights, by not exercising them, in order not to displease the employer/principal and to try to obtain an extension or renewal of their contract.
Dr De Stefano labels this as the 'implicit threat mechanism', the implicit threat being not to grant this extension if a worker decides to exercise his/her rights to an extent the employer/principal deems incongruous.
During his stay at UCL, Dr De Stefano will analyse the 'implicit threat mechanism' from a UK law viewpoint, in order to understand whether a different regulation governing unfair dismissal of permanent employees and a different unemployment benefits system have an influence on such mechanism and whether the common law doctrine of 'undue influence' can be used to describe the 'implicit threat' in legal terms, since it is difficult to refer it to the concept of 'duress' in Italian contract law.
Dr De Stefano will be happy to meet and exchange views with anyone who might be interested in the topics of his research and, in general, in Italian and European employment and contract law. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org