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Undeclared work:Commission launches consultation with trade
unions and employers' representatives
The European Commission has launched today a consultation with
representatives of trade unions and employers' organisations on possible future
EU measures to prevent and deter undeclared work through improved cooperation
between Member States enforcement authorities, such as labour inspectorates, tax
and social security authorities.
Such cooperation could include the sharing of best practices
on prevention and deterrence measures, identifying common principles for
inspections of employers, promoting staff exchanges and joint training and
facilitating joint control actions.
László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and
"Undeclared work is a scourge – it puts workers at greater
risk of poverty and potentially dangerous working conditions.
It undermines workers' job security, access to pensions and
It deprives governments of tax and social security revenue.
Governments, employers and trade unions should work together
at EU level to prevent and deter undeclared work".
The consultation will help the Commission to implement its
policy objectives to tackle undeclared work, as set out in the April 2012
The Package underlines that transforming informal or
undeclared work into regular employment could help to reduce unemployment.
The Package therefore highlights the need for improved
cooperation on undeclared work between Member States and calls for the creation
of an EU-level platform for labour inspectorates and other enforcement bodies to
combat undeclared work.
The consultation document gives an overview of the main
problems arising from undeclared work (including bogus self-employment), reviews
recent studies on undeclared work and outlines the objectives and possible
content of a future EU initiative to combat undeclared work.
This initiative is due to be adopted in the 2nd half of 2013.
The employees' and employers' organisations have until 20
September 2013 to submit their views and comments.
At European level undeclared work is defined as "any paid
activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to public
authorities, taking into account differences in the regulatory systems of the
Undeclared work is a complex phenomenon, which exists as a
result of a range of different factors such as excessively high taxes on labour
and other labour costs, over-complex and expensive administrative procedures,
low trust in government, lack of control mechanisms, lack of regular jobs on the
labour market and high levels of social exclusion and poverty.
More efficient ways to tackle undeclared work would help
Member States to meet the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives of ensuring that 75%
of 20-64 year-olds are employed and that at least 20 million fewer people are in
or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
High levels of undeclared work undermine the EU policy agenda
aimed at improving job creation, job quality and fiscal consolidation.
Undeclared work has serious budgetary implications due to
lower tax and social security revenues.
It has negative impacts on employment, productivity and
working standards, skills development and life-long learning.
It represents only a tenuous basis for pension rights and
access to health care.
Preventing and deterring undeclared work falls primarily under
the responsibility of the Member States.
In view of the complexity and heterogeneity of undeclared
work, there is no simple solution to combat it.
However, action at EU level to promote cooperation between
national authorities and facilitate exchange of best practices could
substantially complement the crucial role played by these authorities in
preventing, tracking and sanctioning undeclared work.