Tackling undeclared work database

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.

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Amnesty for illegal migrants, Poland

02 June 2013
  • Poland
  Following long-standing pressure from civil society organisations supported by economic experts, the Polish parliament adopted a law legalising the situation of foreign citizens illegally residing in Poland and give them social rights. The amnesty was launched for the third time this century. The take-up by the target group (almost 10,000 applications) was higher than expected.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Compulsory approval for cleaning companies, Norway

02 June 2013
  • Norway
 
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Prevention

Inspection strategy in agriculture and construction, Italy

02 June 2013
  • Italy
  In 2010, the Italian Ministry of Labour launched a special inspection strategy to fight undeclared work in agriculture and construction in four southern Italian regions. The project aimed to introduce an integrated and targeted inspection system to improve the effectiveness of controls and increase detection rates.   Background On 28 January 2010, the Italian government launched a special inspection strategy in the agriculture and construction sectors in the regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily to fight undeclared work.
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Labour Inspectorate controls, Ireland

02 June 2013
  • Ireland
  Ireland’s Labour Inspectorate plays a major role in regulating the Employment Permits Acts to prevent undeclared work relating to the illegal employment of foreign workers. Inspections also provide an opportunity to inform employers of the requirements of legislation, discuss best practice for compliance and deal with queries they may have.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Back to work enterprise allowance, Ireland

02 June 2013
  • Ireland
  The Back to work enterprise allowance is an activation measure aimed at promoting self-employment and acting as a disincentive to the so-called ‘shadow economy’. It is designed to encourage the long-term unemployed to take up self-employment opportunities by allowing them to retain a proportion of their social welfare payment plus other benefits over a two-year period. An evaluation by consultants indicates that the scheme was quite successful in terms of creating employment.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

National strategy to reduce illegal work, Romania

02 June 2013
  • Romania
  In view of the high level of informal work in the country, in June 2009 the Romanian Government (Guvernul României) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission for the purpose of creating a ‘Mechanism to monitor, control, and reduce the rate of illegal work in Romania’. The national strategy and action plan form an integral part of an inter-institutional approach to tackle the problem of undeclared work, which includes stiffer penalties for employers found to be in breach of the regulations.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Deterrence: increase penalties

Crèches Act to legalise childcare workers, Poland

02 June 2013
  • Poland
  In 2011 the Polish parliament adopted the so-called Crèches Act. The law opens the way for parents of young children to choose an alternative path to the organised care provided in childcare establishments, such as officially hiring a nanny. The response has not been significant, yet the government is not discouraged and plans to continue on the legislative path to reach other groups of workers trapped in the shadow economy and create possible exits for them.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Reverse charge VAT in the construction industry, Sweden

02 June 2013
  • Sweden
  Undeclared work accounts for about half of the total tax gap in Sweden and the country has taken important measures to tackle undeclared work, especially in sectors such as commerce, construction and other sectors with high cash turnover. To tackle VAT fraud and undeclared work in the construction industry, the government introduced a law on reverse charge VAT effective from 1 July 2007. The reverse charge means that the buyer becomes liable for the payment of VAT.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Promoting external work contracts, Slovakia

02 June 2013
  • Slovakia
 
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Tourism industry campaign, Iceland

02 June 2013
  • Iceland
  The Icelandic Travel Industry Association and the Icelandic Tourist Board undertook a research project in 2011 to assess the scale of unlicensed businesses within the hotel and tourist industry. The aim of the project was to raise awareness and trigger changes in attitudes towards working on an undeclared basis.  
  • Type of measure:

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

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