Illicit work means that someone is pursuing an improper activity, for which they can evade debts or tax and social security payments as they are not reporting it to government authorities.
This deliberate circumvention of the legal regulations is an offense – both for the persons who condone the illegal and illicit work in their business and for the persons who are working without being registered.
In 2013, over 340 billion Euros were earned within the course of such illicit work, according to a prognostic study carried out by the University of Linz in cooperation with the institute of applied economic research (IAW) in Tübingen (Germany).
With millions of workers in the so-called “informal economy”, the damage for businesses and honest workers who are abiding by the laws, as well as the state coffers, is immense. Many good reasons for uncovering illicit work and its supporters with the help of professional detective agencies.
Clients, who seek out our detective agency due to problems related to illicit working, come with various different motivations that may even be of a private nature. Take, for example, the woman who receives no financial support from her ex-husband under his claim that he is unable to pay, and who would now like to obtain evidence that he is in fact earning a great deal of money working illegally in the construction industry. In many cases however, it is companies that use our service of uncovering employees who have specialized in illicit working – and this is done primarily for two reasons.
The first reason involves the company’s own employees. Again, and again we are confronted with cases in which the worker not only uses their complete vacation time to earn additional money through illicit working but that they are sometime even so brazen as to go on sick leave for this reason. The employer often feels the damage caused by this three-fold: In general, the employer continues to pay the employee for the period of an illness that is only feigned. Furthermore, it may be that the employee goes about their illegal activities using materials or tools that belong to the company – particularly with manual trades. And thirdly, it is possible that the employee is serving customers with their illicit activities who would otherwise have tasked the company with providing this service.
The second focal point, for which companies turn to our detective agency, is competitor companies who have a marked tendency for employing unregistered workers. The advantage of this policy is clear: Thanks to the illegal saving of the employer’s portion of the social security payment due for this employee, the company is able to offer the same services for a significantly lower price than the law-abiding company. In order to avoid being continuously disadvantaged in a competitive market due to the competitor’s illicit work practices, the honest company has hardly any other route than to report the competitor. However, for the process to be successful, conclusive evidence of the competitor’s improper business practice is required. Evidence that we can provide very quickly in most cases thanks to the excellent investigative skills of our experienced detectives.
Our investigators successfully uncover illicit work
Naturally, we also offer our reliable services to the various public administration facilities. A good example for illicit working here is the person who is claiming unemployment benefits. Benefit claimants receive high amounts of untaxed money through unregistered jobs. A clear case of fraud that costs the state an enormous amount of money each year because registering having exceeded the permissible extra earnings may have an effect on the level of unemployment benefit paid. So, even the illicit working of an unemployed person damages the state through immense shortfalls in the area of tax and social security contributions.
Our expert investigators have numerous effective investigative measures at their disposal for uncovering illegal employment relationships, which occur particularly in the construction industry, in the transport industry and also in the catering or hospitality industry. This starts with comprehensive research, then proceeds through the surveillance of the persons suspected of the illicit working supported with high-tech equipment and ends with the documentation of the offense, for example with conclusive video recordings. Furthermore, all research work and the results determined are fully and clearly documented. The objective is to compile a comprehensive body of evidence that the client themselves can bring before a court of law or that can be handed over to the authorities responsible for further investigation.
From our own investigations in the area of uncovering illegal work, we must advise that private persons have neither the know-how nor the equipment necessary for generating successful evidence material. In most cases research carried out under one’s own initiative leads to the unsatisfactory outcome that the persons or businesses affected are warned so that subsequently even a professional investigation through our detective agency into the illicit working activities will no longer be likely to have a successful outcome.