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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)

Starting with "S" (5)

Sector-specific approach

An approach where the direct and indirect policy measures used to tackle undeclared work are specifically designed and targeted at one sector whose characteristics in terms of undeclared work are different from other sectors and whose problems and risk factors require a specific approach.


The state of working for oneself rather than an employer. A self-employed person is ‘pursuing a gainful activity for their own account, under the conditions laid down by national law'. As indicated by the European Commission in 2010, there are different understandings and definitions of the term self-employment across Member States.

Service voucher

A means of payment, subsidised by government, which allows a private user to pay an employee for conducting tasks. By providing service vouchers to those employing labour, which pays a portion of the fee given to the worker, the intention is to encourage those employing labour to purchase services on a declared rather than undeclared basis.

[Williams, C.C. (2018) Elements of a preventative approach: service vouchers and awareness raising campaigns, European Commission, Brussels.]

Shadow economy

The shadow economy includes both undeclared work as well as broader criminal activities. Besides undeclared work, it therefore additionally includes the provision of goods and services that are themselves unlawful (e.g., the production or trafficking of illegal drugs, human trafficking or money laundering forbidden by law).


Employing a firm or person outside one’s company to do work as part of a larger project.