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Undeclared work a widespread problem in the EU

25 March, 2014

Around one in five Cypriots and one in three Greeks admit that they have bought goods or services involving undeclared work in the previous year.

A Eurobarometer survey issued today asked whether Europeans suspected any of the goods and services which they had paid for involved undeclared work. A total of 16% Cypriots, 30% Greeks and 11% in the EU replied in the affirmative with Greece scoring the highest levels, the Netherlands coming second with 29%, Latvians 28% and Denmark 23%.
Asked if they personally know people who work without declaring their income or part of their income, 54% Greeks, 39% Cypriots and 32 % Europeans replied positively. In Cyprus, this percentage rose by four points compared to the previous survey on the issue.

In addition, 37% of those asked in Cyprus believe that one of the main reasons that people resort to undeclared work is the lack of measures taken by the relevant authorities. The sector where undeclared work in Cyprus thrives is home repairs or renovations or repairs reaching 30%, and ten percent each in house cleaning, private lessons, car repairs, garden work and waitressing.
According to the findings of the Eurobarometer survey, undeclared work continues to be widespread in Europe, though the extent and perception of the problem vary from country to country.

The problems identified in the survey are due to be addressed in a Commission proposal in April to launch a European Platform on the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work that would aim to step up cooperation between Member States to tackle the issue more effectively.
"Undeclared work not only exposes workers to dangerous working conditions and lower earnings but also deprives governments of revenue and undermines our social protection systems. Member States need to implement policies to discourage undeclared work or encourage its transformation into regular work, and to work more closely together to combat this scourge. This is why in April the European Commission will propose to launch a European platform on the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work, that would improve cooperation between labour inspectorates and enforcement bodies across Europe", EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented.