The national round table "„Promotion of rights and representation of workers in informal economy“ 28 May 2009

The national round table was organised in framework of the FNV supported project „CEE-NIS Promotion of rights and representation of workers in informal economy“ in Belgrade, 28 May 2009, by the UGS Nezavisnost and the Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia.


 For a successful action in the field of combating informal economy, it is necessary to fully and thoroughly inform and educate all members of trade unions as well as persons engaged in the informal economy (especially young people and women) on the manifestations, causes, extent and consequences of this phenomenon, in order to understand what is better for them and achieve their own interests;

 The informal economy is a common problem for all three social partners and an image (a mirror) of a disorganized society. It is necessary to further the work of applied multi-sectoral approach (keeping in mind the problems that occur in agriculture, construction, trade, etc..), and to include employees who work in the “gray zone” in the activities of trade unions;

 It is necessary to do the networking of trade unions in the region and encourage exchange and cooperation of experts, determine the priority and to resolve the most common problems (working without a labor contract, overtime work, work longer than permitted by the law, non-payment or partial payment for work performed ...) where the results are more obvious and the promotion of trade unions is the most successful, so that, reinforced, they could spread activities to the other problems, as well;

 It is essential that trade unions with the competent state authorities (Labour inspection, respective Ministries), associations of employers and non-governmental organizations, run joint initiatives towards the ITUC, ILO and other international organizations and apply together for obtaining the international projects that aim to decrease the volume of informal economy, its detailed analysis, stress the seriousness of the problem and provide a wide support of the activities in introduction of the informal economy in the legal flows;

 It is necessary to use the positive experiences of some local communities that went “further” in this field (Smederevo and Zrenjanin), and initiated concrete activities and achieved noticeable results. This means that the action of signing agreements with local authorities and major companies in the management of the environment on joint activities in the implementation of the project “City without informal work”, should be expanded to other regions of Serbia;

 Strengthening and enhancement of cooperation with Labour inspection, Tax directorate, Public demanding and other institutions responsible for implementation of measures against the work in the informal economy (for example, adjustment range of penalties for participants in informal economy) is needed;

 Special attention should be paid to strengthening and improving cooperation with the media, to track and support the activities of trade unions in this field, in order to get support from the entire public.

 It is necessary to start the initiative for amending regulatory solutions that, through encouraging or punitive measures, motivate direct participants in the informal economy to legalize their work (tax and other incentives, relief for employers and the economy to be more efficient, etc.);

 It is necessary to make a social agreement / consensus between trade unions, employers and the Government, which will, inter alia, contain a statement that workers will not be emploed without the conclusion of the contract, as well as the obligation of state authorities to engage in joint action combate illegal work.

Belgrade, 29/05/2009.

Mr Sanja Paunovic, SSSS dr Zoran Ristic, TUC Nezavisnost
Project coordinator Project coordinator

National actions CATUS