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Colin C Williams

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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

Tackling Undeclared Work In The European Union: Policy Report, Colin C. Williams Aug 2019

Tackling Undeclared Work In The European Union: Policy Report, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Undeclared work represents a persistent feature of contemporary economies and results in lost public revenue, lack of worker protection and unfair competition for legitimate businesses. Conventionally, undeclared work has been viewed as an individual criminal act, which is solved by governments increasing the penalties and risks of detection in order to discourage participation. This, however, only deals with the outcome (i.e., participation in undeclared work) and does not address the drivers of this behaviour.
This report explores the formal institutional failures which make undeclared work an acceptable behaviour in the eyes of citizens and, consequently, result in high participation ...


Tackling Undeclared Work Across Europe: Effective Solutions For Policy-Makers, Colin C. Williams Jul 2019

Tackling Undeclared Work Across Europe: Effective Solutions For Policy-Makers, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This document sets out examples of proven approaches
and practices that Platform members and observers
have used to tackle undeclared work in Europe. The
aim is to inspire national policy-makers with tried and
tested approaches and to provide sources of further
information of how to put these concrete examples into
action.


Shadows: Tackling Undeclared Work In The European Union, Ioana Horodnic, Colin C. Williams Jul 2019

Shadows: Tackling Undeclared Work In The European Union, Ioana Horodnic, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Across the member states of the European Union and beyond, paid transactions are occuring that are not declared to the state for tax, social security or labour law purposes. The practice is not a minority one. As a result, tackling undeclared work has become a core issue on the policy agendas of both governments and the European Commission, reflected in the establishment of the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work. 
How, therefore, can undeclared work be tackled? A review of the literature indicates two major distinct approaches. First, a rational economic actor approach that tackles undeclared work by ensuring that the ...


Cross-Border Concerted And Joint Inspections In The Fight Against Undeclared Work, Colin C. Williams Jul 2019

Cross-Border Concerted And Joint Inspections In The Fight Against Undeclared Work, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work organised a Thematic Review Workshop in Portugal on ‘Cross-border concerted and joint inspections’ between 28 February and 1 March 2019 (see Executive Summary here). It was hosted by the Authority for Working Conditions (Autoridade para as Condições do Trabalho [ACT]). The aim was to share knowledge and experience among Platform members around a specific component of cross-border activities: concerted and joint inspections. Participants from 22 countries attended, including national ministries, labour inspectorates, regional administrative agencies and tax authorities. The workshop was the initial stage in a larger, mutual learning process and will generate further ...


Future Role And Competence Profile Of Labour Inspectorates, Colin C. Williams Jun 2019

Future Role And Competence Profile Of Labour Inspectorates, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The transformation of undeclared work into declared work using a combination of preventative and deterrence measures has significant implications for the future role of enforcement authorities1, and the skills and competencies required.
This thematic review workshop (TRW) will provide Platform members with an opportunity to engage in mutual learning and share understanding of the key human resource management issues for both inspectorates as well as inspectors. These issues arise from transforming undeclared work into declared work, the adoption of a wider range of deterrence and preventative approaches and achieving a good balance between deterrence and prevention. In addition, enforcement authorities ...


Preventative Approaches To Tackle Undeclared Work, With A Focus Upon Tax Rebates And Notification Letters: Executive Summary, Colin C. Williams Jun 2019

Preventative Approaches To Tackle Undeclared Work, With A Focus Upon Tax Rebates And Notification Letters: Executive Summary, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.


Preventative Approaches For Tackling Undeclared Work, Focusing Upon Tax Rebates And Notification Letters: Learning Resource Paper For The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work Seminar, Colin C. Williams May 2019

Preventative Approaches For Tackling Undeclared Work, Focusing Upon Tax Rebates And Notification Letters: Learning Resource Paper For The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work Seminar, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Ÿ  Effective preventative approaches are long-term, tailored strategies. Over time, they can trigger behavioural change to declare work and increase trust in institutions. Preventative strategies should combine a range of measures and must be regularly tested, evaluated and adapted according to the results. Pilot schemes can be used to find effective ways to tailor approaches to the national context and culture. However, preventative approaches and deterrence approaches are complementary. Both can be used to tackle undeclared work.
Ÿ  Moving towards preventative measures requires a change of strategy of the role of enforcement institutions. A preventative approach requires support of all relevant institutional ...


