Privatizations in care services and inequalities in the workplace. The experience of public-private partnerships In Italy, as in other European countries, there is a trend to transform public health and social services into privately run organizations known as public-private partnerships, which involve direct cooperation between private and public bodies in the ownership and governance of such organizations. One of the fundamental aims of these partnerships is the opportunity to shift to more flexible and economical work regulations, by applying private sector employment contracts and replace public sector contracts. This article examines examples of health and social service sectors in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, in order to investigate the effects of the transition to the new contractual regimes and the potential creation of inequality among different kinds of workers. Apart from some general similarities, relevant differences tend to be created between health services and social services in the application of private sector contracts. Within health services, changes in work regulations are limited, ambiguous and not necessarily detrimental for employees. In social services, changes are apparently negligible but could actually quickly become more significant and unfavourable. The conclusion briefly analyses these differences and some explanations are advanced.