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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Tripartite committee to combat undeclared work in construction sector, Cyprus

28 Oktober 2009
  • Cyprus
In April 2007, a special technical committee for tripartite representation was set up, with the aim of finding ways to combat undeclared work in the construction sector (Τριμερής επιτροπή για την καταπολέμηση της αδήλωτης εργασίας στην οικοδομική βιομηχανία). Undeclared work tends to affect vulnerable groups of workers, such as migrants and Turkish Cypriots. The initiative includes increased inspection activity, particularly with regard to public works.
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‘Come into the light’ initiative, Bulgaria

28 Oktober 2009
  • Bulgaria
  In 2007, two of the largest representative employer organisations in Bulgaria, with the help of eight national media outlets, united their efforts to bring to light the undeclared or ‘grey’ economy. A special website was set up and – through joint initiatives, publications and information – the employers are trying to provoke a wide public debate in order to overcome the existing problems. The initiative is supported by the state institutions and trade unions.  
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    Changing attitudes: awareness raising, Deterrence: improve detection

Public sector procurement policy, Ireland

28 Oktober 2009
  • Ireland
  This case on public sector procurement policy focuses on the reduction of undeclared work in Ireland. More generally, it is seen as a mechanism to maintain employment standards in the public sector and uphold statutory norms, notably in relation to construction companies tendering for and engaging in public works contracts. The parties involved are hopeful that such procurement policy measures will deter practices such as undeclared work in private sector companies reliant on winning public sector contracts.  
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    Changing attitudes: awareness raising, Deterrence: improve detection, Deterrence: increase penalties, Prevention

Coordinated approach to fight against undeclared work, Poland

28 Oktober 2009
  • Poland
In 2007, new legislation regarding the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) came into force in Poland. Under the law, PIP is the central institution responsible for the control of legality of employment. A number of other administrative bodies are to cooperate with PIP in this regard. Among the main violations found are avoiding or delaying social security payments through undeclared work or the misuse of employment trial periods or civil contracts.
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Coordinated inspections against social dumping and undeclared work, Norway

28 Oktober 2009
  • Norway
Different public regulatory bodies have for a number of years carried out coordinated efforts against social dumping and undeclared work (Samordnede tiltak mot svart arbeid). In carrying out these inspections, the tax authorities, the Labour Inspection Authority and the police have worked together. In recent years, the construction sector has been targeted, among others, due to considerable problems witnessed in connection with the influx of foreign companies and employees in the sector.
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Universal service employment cheque, France

28 Oktober 2009
  • France
Due to cumbersome ‘red tape’ and the extensive administrative procedures required under French law to employ a domestic worker, many households have found it easier to employ undeclared workers. Thus, the French government has introduced various incentive schemes over the last 15 years to simplify procedures for legally recruiting domestic workers and to combat undeclared work. The most recent scheme is the ‘Universal service employment cheque’ introduced in 2006.
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Awareness-raising campaigns, Latvia

28 Oktober 2009
  • Latvia
A campaign to explain the importance of the employment contract and the consequences of undeclared work was one of the measures planned under the key principles ‘Measures for the prevention of illegal employment’. Since the adoption of the principles in 2004, the social partners have carried out a number of awareness-raising campaigns. In addition, the State Labour Inspectorate and the State Revenue Service have established free telephone hotlines.
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Realignment contracts, Italy

28 Oktober 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

Introduction of fines to prevent underpayment of minimum wage, Netherlands

28 Oktober 2009
  • Netherlands
On 4 May 2007, the Law on minimum wages was changed by the introduction of the possibility to levy administrative fines in cases where employers pay (some of) their employees less than the legal minimum wage. The maximum fine per offence (per employee) is €6,700. At the same time, the number of staff employed at the Labour Inspectorate was increased to allow more inspections to be carried out.
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Introduction of household services cheque, Austria

28 Oktober 2009
  • Austria
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