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Undeclared Work

Undeclared work involves any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to public authorities. It may come in different forms and can occur in all kinds of economic sectors. It can also be either partially or fully undeclared work.

Undeclared work can also occur where self-employed persons provide services either to a formal enterprise or to other clients, such as households.

Undeclared work affects everyone. It puts workers at a multitude of risks. It hampers fair competition and undermines public finances, social protection and wider social cohesion.

Transforming undeclared work into declared work requires a joint and holistic approach, involving employers and employer representative bodies, and employees and employee representative bodies alike.

Declared work benefits all of society: Government gets the tax and Pay Related Social Insurance contributions to fund essential services, workers get the protection they need with written contracts of employment and social protection (for example holiday and sick pay, pension contributions and safe working conditions), and companies can compete on a level playing field. Transforming undeclared work into declared work contributes to sustainable public finances.

There are benefits and protections in relation to declaring work, and there are obligations to declare work and workers at all levels of the supply chain. Conversely there are sanctions in relation to making use of undeclared work.

Benefits of declared work

- Declaring your income and workers makes you a trusted employer

- Reputations can be made and lost. Promote declared work not just amongst your staff but across your supply-chain

- Keep workers engaged, motivated and productive, and make sure you acknowledge their rights and protections

- Declared work makes a positive impact on your employees and community. Protecting their interest and needs is essential

- Ensure legal certainty and avoid future sanctions

- All your work counts

- Declared work is your right to social protection, paid holiday leave, working time rules, and protection against accidents and unfair dismissal

- There are instruments available to protect you in the transition towards a declared work status

- Make sure your employer declares your work

- Check your rights and what protections you are entitled to.

The Workplace Relations Commission can help you understand your obligations as an employer, and your rights and protections as a worker.

A complaint to the WRC should be presented and/or dispute referred using the Workplace Relations Complaint Form

Concerns over employment rights, exploitation of workers or undeclared work can be reported to WRC Inspection Services by e-mailing

For reasons of confidentiality the WRC will not report back to persons who report suspected undeclared work on the outcome of investigations.

Image conatining the following 2 slogans. Slogan 1 - Earn. Declare. Benefit. Slogan 2 - Fair Work, Fair Play.

For general queries in relation to employment rights please contact the Workplace Relations Commission’s Information and Customer Services on our number 0818 80 80 90, or (059) 917 89 90.