Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Fair and declared working

Under the European Social Charter all workers must be guaranteed just working conditions, equal treatment and lawful employment relationships. In order that all EU Member States could meet this objective in a uniform way, the European Labour Authority was established.

The European Labour Authority (ELA) was established on 31 July 2019. The ELA should be fully operational from 2024. The Agency's aim is to facilitate and enhance cooperation between EU Member States, coordinate joint inspections, carry out analyses and risk assessments on issues regarding cross-border labour mobility and mediate disputes between Member States on issues regarding workforce and working conditions. 

The ELA promotes flexible and efficient working to help find solutions to problems in the areas covered by the Regulation, and inter alia:

  • helps to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way;
  • helps individuals and businesses to reap more of the benefits of the Single Market;
  • facilitates cooperation between national authorities in the EU to ensure that rules are effectively enforced.

More information at

In the ELA’s activities, Estonia is represented by the Labour Inspectorate participating in working groups as well as in preparing and carrying out information campaigns in the Member States. 

One of ELA's areas of activity is the fair and declared working in all Member States. In order to build a common understanding, find solutions to the problems encountered at Member State level and to share best practices, the ELA adopted the activities of the European Platform tackling undeclared work and will continue to implement the Platform's objectives. 

Undeclared work is defined as any paid activity that is lawful but has not been declared to public authorities. The negative impact of undeclared work is felt by employees, businesses and governments. For workers, undeclared work leads to:

  • lower pensions
  • poorer access to health services
  • poor working conditions
  • possible breaches of employment rights

For businesses, this creates unfair competition, as companies that do not declare their employees gain an unfair competitive advantage. For governments, this means a loss of tax and social security revenue. Fighting against undeclared work is the responsibility of Member States and will remain so in the future. 

In Estonia, undeclared work occurs when a natural person's employment is not registered in the employment register of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, they have not been informed of the terms and conditions of employment, and the wages they earn are not declared, withheld or subjected to taxes that would provide them with the necessary social guarantees, such as the right to health insurance, a pension, or the guarantees necessary if they become unemployed. 

The Labour Inspectorate combats undeclared work by monitoring compliance with the terms of the Employment Contracts Act and informing both employers and employees about the risks of undeclared work. To achieve these objectives, cooperation is established with the Tax and Customs Board, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Social Insurance Board and the Unemployment Insurance Fund of Estonia.

Last updated: 14.06.2022