Shadow Economy: Definitions, Terms And Theoretical Considerations, Colin C. Williams May 2019

Shadow Economy: Definitions, Terms And Theoretical Considerations, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The last decades, many scholars highlighted the shadow economic activities, regarding their disadvantages (unemployment, impoverishment etc) and advantages (intensifies competition, flexibility in employment etc). During the financial crisis, informal activities rose in noisy way, which triggered the development of special definitions to describe a wide range of actions which in turn have gradually configured and updated the content of the shadow economy term. In this paper we present the theoretical background of the shadow economy term, by selecting the main worldwide literature published from 1973 to 2018. Many studies have tried to definite the shadow economy term but none has ...


Diagnostic Report On Undeclared Work In Kosovo, Colin C. Williams Apr 2019

Diagnostic Report On Undeclared Work In Kosovo, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This diagnostic report evaluates the extent, nature and drivers of undeclared work in Kosovo* followed by recommendations regarding how this sphere can be tackled.


Ifth Plenary Meeting Of The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work Report On Tackling Under-Declared Employment In The European Union, Colin C. Williams Mar 2019

Ifth Plenary Meeting Of The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work Report On Tackling Under-Declared Employment In The European Union, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The fifth Plenary meeting of the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work was held in Brussels on 18-19 October 2018. The first day of this meeting was dedicated to the topic of tackling under-declared employment in the European Union. This report summarises the discussions at the workshop, which drew on the findings of two studies on this topic produced as part of the Platform’s work programme.

The objective of this thematic discussion on under-declared employment in the European Union was: (i) to exchange information on what works and what does not, (ii) to generate knowledge about under-declared employment, and (iii ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In The Agricultural Sector: A Learning Resource, Colin C. Williams Mar 2019

Tackling Undeclared Work In The Agricultural Sector: A Learning Resource, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

On 24 January 2019, the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work organised a seminar in Brussels on Tackling undeclared work in the agricultural sector, with a focus upon seasonal workers and horticulture. The seminar brought together Platform members or designated representatives from EU Member States (MS) representing labour inspectorates and social security, tax and customs authorities, and national and European social partner representatives from the agricultural sector. The intention was to provide participants with an opportunity to engage in mutual learning and exchange knowledge on how to tackle undeclared work in the agricultural sector and transform undeclared into declared work. Participants ...


Institutional Asymmetry And The Acceptability Of Undeclared Work: Synthesis Report, Colin C. Williams Jan 2019

Institutional Asymmetry And The Acceptability Of Undeclared Work: Synthesis Report, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This report is part of the project SHADOWSwhich aims to investigate the effectiveness of different policy measures in reducing undeclared work. As such, the project evaluates not only the effectiveness of using a rational economic actor approach (that tackles undeclared work by ensuring that the payoff from undeclared work is outweighed by the costs), and a social actor approach (grounded in a view that undeclared work arises when tax morale is low), but also analyses the interaction effects (between deterrents and tax morale, and vertical and horizontal trust) in various contexts. This report focuses on the social actor approach ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In The Agricultural Sector, Colin C. Williams Nov 2018

Tackling Undeclared Work In The Agricultural Sector, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This study evaluates the prevalence, distribution and characteristics of undeclared work in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sector (henceforth ‘agricultural sector’) in the EU and how this can be tackled. To do so, the prevalence, distribution and characteristics of undeclared work in the agricultural sector, along with its systemic drivers, are analysed. This analysis then provides the evidence base for an analysis of how undeclared work can be tackled. To identify how to achieve this, an analysis is undertaken of the legislative and institutional frameworks, of the policy approaches for tackling undeclared work in the agricultural sector, and an evidence-based ...


Tackling Under-Declared Employment In The European Union: Input Paper To Thematic Discussion Of European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work, Colin C. Williams Oct 2018

Tackling Under-Declared Employment In The European Union: Input Paper To Thematic Discussion Of European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The under-declaration of work ranges from employers using unregistered employees, through the under-declaration of income by the formal self-employed and formal businesses, to the misuse of collaborative platforms and the digital economy to conceal the full amount of incomes and social security due.
The objective of this thematic discussion on under-declared employment in the European Union is: (i) to exchange information on what works and what does not, (ii) to generate knowledge about under-declared employment, and (iii) to explore how the Platform activities can contribute to tackling under-declared employment.
The intention is to focus upon two types of under-declaring work ...


