EU Platform launched to combat undeclared farmwork

A new platform designed to tackle undeclared work in the European Union was launched today after GEOPA, the Agricultural Employers Group of COPA, presented last week the results of a two year Project on this topic.

The Project, which was supported by the EU Commission, aimed to tackle the problem of undeclared work in the EU agricultural sector in a more effective way to improve the situation of farm workers and to cut red tape for employers. A key problem with the current system is that undeclared and illegal work promotes social fraud and unfair competition and this must be fought.

Speaking at the event, Lodewijk Asscher, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, said that the Agricultural sector makes him proud, but that there are always villains. And he’s counting on the social partners to combat undeclared work and social dumping. Also the Slovak Ministry, the next EU Presidency, stressed that will follow close the social partners work.

Arnd Spahn, Secretary of the Trade Unions EFFAT, highlighted that there are good examples of cooperation in the agriculture sector and it has to be maintained, implementing, for example a social labelling.

Albert Jan Maat, President of the Dutch Farm Organisation LTO, stressed that the “polder model”, the Dutch consensus decision-making process, can be implemented on EU labour aspects.

Wrapping up, Geopa-Copa President Chris Botterman said “We don’t need more legislation but better legislation: reducing administrative burden to comply with and sharing best practices. We need a simpler system which benefits both farm workers and employers”.

The EU Platform on Undeclared Work was launched today by GEOPA – COPA as one of the 14 observers members. “We are ready to present to the European Platform our results. A lot has to be done to combat social fraud and unfair competition at the European and national level but more efforts are needed. In the agricultural sector we made our homework.”, Chris Botterman said.

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