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According the EU Communication "Stepping up the fight against undeclared work” (24.10.2007 COM(2007) 628 final), 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 system of Member States ". This definition links undeclared work with tax and/or social security fraud and covers diverse activities ranging from informal household services to clandestine work by illegal residents, but excludes criminal activities. Undeclared work is a complex phenomenon influenced by a wide range of economic, social, institutional and cultural factors, but it is generally recognised that undeclared work tends to obstruct growth-oriented economic, budgetary and social policies

19% of all undeclared work in the EU-28 is performed in the construction sector. 
The percentage varies strongly per country. Focusing on the construction sector when tackling undeclared work is therefore more important in some MS than in others. 

While some undeclared workers in the construction industry do so out of necessity, i.e. as a last resort in the absence of alternative means of livelihood, others seem to operate on an undeclared work basis out of choice (such as some self-employed craftspeople doing home repairs, maintenance and renovation). 

National policy measures range from direct controls that seek to alter the costs of undeclared work and/or benefits of operating on a declared basis, to indirect controls that seek to encourage voluntary compliance of suppliers and purchasers of construction services. 

At present most emphasis is put on altering the costs of undeclared work by increasing the perceived or actual probability of detection, such as by using ID cards, supply-chain responsibility, joint inspections and so forth. The social partners have played an active role in developing initiatives to tackle undeclared work both at national and EU level. 

Less emphasis is currently put on direct incentive measures that make it beneficial and easier to operate on a declared basis, and indirect policy measures that seek to encourage voluntary compliance using awareness campaigns and addressing the structural conditions that cause undeclared work in the construction sector.

Short description of the project
In order to ensure that the work done at EU-level (and in particular by the "European Platform tackling undeclared work”, hereafter the "Platform”) has a concrete follow-up at national level, the European social partners of the construction industry propose to introduce a European social partners’ (EFBWW-FIEC) project application entitled "Tackling undeclared work in the construction industry”.

In order to ensure the highest possible effectiveness, the project activities are focused on a limited number of countries (Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain), from which the national social partners of the construction industry and the national authorities have committed themselves explicitly. 

The objectives of the project are three-fold
1. Devising a European campaign on prevention/awareness of UDW in  the construction industry, including providing appropriate promotion material to all EU national members (in their own language) on the prevention/awareness of UDW in the construction industry. This activity targets all the EU member states.
2. Fostering national initiatives by developing national toolkits and/or organising national tripartite UDW meetings for 7 countries.  The basis for this are the existing EU tools and approaches to tackle undeclared work in the construction industry. A selection of existing EU tools and approaches to tackle undeclared work in the construction industry, compiled by the Platform, will be put into a national toolkit in line with  the choices and priorities of the national partners and the situation/reality of the specific country. These national toolkits can be used as a benchmarking tool to facilitate national discussions.
In order to stimulate concrete actions the project could also facilitate the organisation of national tripartite UDW meetings in the targeted countries. The main actors will be representatives of the national labour inspectorates, representatives of workers and businesses. However, politicians and experts can also participate. These meetings will generate a national discussion on concrete measures to tackle undeclared labour in the construction industry. The national toolkits will be used as an instrument to facilitate the discussions.
3. In order to ensure that the outcomes and results of the national activities are properly presented, discussed and communicated to the other EU national social partners of the construction industry a two-day European congress will be held in Croatia in March 2020 (the country, which will ensure the European Council Presidency at that time).     

Starting in 2018 - ending in 2020

   Final conference of Social Dialogue project TUWIC 

1 results
2020-09-24 Videoconference #EU4FairWork
139 Kb uploaded on 10/09/2020


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