On Friday 6 October 2017, Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, was the guest at a breakfast discussion organised by the Junior Chamber International on the role of the State in countering undeclared employment. The Minister presented the Government’s policy on the issue: it is a subject on which the Principality is vigilant, and is taking action to achieve one of the lowest undeclared employment rates in Europe.
In his opening remarks, Mr Gamerdinger reiterated that undeclared employment was a breach of the rules: “Everyone loses: employees, employers who abide by the rules, social security funds, and the State. The Government’s message is clear and firm: undeclared employment has no place in the Principality.”
Checks were carried out on nearly 1,400 individuals over the summer, primarily in the construction and hospitality sectors, by the Labour Inspectorate, working closely with the Police Department and taking a calm approach. If required, these are supplemented by checks carried out by the Hygiene and Food Safety Office. In addition, a new tool which will simplify the checks carried out by the State in the construction sector has recently been introduced with the release of a professional identity card for the industry.
In effect, any violation results in immediate exclusion from the construction site. The case is then submitted to the Public Prosecution Department. The penalty – which is imposed on the employer, never the employee – can be as much as a €9,000 fine in the case of a second offence.
In conclusion, the Minister reiterated that an undeclared employee, who has no social security cover and is not insured in the event of an accident at work, is in an extremely precarious situation. Before answering questions from those who attended, he noted: “The Government is taking an ambitious, significant and methodical approach, and intends to continue to carry out its checks.”
There are 56,000 private sector employees in the Principality, compared with 35,000 residents. This is another reason why the State is particularly keen to ensure that everyone abides by the rules.