On the one hand, there are jobseekers on the labor market and, on the other hand, entrepreneurs creating jobs. In a free market economy, there is a social phenomenon called unemployment on the labor market, which consists in the fact that some people who are capable of working and declaring their willingness to do so do not find actual employment for various reasons. However, people who are long-term unemployed are looking for alternative, illegal employment sources. The reasons for such a situation are usually negative and painful phenomena such as: a growing level of unemployment, the process of depriving a significant part of society, or the specter of economic uncertainty, especially of people with medium and low professional qualifications. People ready to take any kind of paid work, working without a formal employment application - illegal, and illegal immigrants taking up jobs without a permit, form the so-called gray zone in the labor market.
The gray zone is divided into three main areas:
- illegal activity,
- hidden business (mainly deliberate lowering of turnover in legally operating companies),
- informal activities (work outside of registration).
Informal activities involve natural persons who provide services to other institutions or persons for consideration. To a large extent, the so-called marginal workforce, which consists of:
- unemployed people with low qualifications and lack of skills to find and stay in the labor market,
- employees employed legally, earning money in a gray area, often with the use of employer equipment, materials and equipment,
- able to work pensioners,
- students and students
- immigrants, mostly from across the eastern border.
The conditions conducive to the complete omission of direct registration are: small scale of the company's activity, lack of any standards or rules in operation, as well as seasonal or occasional nature of the undertaken work.
Illegal work is called wage work, performed without an employment relationship, i.e. without a contract of employment, contract-order, work contract or any other written contract between the employer and the employee. In short, an illegal worker works and receives a salary, but does not have any necessary benefits. He is not insured by the employer because he is not officially there.
Illegal work is a way for employers to reduce employment costs, and for employees an often better paid income or the only job possible to find. Such a procedure is not allowed by the state because of lost profits, imposing severe penalties, especially on employers. On the other hand, the employee is essentially free of charge for black work, a fine is a fine.
It often happens that in the search for employment people decide to go to another country and take illegal work there. Theoretically, you can not deport anyone to work in Poland, although some countries (including Denmark and Belgium) reserve that in some cases it will be possible. However, legal problems are not the only reason why it is not worth illegal working. Illegal work also means the lack of any social security. The employee does not have insurance, which in practice means that in case of illness, he will have to pay for everything in his own pocket. Another problem may be to enforce remuneration from the employer, because officially an illegal employee is not employed and it is difficult to prove the employment relationship. Therefore, Illegal work, above all, does not serve the employee.
Positive aspects of illegal work
The negative aspect of informal employment is associated primarily with the deprivation of employees of all employee rights: the right to leave, to compensation for an accident at work, lack of social and health insurance and the right to a pension for informally worked time.
However, this problem also has its positive sides:
- People with low or no qualifications are employed. Obtaining income in the shadow economy contributes to a lower burden of social assistance funds, and illegally earned money is spent under the legal economy.
- The availability of certain services for a group of consumers who, in the official sphere, would not be able to afford it. Their implementation has a positive impact on GDP.
Methods of limiting undeclared work
- regulatory policy: striving to simplify the tax system and reduce fiscal burdens,
- limitation of other costs, ie reduction of the number of regulations (permits, concessions), simplification of economic regulations,
- supporting non-cash transactions (cash transactions leave no confirmation),
- repressive methods: fiscal control, penalties determined by law,
- creating public awareness of the need to limit informal activities as a harmful phenomenon (e.g. through the nationwide campaign "Take a receipt!".
Impact of unemployment benefit on informal work
Unemployment benefit has two basic functions: providing income to people during job search and motivating to work. Sometimes, however, it results in reduced activity in the job search. "Labor market surveys conducted by the State Agency for Enterprise Development indicate that people who receive benefits very often get paid for seasonal works in construction, agriculture, catering, hotel industry, as well as in small manufacturing companies. The studies prepared for the Ministry of Labor and reports of research institutions show that up to 30-40% of people registered in labor offices earn unemployment benefits ". The reason for the occurrence of this phenomenon according to the beneficiaries is the low level of unemployment benefit paid. At the same time, its sufficient height prompts you to get help and, at the same time, Illegal work. In addition, high social (and health) insurance is associated with the benefit, which further encourages informal employment.
Factors affecting the acceptance of the gray zone in the labor market
- As the age increases, the level of acceptance of the gray economy increases. The most opposite are people aged 25-30.
- Women are less likely than men to accept illegal jobs.
- Residents of small towns more often consent to this than people from large towns.
- Informal work is more often attended by people who used to attend general schools and technical secondary schools than people from vocational and profiled high schools.
- People with more than three siblings rarely tolerate the gray zone.
- People who have a member of a non-registered working family more often accept this form.
- Believers and practitioners are less likely to accept such employment.
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- Hill, J. K., & Pearce, J. E. (1990). The incidence of sanctions against employers of illegal aliens. Journal of Political Economy, 98(1), 28-44.
- Fagan, J., & Freeman, R. B. (1999). Crime and work. Crime and Justice, 25, 225-290.