Illicit work thriving in Austria

One in four Austrian companies employ unregistered staff, according to a report.The Kronen Zeitung newspaper quotes secret documents today (Tues), claiming that around 25 per cent of checked firms were found employing illegal workers. The daily newspaper reports that more than 11,200 of the overall 67,000 staff at investigated businesses between January and November 2011 were not registered with local labour authorities and insurance agencies.Evading taxes has been identified as the major reason tempting business companies and firms of various other branches to employ Austrians and foreigners illegally. The Republic of Austria loses out on hundreds of millions of tax revenues every year due to the rampant illicit business operations.People’s Party (ÖVP) Financial Affairs State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka vowed last January to send out more worksite inspectors in a bid to expose more illegally employed staff. The financial ministry’s detectives checked the work contracts of around 63,000 employees at 25,800 companies during the first 11 months of last year. More than 10,000 complaints have been made to labour courts and state prosecutors across the country in that period.Reports have it that especially the number of construction companies active in federal capital Vienna engaging workers without registering them is on the rise.Newspapers identified busy roads in the districts of Favoriten, Ottakring and Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus as hotspots for jobless labourers and corrupt businessmen to meet and negotiate.