November 9, 2023
Government must legislate for Supreme Court ruling on employment status – Louise O’Reilly TD

Speaking in the Dáil this week Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, called on the government to set out in primary legislation how a workers’ employment status will now be determined following the recent Supreme Court ruling in ‘The Revenue Commissions v Karshan (Midlands) Ltd t/a Dominos Pizza’.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“A fortnight ago the Supreme Court published its long-awaited decision on defining employment status. The court ruled that delivery drivers for Domino’s Pizza should be treated as employees and not contractors.

“The Supreme Court ruling has huge implications in the battle against bogus self-employment and the government must set out in primary legislation how a workers’ employment status will now be determined following the decision.

“The practice of bogus self-employment has been rampant across numerous sectors for some time now. It is particularly prevalent in construction, IT, universities, the gig economy, and many more. This abhorrent practice creates big winners and even bigger losers.

“For an employer who classifies a worker who is actually an employee as self-employed, or an independent contractor, there is no Employer PRSI to pay, no pension contributions to make, no sick, paternity or maternity leave to pay, no redundancy payments, no annual leave or public holiday pay.

“For a worker misclassified as self-employed this means less entitlement to social welfare supports if and when they need them. It also means no access to an occupational pension, no paid sick, paternity or maternity leave, no redundancy pay, no fixed breaks or rest periods, no paid annual leave or pubic holidays.

“The winner is the fraudulent employer who dodges their responsibilities and bypasses employment law. The losers are those that pay the price for the actions of their employer – the workers. For them it means lower wages, no job security, or no protection from unfair dismissal. 

“The other big loser is the State, who suffers huge losses in PRSI contributions meaning serious consequences for the public finances and the Exchequer.

“The Supreme Court ruling was a historic win for workers’ rights, and it will have far reaching implications, especially for platform-workers and workers in the gig economy.

“We must commit to outlawing this exploitative practice in every sector of the economy. That is why in 2021 I introduced the Organisation of Working Time (Workers’ Rights and Bogus Self-Employment) (Amendment) Bill 2021 which sought to tackle bogus self-employment.

“The government must now follow suit and I will be calling on the Minister for Enterprise to amend the law to reflect the Supreme Court decision and bring forward an updated comprehensive statutory definition of what constitutes a contract of employment.”

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