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Tackling undeclared work in personal and household services

On the 9th of April 2014, the European Commission has presented a proposal for establishing a European Platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work.

Following consultations of the European Social Partners and Member States, the European Commission has proposed the creation of a European Platform whose aim would be to bring together all Member States’ national enforcement authorities involved in tackling undeclared work. The Platform would notably foster the exchange of best practices, tackle cross-border aspects, develop common principles and guidelines and increase awareness of the problem .The proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council for adoption.

EFSI welcomes the European Commission’s proposal and hope that this Platform could contribute to the emergence of undeclared work in personal and household services (PHS) from the shadow to the formal economy.

Indeed, the prevalence of undeclared work is a major issue for the sector, as it has been stressed by the latest Eurobarometer survey on undeclared work, published in March 2014. We can conclude from this survey that 46.7 million Europeans used undeclared work in 2013. A majority of them purchased home repairs and renovations services (29%) as well as car repairs (22%). However, PHS have also often been mentioned by the respondents and we can estimate that 7 millions individuals bought home cleaning services (15%), 4.6 million bought gardening services (10%), 3.7 million bought healthcare services (8%), 2.3 million bought home babysitting services (5%) and 1.4 million individuals bought ironing services, tutoring, assistance for a dependant or elderly person as well as administrative or IT assistance services (3%).