Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee Matt Carthy TD has said the committee hearing with RTÉ has confirmed that the employment practices at the broadcaster are likely to leave it liable to significant future settlements with Revenue, the Department of Social Protection and the workers involved.
RTÉ were before the Oireachtas Committee on Public Accounts following revelations last year that the broadcaster had reached a €1.22 million settlement with the Revenue arising from contractors at the station being found to have attributes akin to employment.
Teachta Carthy said:
“As a result of employment practices at RTÉ the state was denied tax revenue while workers were denied their entitlements.
“It is now probable that the expanded review of the Department of Social Protection will, aside from its own settlement, beget a further settlement with Revenue.
“It is welcome that RTÉ are engaging with relevant state authorities on these issues. However, it is disappointing that the hearing was effectively dominated by a broadcaster highlighting its financial difficulties while simultaneously answering questions on employment practices that could lead to further multi-million-euro settlements.
“What was particularly concerning was the failure of RTÉ to give a commitment that workers found to have been bogusly self-employed will receive what they would have been entitled to.
“The Department of Social Protection will receive it’s PRSI – workers should not be deprived of what that PRSI would have entitled them to.
“In relation to maternity leave, holiday pay, sick pay and pension contributions it is disgraceful that those workers were denied their rights in the first place.
“RTÉ representatives described the organisation as ‘both a fair and equitable employer’. Their response to these issues will determine whether that is, in fact the case.
“On a wider issue, this debacle exposes the long-term implications of the practice of bogus self-employment – it needs to be tackled by government in every sector where it is still prevalent.”