Sean Crowe T.D. has welcomed the introduction of a Sinn Féin Bill to tackle bogus self-employment. The local Tallaght TD said that many workers are being pressured into bogus self-employment contracts in a wide variety of sectors including in the media, arts, and construction sectors. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) estimates that €640 million has been lost to the exchequer over the last 8 years because of bogus self-employment in the construction sector.

Deputy Seán Crowe said: “Bogus self-employment has negative consequences for workers as they are not protected by key employment legislation, and are entitled to fewer benefits. “This practice has been rampant across numerous sectors for some time now. Bogus self-employment creates big winners and even bigger losers. The winners are the shady employers who can undermine other legitimate legally compliant employers by undercutting job prices. The losers are workers and the exchequer. “For a shady employer who classifies a worker as self-employed, even though they are actually an employee, 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, and no public holiday pay. “For a worker misclassified as self-employed this means less entitlements to social welfare supports if and when they need them.  It means no job security and less 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.” Crowe continued: “In the construction sector alone, ICTU have put the loss of PRSI paid to the State due to bogus self-employment at whopping €640 million over 8 years and that is only one of the sectors where we know that bogus self-employment is rampant. “Official Ireland is complicit in this practice as many of State’s construction projects like schools had an element of bogus self-employment. It seems the Department of Education is more concerned with delivery than sharp practice. “I believe this Bill stands up for the interests of these workers and the State. It not only seeks to make it an offence to issue a self-employed contract to an employee, but it goes much further in ensuring that the self-employed receive basic rights and protections as employees do, such as
annual leave and pay and rest periods. Basic workers’ rights that have been denied to those left to suffer at the hands of a rogue employer while the State pretends it isn’t happening. “It is long past the time to tackle this fraudulent process. I am calling on all parties and independent TDs to back this important Sinn Féin Bill.”