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The glossary provides a list of terms used in the ELA website, documents and publications. These are not official definitions and will be continuously up-dated.

Glossary of terms (2018)

English (571.33 KB - PDF)

A1 form

The Portable Document A1 (PD A1) certifies the social security legislation which applies to a posted worker and confirms that this person has no obligations to pay contributions in another Member State. It is used in situations where an employed or self-employed person has a connection through their employment or self-employment with more than one EU country. A person is only subject to the legislation of one country at any one time.

Awareness raising campaigns

An organised communication activity that aims to create awareness on a topic (in this case, undeclared work), and thus behavioural change.

Bilateral agreement

Concluded between Member States/EEA countries in written form and governed by European and/or international law. Bilateral agreements are agreements with binding rights and obligations between two Member States/EEA countries which describe in detail the specific responsibilities of, and actions to be taken by, each of the parties, with a view to accomplishing their goals in the area of undeclared work and related areas.

Bogus self-employment

Often referred to as false self-employment or dependent self-employment, this is commonly understood as involving persons/workers registered as self-employed whose conditions of employment are de facto dependent employment. National legislation and/or court decisions determine this status. This employment status is used to circumvent tax and/or social insurance liabilities, or employers’ responsibilities.

[OECD (2014) Employment Outlook 2014. Paris: OECD.]

Commitment measures

Measures to improve commitment to being compliant with labour, tax and social insurance laws and regulations among the public. Measures might include promoting the benefits of declared work, education initiatives, and promoting tax fairness, procedural justice and redistributive justice.

[Eurofound (2013), op cit.]

Complaint reporting tool

A tool for reporting abuses/malpractices in the field on labour laws, social security and taxes. These can use different mediums (e.g., telephone hotlines, websites, emails of different authorities), and be targeted at different forms of violation including labour, tax and/or social insurance violations. They can be hosted by enforcement bodies or by social partners. Companies also have internal systems to handle malpractices.


The act of obeying an order, rule, regulation or request. Compliance with a law means doing what is required to operate in the declared economy.

Compliance list

Sometimes referred to as a ‘white list’, this is a list of businesses or individuals who have been compliant over a time period and therefore are regarded as acceptable or trustworthy, and often rewarded with benefits (e.g., they can tender for public procurement contracts).

Cross-border cooperation and enforcement

Voluntary cooperation between EU/EEA countries national competent authorities to enforce legal obligations and combat undeclared work, occupational health and safety, etc. of mobile workers and businesses. This can involve the exchange of information and data, investigations and inspections, and/or preventative activities.

Data matching

The large-scale comparison of records or files collected or held for different purposes, with a view to identifying matters of interest. With data matching, two or more sets of collected data are compared (comparison of records). This process allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be better identified.

[De Wispelaere, F. and Pacolet, J. (2017), op. cit.]

Data mining

A set of automated techniques used to extract buried or previously unknown pieces of information from large databases. Through the use of data mining, correlations or patterns among dozens of fields in large relational databases can be identified. This process allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be better identified.

[De Wispelaere, F. and Pacolet, J. (2017), op. cit.]

Data sharing

The process of making data available to other users.  Sharing of data both between enforcement authorities within Member States and on a cross-national level is important for tackling undeclared work. Legislative and technical constraints often prevent data sharing within and between Member States.

[De Wispelaere, F. and Pacolet, J. (2017), op. cit.]

Deterrence approach

The enforcement of compliance by increasing the perceived or actual risks of detection (through for example more effective joint workplace inspections) and/or by increasing the actual or perceived sanctions.

[Eurofound (2013), op cit.]

Enabling approach

A term that covers all policy measures beyond the deterrence approach. It includes incentives, and indirect policy measures. It aims to encourage compliance by using either incentives or improving the commitment to compliance with labour, tax and social security law and regulations among the public.

[Eurofound (2013), op cit.]

Enforcement authority

A body designated by a national government to ensure that there is compliance with specific bodies of law (e.g., labour, tax and/or social security law).