Forthcoming in the Comparative Labour Law & Policy Journal. Abstract The conceptual path developed in the paper originates from the observation of the structural nature of the current economic crisis and of its profound impact on twentieth-century labour law narrative, especially within those national systems affected by weak production structures and high public debt, as for Italy is the case. Within such a perspective, the Author proposes new possible trajectories of the traditional labour law narrative that may be summarized in the following terms: i) a reconsideration of the personal work contract, also including types of entrepreneurial work, in the light of a new reading of art. 35 of Italian Constitution; ii) the positive revaluation of the principle of conditionality linked to the responsibility principle; iii) and, finally, a mature consideration of the meta-principle of constitutional balancing and of its functional corollary, the principle of proportionality, analysed through its application by high and Constitutional Courts in specific national contexts of crisis. At the end some examples are given in support of such renewed narrative of labour law, drawn by Italian recent legislation.