Evaluating Policy Approaches Towards Undeclared Work: Some Lessons From Fyr Of Macedonia, Colin C. Williams Oct 2018

Evaluating Policy Approaches Towards Undeclared Work: Some Lessons From Fyr Of Macedonia, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

To tackle undeclared work, the conventional rational economic actor approach
uses deterrents to ensure that the costs of engaging in undeclared work outweigh
the benefits. Recent years have seen the emergence of a social actor approach
which focuses upon improving tax morale. To analyse the association between
participation in undeclared work and these policy approaches, 2,014 face-toface
interviews, conducted in FYROM in 2015, are reported. Logistic regression
analysis reveals no association between participation in undeclared work and the
perceived level of penalties and risk of detection, but there is an association with
the level of tax morale. The paper ...


Elements Of A Preventative Approach Towards Undeclared Work: An Evaluation Of Service Vouchers And Awareness Raising Campaigns, Colin C. Williams May 2018

Elements Of A Preventative Approach Towards Undeclared Work: An Evaluation Of Service Vouchers And Awareness Raising Campaigns, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

1.          Introduction
The aim of this study is to review the range of preventative approaches for tackling undeclared work available to Member States, and to focus upon two types of preventative measure, namely service vouchers and the use of awareness raising campaigns.
2.          Rationales for a preventative approach
·       The rationale for a preventative approach is to shift away from resolving problems after they have occurred towards preventing non-compliance in the first place.
·       Article 1 of Decision (EU) 2016/3441, establishing the Platform, explicitly encourages such a preventative approach. It states that ‘”tackling”, in relation to undeclared work, means preventing, deterring ...


Elements Of A Preventative Approach Towards Undeclared Work: An Evaluation Of Service Vouchers And Awareness Raising Campaigns: Outputs From Plenary Discussion Of The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work, Colin C. Williams Apr 2018

Elements Of A Preventative Approach Towards Undeclared Work: An Evaluation Of Service Vouchers And Awareness Raising Campaigns: Outputs From Plenary Discussion Of The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The fourth Plenary meeting of the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work was held in Brussels on 8-9 March 2018. The first day of this meeting was dedicated to the topic of the preventative approach towards tackling undeclared work, with a focus upon service vouchers and awareness raising. This report summarises the discussions at the meeting, drawing also on the forthcoming study on this topic which has been developed as part of the Platform’s work programme


2018 European Platform Undeclared Work Survey Report: Obstacles To Tackling Undeclared Work At The Cross-Border And National Levels, Bilateral And National Agreements, And Complaint Reporting Tools, Colin C. Williams Apr 2018

2018 European Platform Undeclared Work Survey Report: Obstacles To Tackling Undeclared Work At The Cross-Border And National Levels, Bilateral And National Agreements, And Complaint Reporting Tools, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Responses were received from 45 authorities with responsibilities for tackling undeclared work in 25 Member States (MS), most of whom were labour inspectorates or Ministries of Labour. The issues covered: obstacles to tackling undeclared work at the cross-border and national levels; the use of bilateral and multilateral agreements, and the use of complaint reporting tools in Member States


Elements Of A Preventative Approach Towards Undeclared Work: An Evaluation Of Service Vouchers And Awareness Raising Campaigns - Input Paper To Thematic Discussion, Colin C. Williams Apr 2018

Elements Of A Preventative Approach Towards Undeclared Work: An Evaluation Of Service Vouchers And Awareness Raising Campaigns - Input Paper To Thematic Discussion, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The objective of the thematic discussion on preventative measures for tackling undeclared work, focusing on both service vouchers and awareness raising campaigns, is (i) to exchange information on what works and what does not, (ii) to generate knowledge about these preventative measures, and (iii) to explore how the Platform activities can contribute to developing a preventative approach towards undeclared work.
This thematic discussion will focus attention on three key issues. In Part 1, we will address an issue everyone is aware of but until now has not been discussed, namely why preventative measures are not commonly used in Member States ...


