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

Cross-border cooperation, Lithuania

02 June 2013
  • Lithuania
 
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

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

Coordinated inspection system, the Netherlands

02 June 2013
  • Netherlands
Undeclared work is an ongoing problem and a strongly debated issue in the Netherlands. In July 2012 an agricultural employer was sentenced to three years in jail for exploiting foreign workers. This case came to the light through the recent intensified inspections by the interventions teams from the SZW Inspectorate (formerly the Labour Inspectorate), which has become more focused in its checks. The teams concentrate their inspection work on sectors having a dubious reputation: agriculture, construction and cleaning.
  • Type of measure:

Information campaign on tax compliance, Estonia

02 June 2013
  • Estonia
  In 2010 and 2011, information campaigns were instigated by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board with the aim of raising awareness among the population as to how taxpayers’ money is being used by the state. Both campaigns were assessed as successful in terms of visibility and raising awareness.  
  • Type of measure:

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

New law on foreign workers, Turkey

02 June 2013
  • Turkey
  On 1 February 2012, a new law on the residence and travel of foreigners in Turkey came into force. This law brings to an end the so-called ‘visa runs’ by foreigners living in Turkey without a residency. For foreigners working in the undeclared economy in Turkey, this new law represents a significant obstacle to continuing their activities.   Background
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Deterrence: increase penalties

Mandatory cash registers for entrepreneurs, Poland

02 June 2013
  • Poland
  In 2010, the Polish Ministry of Finance introduced new regulations, to decrease the number of entrepreneurs exempt from registering sales electronically and hence widen the general use of electronic cash registers. While the instant response by taxpayers has not been overwhelming, the initiative is still considered a step in the right direction, as it increases the level of equality before law.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

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

Simplified Employment Act, Hungary

02 June 2013
  • Hungary
  In 2010, the Hungarian government introduced the Simplified Employment Act (2010/LXXV) to facilitate seasonal and casual employment notifications, reports and payments. The regulations of the Act can be viewed, and are viewed at political level, to be an anticipatory measure to tackle undeclared work. Official data shows that those employers who normally notify the authorities anyway are the most likely to use the new system. However, it is still unclear whether it will regularise the Hungarian labour market.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

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