Tóibín welcomes Department of Social Protection determination in Kishoge construction workers case
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs and Enterprise Peadar Tóibín TD has welcomed a determination from the Department of Social Protection that JJ Rattigan workers involved in the construction of a Department of Education school in the Kishoge site in Lucan are employees rather than self-employed.
Deputy Tóibín lambasted Fine Gael and Labour over what he terms as continued government inaction with regards the “cancer of bogus self-employment within the construction industry.”
Deputy Tóibín said;
“There are 365,000 RCTs or Subcontractor certificates in the state and it is reasonably estimated that up to 80% of them are bogus. In other words these are workers who should be employed directly but are forced into subcontracting to allow contractors shirk their responsibilities such as the minimum wage, employer PRSI, illness benefit and jobseekers benefit.
“Shockingly, in the Kishoge case, we saw workers being paid just €5 an hour.
“RCTs are being so flagrantly abused that some recruitment agencies actually advertise that normal workers entitlements do not apply. Some within the Department of Social Protection admit that they cannot police the system. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that the DSP only made their determination long after the school was built.
“The chaos in which the construction industry is in with regards widespread bogus self-employment has serious consequences. Workers are left high and dry with regards basic workers’ rights. The state is cheated out of considerable amounts of tax and PRSI and decent employers who employ directly have a competitive disadvantage.
“The government needs to regulate now to ensure that direct employment is the default position for workers in the industry. There needs to be significant penalties put into place where a person is falsely reported as self-employed and state tenders must be prohibit abuse of bogus self-employment.
“My significant concern is that as, we have seen with low hour contracts in the Dunnes Stores case, that there are many within government whose ideological position sees them favour precarious employment in this sector and will purposefully drag their feet on this issue.”