Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD and spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD have today published legislation that seeks to tackle bogus self-employment and protect the rights of workers.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Bogus self-employment has long been an issue for workers and for the economy as a whole. However, the situation has become more acute in recent years with the emergence of the so-called “gig economy”, which is notorious for bogus self-employment and workers’ rights breaches.
“Many workers are being pressured into bogus self-employment contracts, especially in the media, arts, and construction sectors. It is a practice that 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 employers PRSI to pay to the State, 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 public holidays.
“The winner is the fraudulent employer who dodges their responsibilities and bypasses employment law, while the losers are those that pay the price for the actions of their employer – workers. For them it means lower wages, no job security, no protection from unfair dismissal and no cover for their work tools – be it a Makita drill or a bicycle.”
Teachta Kerrane said:
“The State is also a significant loser due to bogus self-employment due to huge losses in PRSI contributions meaning serious consequences for the public finances.
“The surge of bogus self-employment costs the Exchequer hundreds of millions of euro a year.
“In the construction sector alone, ICTU have previously put the loss of PRSI paid to the State due to bogus self-employment at €640 million over eight years. This is only one sector where we know that bogus self-employment is an issue.
“This Bill stands up for workers and the State. For too long basic workers’ rights that have been denied to those left to suffer at the hands of rogue employers while the State stands idly by.
“Action is long overdue in this area, and that is why Sinn Féin are publishing this Bill today.”