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Labour Party legitimises bogus self employment contracts with choice of launch site- Lynn Boylan MEP

12 February, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP and member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Lynn Boylan has slammed Labour’s use of a JJ Rhatigan site to launch its affordable housing scheme.

“Labour’s decision to use a JJ Rhatigan site to launch its affordable housing scheme highlights just how far Labour have shifted away from being the party of the working person.

 In 2014 building contractor JJ Rhatigans was exposed for using a complex web of self-employment contracts and sub contracts that resulted in workers being paid €5 per hour on a publicly funded building project.  The use of these so called ‘sub-contracts’ deprived workers of their social protection rights while simultaneously allowing the company off the hook in terms of PRSI payments.

The workers and Unite Trade union were vindicated when the Labour Court ruled that the workers should be compensated as their rights had been breached.  Labour Party Leader Joan Burton’s own department found that the company owed PRSI as the workers had been employed by Rhatigan.

Ms Boylan added:

 “For Labour Ministers Alan Kelly and Jan O’Sullivan to select a Rhatigan site to launch their affordable housing scheme is lending legitimacy to the actions of this company.

How can Labour purport to be standing up for workers’ rights when the actions of companies like this actually drive down working conditions.

This month in the European Parliament, MEPs called for measures to be taken to deal with undeclared work including bogus self-employment.    Bogus self-employment is a major problem in Ireland, especially in the construction industry and an ICTU report released in December stated that since 2007 €640bn has been lost to the Irish Exchequer in bogus self-employment.”

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