Shifting employment: Undeclared labour in construction

Jan Cremers (Editor), Joern Janssen (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingScientificpeer-review

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This report is the result of preparatory European research and national investigations in 10 EU Member States. The main aim of the research was to analyse the phenomenon of undeclared labour in the construction industry and to assess best practices to prevent and combat undeclared labour.
The share of undeclared labour in construction output and employment appears to be much higher in all countries than the average share of undeclared labour in GDP or overall employment. The authors found enough evidence to conclude that:
•the highest occurrence of undeclared labour relates to work carried out by workers next to their regular job.
•the status of self-employment is abused, with bogus practices by national citizens as well as foreign ‘independent’ workers entering the market through labour-only subcontracting.
•dubious agencies and labour traffickers supplying cheap illegal labour mainly from abroad have returned. But “illegal never complain and work hard” and only little “persuasion” is needed because of their illegal status.
This publication includes desktop research, a summary of the findings and the experts’ conclusions, 10 country reports and the recommendations as formulated in a joint statement by the European social partners of the construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherCLR/EFBWW/International Books
Number of pages168
ISBN (Print)978 90 5727 101 4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006

Publication series

NameCLR Studies
PublisherEuropean Institute for Construction Labour Research


  • EU social policy, EU governance
  • free movement, recruitment, compliance, regime-shopping, posting, social security
  • undeclared labour
  • working conditions
  • Compliance


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