The TUDWA project
The precarious work —under the wide definition given by the Call for Proposals— is very relevant in the Spanish labour market.
Attending on a study carried out in 2006, Spain and Italy are the countries with higher rates of undeclared work (32% and 48% respectively) unless their immigration rates are less than other (Schneider and Enste, 2000) .
The household work is one of the main sectors in the informal economy. In Spain, while there are more than 700.000 people as domestic workers, it is likely there are 300.000 ones without social security (though it is estimated that formal contracts should be compulsory for more than 60.000) . Others studies point out that the rate of undeclared work is about 46,8% in this sector.
Undeclared work is also a persistent feature of the Italian labour market, according to the Vocational Training Development Agency. Women represent a greater proportion of workers in undeclared work than those in the formal labour market and they are mainly engaged in domestic and care work. Most women accept undeclared work because of the lack of suitable opportunities in the formal economy, while some regard such work as a stepping stone towards formal employment.
The pilot project goal of “encouraging conversion of precarious work into work with rights” is absolutely coincident with current challenges and some latter policies engaged in Catalonia and Spain, not only for this sector but also in general.
On 6 May 2011 the Spanish Government sanctioned the 5/2011 Legislative Decree with the aim of regularise the undeclared work, and promoted some special actions to fight against the precarious situations. This initiative enabled an extraordinary period —since 31st July 2011— when the precarious situations could be recognised by the employers and thus regularisation could be done without any administrative sanction. Once finished this period the new act includes higher fines, among others undeclared work control policies.
The household work has a significant relevance in the undeclared work and there are some new State policies that have to be taken in account because they can affect this already precarious situation. I Spain, the household work —including social care, housing, cleaning services, gardening, parking and other services— are provided in a special Social Security scheme. But, due to the recent 27/2011 law (that modifies the Social Security System) this special scheme will be removed and this activities will be carried out in the General Scheme by the 1st January 2012. This action is a clearly beneficial for the employees who change from one scheme to another but —as it implies higher costs to the employers— they can either trigger undeclared work increases. In fact, the majority of the European countries see links between social security regimes and undeclared work.
This new scheme not only will require more public control promoting and guaranteeing a desirable transition avoiding the explained threat, but also it could be an opportunity to spread out this new policy and to emerge the undeclared work with the aim of converting precarious work into contracts.
Otherwise the economical crisis is expected to be a factor that increases the informal economy, though it also can be an opportunity facing the undeclared work emergence in a different way. Nowadays there is a situation where the social protection of the weaker workers is getting worst and there is public awareness about it. This fact could help to outcome one of the barriers tackling the undeclared work: the lack of a sense of urgency under the point of view that the employees are benefited in any case. This outcome is even more relevant taking into account that customers of undeclared work usually are people with above average incomes.
Moreover we have done a brief research about the dimension and how to tackle the undeclared work and specially the domestic sector and there are quite studies, conferences and cases to be taken into account, both European and Spanish.
1st Barcelona Conference - June 20-21, 2012
2nd Barcelona Conference - Nocvember 9, 2012
This conference was held to present the productions of the project to field operators, decision makers and institutional bodies.
Click below to access
the Conference Agenda
Project productions and outcomes
Project European Report
The project fist global production is the European Report on Undeclared Domestic Work.
You can access this Report
in the English version
in the Spanish version
in the Italian version
Project Policy Guide
The Project Policy Guide presents the different public policies to combat undeclared domestic work.
You can access this report
in the English version
In the Spanish version
in the Italian version