EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Tackling undeclared work

Undeclared work can be defined as work which is in itself legal but is not declared to the authorities for tax, social security and/or labour law purposes. Across the 28 Member States of the European Union, a great deal of effort is being invested into developing and testing policy measures that aim to tackle undeclared work.

186 items found (page 1 of 19)

District employment services for domestic work, Spain

14 August 2013
  • Spain
  In the district of Nazaret in València, an employment office along with a range of other services were created several years ago for women working in domestic services. The initiative was supported by a number of institutions, mainly public and religious, and was managed by an association. The office and services have since evolved and are now offered in a more organised way, and to other groups and occupations. The initiative promotes the creation of employment and of formal work contracts.
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work

Social partner agreements to fight undeclared work, Germany

03 June 2013
  • Germany
  In 2004, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the social partners in the construction sector joined forces to fight undeclared work on construction sites. This first agreement was followed by similar agreements in other sectors. The two latest social partner agreements cover painters (2010) and the industrial textile services sector (2012), aimed at curbing the incidence of undeclared work through the exchange of information, regular visits to establishments checking for cases undeclared work and monitoring the adherence to minimum wages.  
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising

Revenue Commissioners’ strategy on tax evasion, Ireland

02 June 2013
  • Ireland
  This measure concerns the activities of Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners in ensuring tax compliance during 2011, with a particular focus on its targeted ‘shadow economy’ activities. The activities targeted particular sectors and occupations such as construction, bars and restaurants, landlords/rental sector and white-collar professionals.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Information and awareness-raising campaign, Lithuania

02 June 2013
  • Lithuania
  In order to tackle the issue of undeclared work more effectively, in 2009 the State Labour Inspectorate placed greater emphasis on business consulting, public information and awareness-raising. The activities were implemented through various media channels, such as radio, television, press, internet, information screens in shopping centres and public transport. According to the inspectorate, the intensified public information campaign created a zero tolerance attitude towards undeclared work in society.  
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising, Changing attitudes: commitment to tax morality

Network Services project, Italy

02 June 2013
  • Italy
  This initiative was implemented in 2011–2012 with a view to preventing undeclared work in the Italian ‘convergence’ regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily. It involved a traineeship programme targeted at Italian and European citizens in the construction, tourism and agriculture sectors who were unemployed or inactive. The project provided some 1,700 two-month traineeships aimed at enhancing job prospects and promoting skills acquisition.  

Hotline to report illegal temporary agencies, Netherlands

02 June 2013
  • Netherlands
  In March 2012 the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Social Affairs opened a hotline to report illegal or rogue temporary employment agencies. The hotline responds to the complaints of both the companies working with temporary employment agencies and to victims' complaints. It is part of a broad, inclusive approach, in which several ministries and the branch itself cooperate. If necessary, Interpol can be called in and an agreement has been reached with the Flemish government.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Deterrence: increase penalties

Measures to regularise and control undeclared work, Spain

02 June 2013
  • Spain
  Spain has a long-term problem with undeclared work, which led the former government (the Socialist Party, PSOE) to announce new legislation in order to regulate this situation. The plan was divided into two stages. The first stage granted an amnesty period, free of sanctions, allowing workers to regularise their work situation. In the second stage, more severe sanctions were imposed in an attempt to encourage employers to register their workers with the social security authorities.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: increase penalties, Legitimising undeclared work

Exemption from social security contributions, Montenegro

02 June 2013
  • Montenegro
  This measure offers an incentive to employers to register their unregistered employees, in the form of an exemption from social security contributions for the first year of a newly registered employee, combined with a range of sanctions for employers. The measure has succeeded in reducing the incidence of waged undeclared work.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work

Construction Industry Scheme, UK

02 June 2013
  • United Kingdom
  The Construction Industry Scheme was launched as a regulatory measure in 2005 to improve tax compliance within the construction sector. Feedback from the sector suggests that the measure has been effective in ensuring compliance. However, the measure does not address other aspects of undeclared work in the construction sector such as false declarations of self-employed status.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Prevention

Central monitoring system for tourism, Montenegro

02 June 2013
  • Montenegro
  Tourism is one of Montenegro’s most important economic sectors. However it seems that a large part of its activity is carried out without the knowledge of the authorities, as much of the work is undeclared. Therefore efforts are being made to develop a system that will enable clear monitoring of the tourism sector.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

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