2.2.2016 – MEPs debated this morning a decision to create a European platform against undeclared work. Although largely in favour, GUE/NGL MEPs said much more needed to be done by the EU and a much greater role given to member states themselves to ensure social protection and job security for all.
GUE/NGL MEP Kostadinka Kuneva, said: “Undeclared work in its various forms such as falsely declared work and bogus self-employment is going to be targeted by the Platform established by this decision.” “The phenomenon of undeclared work has been exacerbated during the financial crisis because of a deregulated labour market depriving workers of their social rights. Member state representatives and cross-industry social partners will acquire a common understanding, exchange best practices, develop expertise and cross-border cooperation to prevent and combat the phenomenon and promote declared work.”
Rina Ronja Kari evoked the huge social transformations in the internal market in Europe with workers facing increasing competition and increasingly worse conditions. “This is having an impact on the economy and is a disadvantage not only for workers but for society as a whole because decent jobs are lost as is tax.” “I think this is a very positive initiative. But why don’t we give member states the opportunity to carry out stricter monitoring and stricter measures where necessary? Also, we have to prevent the internal market from becoming an example of social dumping.”
For João Lopes Pimento, right-wing policies have contributed to deregulating labour law and undermining working conditions. “The use of fixed-term contracts and precarious conditions has only added to the problem and this won’t change anything.” “Combatting undeclared work can only take place under the sovereignty of member states through measures which ensure stability and security, making sure that collective bargaining is respected, ensuring dignified wages and basically going against what the EU has imposed in recent years.
Patrick Le Hyaric pointed out that undeclared work reflects the fact that our societies are dysfunctional and that we’re in the middle of a crisis. “We are seeing austerity putting pressure on taxpayers and pushing people towards undeclared work. The people involved are people in insecure situation and without social security, and this drags down all working and social conditions.” “This Platform is a good move but we have to go further and review the posted workers directive, the status of cross-border workers and set up a body of labour inspectors.
And given this new economic system, we have to find a way to ensure social protection and job security for all.” Dennis De Jong, author of an opinion from the Internal Market Committee, welcomed the Platform: “These forms of work have no place in the EU; bogus self-employment is unfair competition. We want the internal Market to work properly and it is being undermined by the black economy.”