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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Realignment contracts, Italy

28 Spalis 2009
  • Italy
  The 1990 law on realignment contracts provided for trade unions and employer organisations in the south of Italy to agree on a minimum wage at provincial level (no less than 25% of the national minimum wage and adjusted within three years to 100% of the national minimum wage). It aimed at reducing the burden of tax and social contributions for employers and workers during that period, while not penalising past non-compliance in terms of tax, workplace safety and social welfare contributions.  
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising, Prevention

Joint Shadow Economy Teams, United Kingdom

28 Spalis 2009
  • United Kingdom
 
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Prevention

Notification letters from Tax and Customs Board, Estonia

28 Spalis 2009
  • Estonia
  In January 2008, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board sent notification letters to companies with low wage levels compared with the average level in the region and the respective business sector, which might refer to the payment of undeclared wages or ‘envelope wages’. The notification letters informed employers of the low competitiveness of the wage levels in their companies compared with average wage levels. As a result, 46% of the companies that received these letters adjusted the wage levels in their companies, increasing tax payments at the same time.  
  • Sectors

  • Type of measure:

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

New scheme for employing domestic workers, Luxembourg

28 Spalis 2009
  • Luxembourg
  • Type of measure:

Obligatory training for unemployed persons, Malta

28 Spalis 2009
  • Malta
Over the last number of years, the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) undertook a variety of initiatives to identify abuse of the social security system and reduce the incidence of undeclared work. In particular, ETC found that compulsory courses for unemployed people can serve as an early warning signal to identify abusers of the system who register for work and receive unemployment benefits while also working in the informal economy.
  • Sectors

  • Type of measure:

Minimum wages for temporary agency workers, Netherlands

28 Spalis 2009
  • Netherlands
On 30 December 2008, a bill was published making employers hiring temporary agency workers liable for paying these workers the legal minimum wage (Inlenersaansprakelijkheid voor minimumloon uitzendkrachten). An exception is made when the employer only hires temporary workers from a certified temporary work agency. The Foundation of Labour has criticised the bill as being insufficient to curtail fraudulent temporary work agencies.
  • Sectors

  • Type of measure:

Gangmaster licensing awareness campaign, United Kingdom

28 Spalis 2009
  • United Kingdom
  Since October 2006, labour providers in the agri-business industry were required to have a licence. The objective was to curb what was perceived as high levels of undeclared work in these industries and the exploitative employment conditions faced by many workers. In August 2006, therefore a national public advertising campaign was ran on local commercial radio to remind labour providers of the need for them to hold a valid licence and to inform workers that they are entitled to report instances of exploitation.  
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising

Simplification of administrative procedures, Slovenia

28 Spalis 2009
  • Slovenia
  • Sectors

  • Type of measure:

Test-trading scheme, United Kingdom

28 Spalis 2009
  • United Kingdom
The ‘test-trading scheme’ allows unemployed people to test a business idea for self-employment for a limited time period while continuing to receive their unemployment benefits. The principal objective of this scheme is to provide people who are registered as unemployed with a self-employment route out of unemployment. This measure targeted registered unemployed persons throughout the country.
  • Type of measure:

HM Revenue & Customs’ campaign to target the hidden economy, United Kingdom

28 Spalis 2009
  • United Kingdom
  HM Revenue & Customs has developed a range of policies to combat undeclared work in the United Kingdom in recent years. These have met with different levels of success, but the organisation’s indicators would suggest that they have received a return in terms of revenue gained that is greatly in excess of the sums invested in the schemes.  
  • Sectors

  • Type of measure:

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