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 Agosto 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 Giugno 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

National minimum wage agreements, Estonia

02 Giugno 2013
  • Estonia
  In Estonia, national minimum wage rates are negotiated through bipartite agreements between the Estonian Trade Union Confederation and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, which are then translated into regulations by the government. The minimum wages are applied across the whole economy. One of the arguments behind raising minimum wage levels has been to reduce the share of undeclared wages.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Employers’ campaign against the shadow economy, Latvia

02 Giugno 2013
  • Latvia
  In 2011 the Latvian Employers’ Confederation conducted a publicity campaign in the framework of the European Social Fund project, ‘Practical application of normative acts of labour relations and safety at work in sectors and undertakings’. The campaign comprised six parts, including an online test and discussions with business representatives, and targeted Latvian citizens, business people, politicians and the government.  
  • Type of measure:

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

Labour Inspectorate campaign, Hungary

02 Giugno 2013
  • Hungary
  Inspections and penalties are used in Hungary to curb the undeclared economy. The Hungarian Labour Inspectorate (OMMF) is a central agency under the control of the Minister of Employment, in charge of supervising (legal) employment and the safety of employees. The inspection campaign for 2012 aimed to spread information countrywide concerning the benefits of legal employment, to offer consultancy services for employers and potential employees and to carry out inspections with the aim of increasing legal employment figures.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Awareness campaigns in agriculture and construction, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

02 Giugno 2013
  • Macedonia
  The International Labour Organization (ILO) supported the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in setting up and implementing awareness-raising campaigns. The aim of these campaigns was to increase awareness of negative aspects of undeclared work whilst pointing out the advantages of formalising within the agricultural and construction sectors. Attention was also given to decent working conditions.  
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising

Seasonal work vouchers, Croatia

02 Giugno 2013
  • Croatia
  This project, introduced during the summer of 2012, aims at making it easier to employ seasonal workers in agriculture in a formal way by issuing vouchers. The employers use the vouchers to pay the seasonal workers. The purchased vouchers include social contributions and taxes.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Electronic labour card, Greece

02 Giugno 2013
  • Greece
One of the few legislative measures for tackling undeclared work in Greece is the establishment of a special electronic labour card. The pilot implementation of the innovative measure aims to provide incentives and counterincentives for the observance of the labour and social security legislation. The measure has not yet been implemented in practice, and it is expected it will have only a limited effect on preventing the rapid spread of undeclared work in the country.
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Reverse VAT in construction, Finland

02 Giugno 2013
  • Finland
  Reverse VAT is a system used in the construction sector in which VAT is paid by the buyer (main contractor) as opposed to the seller (subcontractors), as is usually the case. The purpose is to ensure the due collection of VAT and discourage the use of undeclared work.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Tax and other measures to reduce the public deficit, Spain

02 Giugno 2013
  • Spain
  On 30 March 2012, Royal Decree Law 12/2012 introduced various tax and administrative measures aimed at reducing the public deficit. The new law establishes highly relevant modifications in taxation. Of the new tax measures introduced, the most noteworthy are those made in the Corporate Income Tax Law, particularly in relation to the deductibility of financial expenses. There is also a very relevant measure allowing taxpayers, both individuals and entities, to regularise past defaults. The group of measures approved includes many significant initiatives.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: increase penalties, Prevention

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