Tackling Salary Under-Reporting In Croatia: Evidence From Employer And Employee Surveys, Colin C. Williams Mar 2018

Tackling Salary Under-Reporting In Croatia: Evidence From Employer And Employee Surveys, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

The aim of this paper is to evaluate how to tackle the illegal wage practice where formal
employers pay their formal employees an undeclared (envelope) wage in addition to their
official declared salary, which reduces the tax and social contributions paid to the authorities.
Until now, two competing policy approaches have been advocated, namely a conventional
rational economic actor approach which seeks to increase the perceived or actual penalties
and probability of being caught, and an emergent social actor approach that seeks to improve
tax morale. Reporting two nationally representative surveys of employers and employees
conducted in 2015 in Croatia ...


An Evaluation Of The Scale Of Undeclared Work In The European Union And Is Structural Determinants: Estimates Using The Labour Input Method, Colin C. Williams, Josip Franic, Ioana Horodnic Dec 2017

An Evaluation Of The Scale Of Undeclared Work In The European Union And Is Structural Determinants: Estimates Using The Labour Input Method, Colin C. Williams, Josip Franic, Ioana Horodnic

Colin C Williams

On average, 11.6% of total labour input in the private sector in the EU is undeclared, and undeclared work constitutes on average 16.4% of gross value added (GVA) (the difference due to undeclared labour being concentrated in sectors with higher labour productivity).

These, however, are unweighted averages, and do not take into account the relative size of the labour force in each Member State. The weighted averages, therefore, are that 9.3% of total labour input in the private sector in the EU is undeclared, and undeclared work constitutes 14.3% of GVA in the private sector. The ...


Dependent Self-Employment: Trends, Challenges And Policy Responses In The Eu, Colin C. Williams Dec 2017

Dependent Self-Employment: Trends, Challenges And Policy Responses In The Eu, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Across the EU28, there is not only a significant ‘jobs gap’ with only 70.1 per cent of
the working age population in jobs but also concerns over the quality of jobs. One
particular concern is that employees are being falsely classified as self-employed by
employers in order to circumvent collective agreements, labour laws (e.g., minimum
wages, working time legislation), employment tax and other employer liabilities implied
in the standard contract of employment, and that the emergent ‘gig’ or ‘platform’ economy
is accelerating this trend.
This report evaluates this emergent employment relationship, here termed ‘dependent’
self-employment, which covers those ...


European Platform Undeclared Work 2017 Platform Survey Report: Organisational Characteristics Of Enforcement Bodies, Measures Adopted To Tackle Undeclared Work, And The Use Of Databases And Digital Tools, Colin C. Williams Oct 2017

European Platform Undeclared Work 2017 Platform Survey Report: Organisational Characteristics Of Enforcement Bodies, Measures Adopted To Tackle Undeclared Work, And The Use Of Databases And Digital Tools, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This report presents the main findings of the first online survey of members of the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work. A total of 23 Member States responded.

Organisational characteristics of enforcement bodies

Undeclared work covers paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but are not declared to public authorities so as to evade either payment of taxes, social security contributions and/or labour laws. In three-quarters of Member States, responsibility for these three forms of evasion lies in separate public authorities, with each having separate targets and key performance indicators (KPIs). The outcome is a departmental ‘silos’ approach ...


Under-Declaring Work, Falsely Declaring Work: Under-Declared Employment In The European Union, Colin C. Williams, Ioana Horodnic Sep 2017

Under-Declaring Work, Falsely Declaring Work: Under-Declared Employment In The European Union, Colin C. Williams, Ioana Horodnic

Colin C Williams

Under-declared employment occurs when a formal employer pays a formal employee an official declared wage but also an additional undeclared (‘envelope’) wage in order to evade the full social insurance and tax liabilities owed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence, characteristics and distribution of this fraudulent wage practice in the EU28, to explain its existence, to provide an evidence-based evaluation of the effectiveness of different policy approaches for tackling it, and propose a set of policy recommendations.

Prevalence, characteristics and distribution of under-declared employment
To evaluate the prevalence, characteristics and distribution of under-declared employment in the ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In Southeast Europe: Knowledge-Informed Policy Responses, Colin C. Williams Aug 2017

Tackling Undeclared Work In Southeast Europe: Knowledge-Informed Policy Responses, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Ø  Undeclared work is socially accepted and widely practiced in Bulgaria, Croatia, and the FYR of Macedonia.
 
