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Labour Ministry to Step up Fight Against Undeclared Labour

Ljubljana, 27 August (STA) - Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs Ivan Svetlik warned on Friday against the consequences of undeclared work for Slovenia's economy and explained the ministry was ready for the launch of a campaign to fight this illegal form of labour.

According to Svetlik, the campaign will be launched on Tuesday and run until the end of the year. The main aim of the EUR 40,000 project is to promote the awareness that "in the long term, paying taxes and contributions is beneficial for us all."

The minister underlined that any possible positive effects of undeclared work did not make up for the negative ones. He mentioned predatory pricing and long term negative effects for the employers, saying this affected the long-term sustainability of the social purse and the tax system.

What is more, the ministry is also preparing changes to the act on prevention of illegal work and employment, which are to be presented in late September and sent to the parliament in spring.

Slovenian chief labour inspector Borut Brezovar told the press that the inspectorate had not recorded a major increase in undeclared work. He believes this is due to student work, which enables a completely legal way to hire cheap but good work force.

The minister explained that the new mini jobs bill, which is also to regulate student work and other forms of non-full time work, is also aiming at reducing undeclared work.

According to the chief inspector, undeclared work is most common in construction, hospitality services and in taxi services. He belies that undeclared work is not as frequent in other sectors because one can get up to three years in prison for it.

Chief market inspector Andrejka Grlic added that apart from inspections, reports from individuals are were very welcome.

According to different estimates, informal economy amounts to between 17 and 25% of Slovenia's GDP. Last year, inspectors found 408 people in undeclared labour relationship and 501 employers hiring without declaring the work to the authorities.

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