The new Romanian regulation of undeclared labour

AuthorRaluca Dimitriu
The new Romanian regulation of undeclared labour
Professor Raluca DIMITRIU1
The “black” labour is an indicator of how efficient is the enforcement of the
labour law. Irrespective of how progressive may the labour law system be in a society, the
proliferation of work without employment contracts expresses the failure of the labour law
system in the real market. In Romania, Labour Code has been dramatically changed in the
summer of 2017, especially with the declared goal to better organize the fight against the
undeclared work. This paper is an analysis of the impact of these changes in an attempt to
highlight the consequences of the new regulation, which seems to be fighting undeclared
work predominantly by punitive tools. Following a general approach to the vulnerability of
the worker without an employment contract, as well as some of the reasons for such choice,
the analysis starts from the identification of the practical difficulties raised by the new
regulation. On the other hand, the paper highlights the benefits of returning to the
consensual nature of the employment contract, as well as the disadvantages of the excessive
widening of the definition of the concept of undeclared work.
Keywords: labour law, undeclared labour, Romanian Labour Code, labour
JEL Classification: K 31
1. The concept of undeclared work
Labour performed without employment contract (“black market labour”)
constitutes the labour performed in the absence of a written employment contract,
although the juridical relation between the parties actually corresponds to such a
We shall not include in this concept those activities that are illegal per se
(forced labour, crime-related activities), but only those activities that are not
forbidden by the law and may be object of a legally recognized contract. In the EU,
undeclared work is defined as any remunerated activity that is legal in terms of its
nature but not declared to public authorities taking into account the differences
between the regulations of the various Member States.
Also called informal labour, the undeclared labour is the work performed
in the absence of an employment contract registered under the law in the country
where the work is performed. By contrast, the grey work (sub-declared work)
implies the existence of an employment contract but involves elements that do not
correspond to reality: a declared salary that differs from the actual salary, a
1 Raluca Dimitriu Department of Law, Bucharest University of Economic Studies,

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