By Joe Barrett
Sinn Féin is seeking to address the issue of bogus self-employment, protect the rights of workers and ensure that employers pay their fair share of PRSI.
Local TD Brian Stanley said: “Bogus self-employment has long been an issue for workers and for the economy as a whole. Whether it’s in the construction sector, hospitality, the media or anywhere else, it has become a major financial problem for workers and the state.
“Many workers are being pressured into bogus self-employment contracts across these sectors where the worker loses out on sick, paternity or maternity leave pay, redundancy payments, annual leave, public holiday pay and the employer pays no PRSI to the State.
“For many workers misclassified as self-employed, it is a shock to them years later when they find out they have less entitlement to social welfare supports such as a pension.”
Deputy Stanley said: “Bogus self-employment also puts an unfair disadvantage on those employers who have their workers correctly classified as employees and pay their portion of the PRSI contributions. 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.
“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.’’
Progressing a paper in the Dáil to address the issue the Portlaoise based TD said: “Our Bill provides a much tighter definition of what being employed and self-employed is and will give deciding officers much clearer guidance around making an adjudication. We have to make it as difficult as possible for rogue employers to get away with bogus self-employment and we need to empower officials to make the right decision.”