Ø  More than 1 in 5 adults in these countries acknowledge that they have bought goods and services on the undeclared economy in the prior year. More than 1 in 12 report that they have undertaken undeclared work, and more than 1 in 10 declared employees report that they receive from their employer in addition to their declared salary an additional undeclared ‘envelope’ wage.
 
Ø  But undeclared work differs across and within the three countries. For every one working undeclared due to their ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In Croatia: Knowledge-Informed Policy Responses, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers, Ruslan Stefanov Aug 2017

Tackling Undeclared Work In Croatia: Knowledge-Informed Policy Responses, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers, Ruslan Stefanov

Colin C Williams

KEY POINTS
Ø  Undeclared work has deep roots in Croatia. One in eleven declare to have done some fully undeclared work. Six out of ten though believe at least 20% of their compatriots violate tax and labour laws.
Ø  The perception of the widespread nature of undeclared work and the lack of trust in formal institutions seem to be the main incentives for people to engage in undeclared work. These have been exacerbated by high unemployment and low retirement income.
Ø  Hence, the conventional rational actor approach to tackling undeclared work that focuses upon increasing penalties and surveillance has become ...


Greypolicybrief2_Macedonia.Pdf, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers, Ruslan Stefanov Aug 2017

Greypolicybrief2_Macedonia.Pdf, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers, Ruslan Stefanov

Colin C Williams

KEY POINTS
Ø  Undeclared work hasdeep roots in FYR of Macedonia. 1 in 16 adults and 1 in 8 of the employed engage in undeclared work. The use of informal connections to circumvent formal institutions is practiced by 35% of Macedonians.
Ø  Formal institutions in the country are underdeveloped. Unemployment also remains unusually high compared with the EU average.
Ø  The traditional repression approach to tackling undeclared work, which has been prioritised so far by the authorities, is ineffective.
Ø  Increasing penalties and surveillance/ control should at the very least be supplemented by public awareness raising campaigns, educating citizens, and ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In Bulgaria: Knowledge-Informed Policy Responses, Ruslan Stefanov, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers Aug 2017

Tackling Undeclared Work In Bulgaria: Knowledge-Informed Policy Responses, Ruslan Stefanov, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers

Colin C Williams

KEY POINTS
Ø  Undeclared work is socially accepted and widely practiced in Bulgaria. The undeclared economy is estimated at roughly a third of GDP. Nearly one in ten people do some undeclared work.
Ø  Undeclared work is motivated primarily by lack of trust between the people and the authorities.It involves mostly people who voluntarily exit the declared economy but also those that are excluded.  
Ø  The conventional repressive approach to tackling undeclared work has exhausted its effects in Bulgaria. It should be complemented with more curative, preventative and commitment policies.
Ø  Policymakers should consider not just the rational but ...


Illegitimate Economic Practices In Bulgaria: Findings From A Representative Survey Of 2,005 Citizens, Colin C. Williams, Junhong Yang Jul 2017

Illegitimate Economic Practices In Bulgaria: Findings From A Representative Survey Of 2,005 Citizens, Colin C. Williams, Junhong Yang

Colin C Williams

This report presents the findings of a survey on illegitimate economic practices in Bulgaria conducted between July and October 2015. This representative survey of 2005 citizens focused on the experiences of Bulgarians with undeclared work, envelope wages and the practice of “pulling strings”, as well as on their opinion about these types of dishonest behaviour.
According to the respondents, illegitimate economic practices are strongly ingrained in Bulgarian society. According to the estimation of Schneider (2013), the undeclared economy accounts for 31% of GDP in Bulgaria in 2013, which is the highest estimation for any country in the EU-28. According to ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In The Construction Industry: A Learning Resource, Colin C. Williams Jul 2017

Tackling Undeclared Work In The Construction Industry: A Learning Resource, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

On 3 May 2017, the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work organised a seminar in Brussels on Tools and approaches to deal with undeclared work in the construction sector. The seminar brought together Platform members and observers from 21 EU Member States (MS) and Norway (EEA) representing labour inspectorates and social security, tax and customs authorities, as well as national and European social partner representatives from the construction sector. 
This learning resource paper describes the seminar outcomes. The first section looks at the extent and nature of undeclared work in the construction sector. This is followed by an overview of the ...