Undeclared work is a predominant form of informal work where work is explicitly hidden, even if there are laws in the country that might recognize it, while informal work also includes economic activities that are not formally recognized by law, even if they are not criminal activities. Today, the use of undeclared work can be explained by cur- rent trends such as the move towards more flexible working relationships, the growth of self-employment, sub-contracting, and the ease of setting-up groups of enterprises that operate across borders (p.10).

This report, published in 2021, examines the contribution of co-operatives in transforming undeclared activities to legally protected work. The report draws on qualitative analysis of European co-operatives, including:

  • BEC Družstvo - a business and employment co-operative in the Czech Republic
  • By-Expressen - a co-operative of bicycle messengers in Denmark
  • CoopCycle- a confederation of riders’ co-ops in France
  • De Coöperatie - a co-operative of freelance journalists in The Netherlands
  • Diomcoop - a co-operative that aims to regularise migrants in Spain
  • Doc Servizi - a co-operative of entertainment workers in Italy
  • GOEL - a co-operative group that aims to fight against the ‘Ndrangheta mafia organisation in Italy
  • Nazareth - a co-operative that hosts migrants and supports their job integration in Italy
  • RCOOP - a co-operative of hairdressers and beauty treatments experts in Belgium
  • Soglasnik Language Cooperative - a cooperative of linguistic experts in Slovenia.

Martinelli, F. (202).  Lights on! Worker and social cooperatives tackling undeclared work, CECOP. https://cecop.coop/works/cecop-report-lights-on-worker-and-social-cooperatives-tackling-undeclared-work


UK Society for Co-operative Studies is registered in England and Wales as a charitable incorporated organisation Number 1175295. Our registered office is Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS.
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