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

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

Tighter control over undeclared work, Slovakia

02 June 2013
  • Slovakia
 
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Deterrence: increase penalties

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

SMARTS student competition, Latvia

02 June 2013
  • Latvia
 
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising

Targeted reduction of social security payments, Turkey

02 June 2013
  • Turkey
  The Turkish government introduced a general as well as targeted reduction of social security contributions and significant social security and corporate and VAT reductions for enterprises investing in less developed regions. The incentives were coupled with a deterrence approach targeted at employers using undeclared labour. The measure has led to an increase in formal (new) jobs.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Promoting external work contracts, Slovakia

02 June 2013
  • Slovakia
 
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

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

02 June 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

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