Responding to the publication of the Government’s updated Code of Practice for Determining Employment or Self-Employment Status, Irish Congress of Trade Unions general secretary Patricia King said: “The amended Code, on its own, is wholly inadequate to tackle the practice of misclassifying employees as self-employed. It must be accompanied by enabling legislation to ensure its provisions are legally binding.”
Ms King said: “For many years Congress has highlighted the severe negative impact of the practice of Bogus Self-Employment on the State’s revenue and workers’ employment rights, income, and job security.
We have actively participated in multiple meetings with senior officials on the subject. However, to date, the State has chosen to deal with this matter through a variety of means none of which have been satisfactory or successful. The amended Code of Practice is not legally binding and is another such inadequate measure. Considering the very lucrative advantages afforded to employers who misclassify workers as self-employed, there is little motivation for them to have any regard for the updated Code.
She added: “It is considered view of Congress, that the only effective resolution to this long outstanding matter is through providing definitions of ‘contract for’ or ‘of service’ explicitly in primary legislation. The State should also classify all workers as direct employees, in the first instance, until proven otherwise by applicant employers. This would ensure a more balanced and fairer approach and would safeguard against workers being forced to pursue costly civil cases to vindicate their rights.”