Piazza Cinque Giornate, 1 - 20129 Milan, Italy

BLACK WORK, even the worker at risk!

It is not only the employer who is at risk where he is caught employing undeclared workers.

Although the Jobs Act has tightened penalties against undeclared work, in fact, it is also the workers who need to pay attention to what is reported to the relevant bodies.

As a rule, the one who is employed “off the books” is considered the weaker party in the relationship and does not risk any penalty merely because he is “discovered”: rather, he gets the benefit of being able to see his past employment status regularized.

Instead, following the reform of the penalty system introduced by Leg. n. 151/2015, the employer risks a maxi fine of up to 36 thousand euros for each worker employed.

The amount, in fact, is calculated based on the days of actual work for each irregular worker, and increased by 20 percent in the case of employment of foreign workers not in good standing with their residence permits or minors of non-working age.

The maxi-penalty may be reduced if the employer avails himself of the mandatory warning and the prescribed steps to regularize the assessed violations.

For the undeclared employee, however, everything changes in the event that he or she has declared his or her unemployment status to the relevant authorities or, even, receives special benefits.

In fact, the authorities who carried out the checks are obliged to report the illegally employed worker to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

In the first case, an undeclared worker who has made a statement to the Inps or the Job Center about his or her unemployed status risks a conviction for the crime of“Ideological falsehood committed by a private person in a public act” under Article 483 of the Criminal Code.

The provision punishes with imprisonment of up to two years anyone who falsely attests to a public official, in a public act, facts of which the act is intended to prove the truth.

If, in addition to declaring a nonexistent state of unemployment, the undeclared worker has received unemployment benefits or taken advantage of other social security benefits provided by the state or other public agencies, he or she risks being charged with the undue receipt of disbursements to the detriment of the state provided for in Art. 316-ter of the Criminal Code.

The provision punishes with imprisonment from six months to three years anyone who, by using or submitting false statements or documents or certifying untrue things, or by omitting due information, Unduly obtains, for himself or others, contributions, financing, subsidized loans or other disbursements of the same type, however denominated, granted or disbursed by the state, other public bodies or the European Communities.