A European Platform to tackle undeclared work

Employment and Social Affairs

Today, the European Parliament approved a proposal to establish a European Platform in order to tackle the issue of the undeclared work.

Defined as “any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to public authorities, taking account differences in the regulatory systems of the Member States”, undeclared work represents a major problem in Europe, given its serious budgetary implications through decreased tax and social security revenues. Leading to an unfair competition between undertakings, it has negative impacts on employment, productivity and working conditions, resulting in lower pension rights and less access to health care.

So far, a wide range of policy approaches and measures to tackle undeclared work have been introduced across the Member States.

Member States have also concluded bilateral agreements and carried out multilateral projects on certain aspects of undeclared work. Nevertheless, the fact that undeclared work is not observed or registered, and defined differently in national legislation, makes it difficult to obtain reliable estimates of how widespread it is across Member States. As the challenges are common to Member States, and as undeclared work often has a cross-border dimension, EU level action can play an important role by reinforcing cooperation between enforcement authorities within and between different Member States in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work

From this point of view, the creation of a pan-european Platform is aimed at preventing, deterring and combating undeclared work as well as promoting the transformation of such work into declared work.The Platform would provide for the involvement of all relevant authorities of all Member States in the EU level activities and enable regular and operational cooperation in this area.

It should involve the social partners at EU level, both cross-industry and in those sectors more severely affected by undeclared work, and cooperate with relevant international organisations, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO). By so doing, the Platform will aim to facilitate the exchange of best practices and information, provide a framework at EU level to develop expertise and analysis and improve operational coordination of actions between the different national enforcement authorities of the Member States.

The Platform would not interfere with Member States’ action, but seeking to move from informal or undeclared work to regular employment, it can also contribute, on the long term, to achieving the employment target as part of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

It will meet at last twice a year and specific working groups will be established to deal with different aspects of undeclared work. The estimated yearly funding needs is of €2.1 million and it will be met out of the PROGRESS axis of the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (“EaSI”).

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