26 OCT 2016





GSEE presented anew its positions and recommendations on combating undeclared work on the occasion of the procedure of tripartite validation of the Road Map on Undeclared Work, which was prepared with the technical assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

GSEE explicitly clarified that the participation to the validation of the Road Map on Undeclared Work is mainly related to its two main provisions:

First, the immediate establishment of a tripartite coordination body on undeclared work, where all three parties to the Road Map (State, employers, workers) should participate on an equal basis. This coordinating tripartite body, which should have guarantees of uninterrupted and consistent operation, should have the responsibility to proceed, after the assessment of adequate data, to the development of a coherent strategy against undeclared work and to monitor its implementation.

Second, the need for public databases’ interoperability in all jointly responsible Ministries. These databases provide data regarding the timely appreciation of undeclared work and can, therefore, contribute to effectively combating the phenomenon.

In this context, it has been underlined yet again that:

  1. Greece’s national strategy against undeclared and underdeclared work must be based on the acceptance and promotion of full-time stable employment as a general rule and as the expression of a clear and targeted political will.
  2. The immediate reinstatement of the framework of collective bargaining, of the National General Collective Agreement, as well as of the extension of sectoral /occupational collective agreements and the abolition of memorandum-based regulations for the promotion of flexibility and precariousness in individual work contracts and, generally, in job positions are of critical importance in combating undeclared work and, generally, delinquency, in the labour market.
  3. Further labour market deregulation and the deterioration of the importance of social rights, marginalise any initiative to combat undeclared work, thus eliminate the guarantees on the required preventive effects of a set of undoubtedly useful incentives against that phenomenon, while also encourage the emergence and practical implementation of various delinquent, work-related and tax-related, acts.
  4. At the same time, disincentives and in particular fines for violations should, well before their practical quantitative aspects are discussed, be supported by immediacy, direct applicability and actual deterrence capability so as not to become a dead letter in every day practice and, unfortunately, a field of possible corruptive practices.

All the above have been presented in detail by GSEE’s President and General Secretary during the tripartite procedure on undeclared work that took place today, October 26, under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Please find below the main framework of GSEE positions/recommendations on combating undeclared and underdeclared work.




Strengthening and upgrading of the Labour Inspectorate across the country at the level of human and material resources, in order to safeguard its independence and effectiveness; Setting up of a special team of Social and Technical Inspectors with immediate controls capacity; Utilization of the technical assistance by the International Labour Organization, under the provisions and guarantees of C81, Labour Inspection Convention, (1947), as well as of C129 Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention (1969), which needs to be ratified by Greece.

Staffing of the Labour Inspectorate with additional administrative personnel in order to relieve the Social and Technical Inspectors from the red tape work and be able to perform their auditing unobstructed; Reinforcement of mixed audit teams.

Connecting all public Information Systems (databases) of all co-competent public services and Ministries that should interoperate because they include sufficient data to assist the control on any breaches in the labour market (e.g Ministry of Labour, SEPE, IKA, Ministry of Finance-Revenue Services, Ministry of Development-General Trade Registry (GEMI) etc); Access of workers and their representatives to information systems data regarding employment and social security.

Immediate mapping of inspection mechanisms and competent ministerial services that have common competency in order to avoid incomplete or non existent audits (e.g inspection authorities of Ministry of Labour and Ministry Education, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Development etc); Ensuring effective cooperation between audit mechanisms sharing the same competence and monitoring their work. This can be achieved only through legislation and the required regulatory actions.

Instituting and provision of workers’ participation in IKA audits; Reinforcement of workers’ participation during the audits by the Labour Inspectorate, with the possibility of a representative’s presence also on behalf of a competent second-degree Federation; Exploring the possibility of establishing collective bodies for labour dispute resolution with tripartite representation before the Labour Inspectorate, in the model of the Local Administrative Committees of IKA.

Identification of the existing problems within the Information Systems, such as ERGANI and modification of the relevant provisions that evidently lead to delinquent behaviours, such as e.g

the employer’s possibility to announce electronically worker’s resignation, without the obligation by the employer to submit a signed resignation document, issues arising from keeping a Record of Daily Employed Personnel Bulletins in Construction Projects

Assessment (separate and joint) of the systems of fines and sanctions regarding the breaches of labour and social security law and taking of measures to make labour protection more effective.

Exploring parallel or alternative means and ways of employers’ compliance with the statutory and actual employment needs in their enterprises, such as the employment obligation (and subsequently insurance obligation) of the undeclared employee in the appropriate specialty and for a specific period of time, without redundancy possibility.

It is underlined that one element related to controls’ effectiveness is the possibility to impose sanctions, proportional to the breach but also dissuassive ones. The possibility of imposing sanctions intends to make possible the carrying out of controls on employers, discouraging behaviours that would cancel them.

Offering incentives to employers (e.g tax incentives, White List etc) is independent from the consistent and cohesive operation of the inspection mechanism and the sanctions system of delinquent behaviours.

Revision of the labour card effectiveness, on the basis both of technological developments and possibilities and of employees’ personal data protection. No sanction should be imposed on workers upon verification of a breach by the employer.

Parametric changes in labour law provisions (individual or collective labour law) that contribute to enhancing the phenomenon of undeclared or underdeclared work, such as,

10. Reinforcement of a framework of professional qualifications (specialties) based on the type of enterprise and the activity sector, combined with the already existing obligatory professional qualifications in terms of social security contributions in IKA-ETAM, as well as the existing accredited occupational profiles, being the product of agreement between workers and employers. The need for a substantial participation of the Labour Ministry in the technical professions licensing was also discussed.

11. Institutionalization of a minimum personnel synthesis and similar objective control criteria, depending on the activity sector, in the model of construction works; institutionalization of a relevant burden of proof for the employers for the effectiveness of the measure and its monitoring.

12. Establishment of special objective criteria to deal with undeclared personnel in some specialties, such as courier service with high rates of undeclared work in many sectors of activity (from commercial and food establishments and postal services, up to transfer of biological material to the laboratories etc).

13. Strict prohibition of contracting assignments for work provision necessary for a business’s operation. Until this happens, the regulatory framework regarding assignments to contractors should be reinforced in the context of the Plenary decision dated 12-1-2009 of GSEE Governing Body and the relevant study of INE/GSEE on labour relations in the sector of cleaning (2009), taking into account the extended use of contracting across a range of business activity sectors, such as service rendering, as well as production etc:

14. The issues pertaining to health and safety at work constitute a special chapter; in addition to GSEE proposal on the national strategy for health and safety (2010-2015), GSEE representatives both in the Labor Inspectorate Social Control Board and the Health and Safety Council have repeatedly raised the issue. We indicatively mention the following: