Published on 11th October 2017
The debate gathered representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission and the employment industry to discuss challenges linked to compliance, enforcement and the prevention of undeclared work. It was also the opportunity to assess the European platform established last year which aimed to enhance cooperation among EU members states’ labour ministries, trade unions and employers’ associations to tackle a problem that is damaging the EU economy and distorting labour markets.
MEP Georgi Pirinski, who steered draft legislation that led to the creation of the platform through Parliament, welcomed all attendees by saying it was essential to gather all relevant stakeholders around the table to prevent, deter and combat undeclared work, because all partners have an interest and responsibility in having fair competition implemented, paying taxes and contributing to society.
Denis Pennel, Managing Director at the World Employment Confederation-Europe who delivered a similar message, argued about the employment industry’s role in implementing social innovation and the industry’s achievements in implementing sectoral bipartite funds in Europe, providing access to training, complimentary pensions and additional security schemes to workers. He then gave the floor to Jaap Buis, Managing Director of the SNCU, the Dutch bipartite foundation responsible for enforcing compliance with the collective labour agreements signed for the agency work industry. Mr Buis explained the SNCU’s central role in creating awareness of rights and obligations of agency workers and employment agencies and in checking compliance with collective agreements, through specialized “private inspectors” and verification enterprises.
This bipartite structure was hailed as an interesting and innovative model by Lambert Kleinmann from DG Employment who also made an assessment of the European Platform tackling undeclared work. He said the platform has been of benefit for mutual learning among the 28 member states but that more remains to be done in producing results at this early stage. Mr Pirinski suggested to draw even more attention on the topic during the next presidency of the Council of the EU to be hosted in Bulgaria in 2018.