Majority of household aid in Germany is off the books | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 30.03.2017

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Majority of household aid in Germany is off the books

Although Germans often complain about black market labor, they are often guilty of perpetuating it in their own homes. A study found the shadow household economy cost the government billions of euros a year.

A vast majority of household workers in Germany work in the black, according to a study published on Thursday.

Fewer than 350,000 of the estimated 2.7 to 3 million cleaners, babysitters and garden assistants in Germany were legitimately employed, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) found.

That amounts to somewhere between 75 percent and 83 percent of household workers employed under the table.

"We often experience a kind of double standard," IW expert Dominik Enste, who collated the data told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

"The public criticizes politicians for doing too little or companies for creating precarious employment, but they find it quite self-evident to not grant their household aids paid holidays or paid sick leave."

The group found that about 10 percent of German households employed some form of aids.

For each undeclared job, the state lost 8,000 euros of taxes and 18,000 euros of social insurance, the report found. The total financial damage of the black labor industry was between 10.92 billion euros and 28.6 billion euros.

It found retirees and young people who were studying often worked clandestine jobs, drawn by the lack of regulation and taxes.

A separate study released by Germany's Institute for Applied Economic Research in February found the number of people working illicitly was decreasing due to higher job creation in Germany in a favorable economic climate as well as tax relief.

The institute found refugees were drawn to the shadow economy due to restrictions in work permits.

An introduction of a minimum wage in 2015 did not have a great effect on the number of people working in so-called "Schwarzarbeit."

aw/bw (dpa, AFP)