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Louise O’Reilly TD introduces Bill to tackle bogus self-employment

7 October, 2021 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, today introduced the Organisation of Working Time (Workers’ Rights and Bogus Self-Employment) (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the Dáil.

The Bill seeks to tackle the scourge of bogus self-employment across the economy, a persistent problem that adversely affects workers and the state’s finances.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The practice of bogus self-employment has been rampant across numerous sectors for some time now. It is particularly prevalent in construction, IT, universities, the gig economy, and many more. This abhorrent practice 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 Employer PRSI to pay, 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.

“The losers are those that pay the price for the actions of their employer – the workers. For them it means lower wages, no job security, no protection from unfair dismissal, no cover for their work tools, be it a Makita drill or a bicycle. 

“The other big loser is the state, which suffers huge losses in PRSI contributions meaning serious consequences for the public finances and the Exchequer.

“As a state, we must commit ourselves to outlawing this practice in every sector of the economy.

“It is for that reason that I have introduced the Organisation of Working Time (Workers’ Rights and Bogus Self-Employment) (Amendment) Bill 2021, and I hope that those from all parties and none will support this piece of legislation, which has the protection of workers and the state’s finances at its heart.”

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