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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Customer Liability and Fraud Prevention Acts, Austria

02 June 2013
  • Austria
  A variety of measures have been implemented in recent years in order to tackle social fraud practices in Austria, which have especially (but not exclusively) occurred in the construction sector. Two laws have recently been passed that make the subcontracting of ‘bogus’ companies more difficult. The 2009 Customer Liability Act targets construction companies subcontracting work to other companies. The 2011 Fraud Prevention Act aims to remove the unfair competitive advantage of some market players over others.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Prevention

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.  

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

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

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

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

Compulsory registration of temporary work agencies, Norway

02 June 2013
  • Norway
 
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Prevention

Contractor’s obligations and liability act, Finland

02 June 2013
  • Finland
  The Act on ‘The contractor’s obligations and liability when work is contracted out’ requires that the party responsible for a construction project obtains the necessary guarantees that subcontractors will fulfil their various obligations. The law has been in effect since 2007, but obligations in the construction sector were amplified in 2012.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

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

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