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Official Report Confirms Bogus Self-Employment Still a Problem in Construction

2 Feb 2018

Construction Employment, Wages and Economic Recovery in the Republic of Ireland

The Construction Industry Committee (CIC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said today (Feb 1) that publication of a long-awaited official report on the growth of bogus self-employment “serves to confirm that the practice remains a significant problem in the construction sector and therefore must be tackled at a national level.”

Responding to the report’s findings, CIC spokesperson Bill Wall said: “This official investigation into the nature and scope of bogus self-employment was prompted by the December 2015 publication of a Congress study that showed taxpayers had lost up to €600 million as a result of the practice while standards of employment in the sector had also suffered.”

The report was prepared by a working group from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners.

“The Construction Industry Committee and unions across the sector will now study the report and its findings and issue a more detailed response in due course.

“But for now we note that the report confirms that while self-employment may average some 15% across the wider economy, it is now over 30% in the construction sector, which confirms the fears we have repeatedly expressed.

“We note also that report confirms that the practice has led to a ‘not insignificant’ loss of tax revenue to the State.

“Clearly the priority now is to bring an end to bogus self-employment in the sector and in all other areas of the economy where it is present.

“In that context the CIC notes the proposal in the report to increase PRSI payments for the self-employed.

“A key issue is the need for speedy and effective remedies for workers who find themselves forced into bogus self-employment.  

“To that end, the CIC believes it would be more suitable to ensure that such workers should have recourse to the offices of Workplace Relations Commission, as opposed to taking their case to the Scope section of the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection, as currently obtains,” Mr Wall said.